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Based On A True Story - What We Know So Far

There might be no hotter trend in entertainment right now than true crime storytelling. From books to podcasts to documentaries to scripted films and TV shows, the United States has seemingly rediscovered a collective national passion for learning the sordid details of grisly, ghastly, and shocking stories of murder and deceit ripped straight from real life in the last few years. On television, that trend has been demonstrated by the wide array of hit true crime shows that have made their way to both traditional TV networks and streaming services as of late, from "Tiger King" to "The Act" to "The Vow" to "Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" to any given season of "American Crime Story" — the list goes on and on, really.

Many have been the critics and cultural commentators who have been poring over that resurgence of the true crime genre and what it says about the current state of American culture, the nation's fixations and obsessions, and the shared anxieties of its populace. Now, a new true crime show from Aggregate Films and UCP is coming to Peacock with the promise to turn a mirror on America and its relationship with the genre. Here's everything we know so far about "Based on a True Story," which is set to be written and executive produced by Craig Rosenberg.

When will Based on a True Story be released?

"Based on a True Story" was first announced on April 11, 2022, per Variety. At the time, it was reported that the comedic thriller show from executive producers Craig Rosenberg, Jason Bateman, and Michael Costigan had been given a straight-to-series order by Peacock, meaning an entire season would go into production at once. Straight-to-series orders are common in the streaming production pipeline, since shows are generally intended to be presented as entire units, whether released weekly or all at once; there have been examples of Peacock shows following both release models.

Since then, no word has yet come out on when the series will actually be released, nor on whether it will be made available in its entirety right away or released a few episodes at a time. If we have a look at the timetables of past Peacock true crime shows, we know that "Dr. Death" was originally announced in October 2018 (via Deadline) before its first season hit screens in July 2021, while the "Joe vs. Carole" miniseries was first announced in November 2019 as "Joe Exotic" (via Deadline) and went on to premiere under its changed final title in March 2022. In light of those precedents, we can venture a guess that "Based on a True Story" could take as many as two and a half years to make its way to viewers, which would place its premiere date somewhere around late 2024 — but, of course, that's nothing but speculation for now.

Who is starring on Based on a True Story?

The majority of the announcements pertaining to "Based on a True Story" so far have been centered around the show's impressive cast. First, it was announced on August 8 (via Variety) that Kaley Cuoco would be leading the series. Although perhaps best known for her 12-year stint on "The Big Bang Theory," Cuoco has, of course, been on a hot streak of success and recognition since starring on the critically acclaimed hit HBO Max series "The Flight Attendant," which netted her two consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations (via IMDb).

Joining Cuoco as the show's other lead will be Chris Messina (via Variety), who, in addition to being a consolidated movie star, has been one of the most dependable TV presences of the past decade thanks to his roles on shows like "The Mindy Project," "The Newsroom," "Sharp Objects," and "The Sinner."

Then there's the show supporting cast, which is full of up-and-coming names. In early November, actors Tom Bateman ("Da Vinci's Demons"), Liana Liberato ("Light as a Feather"), and Priscilla Quintana ("Pandora") were announced to have joined the cast (via Variety). Later in the month, they were joined by a sturdy roster (via Variety), including "Stranger Things" superstar Natalia Dyer, "Industry" Season 2 breakout Alex Alomar Akpobome, and Li Jun Li, who's poised to be one of the highlights of Damien Chazelle's upcoming "Babylon," as well as "Succession" recurring actress Annabelle Dexter-Jones and rising Canadian comedy star Aisha Alfa.

What is Based on a True Story about?

Plot details surrounding "Based on a True Story" have so far been kept under wraps. One thing that's known so far is that the series is inspired by an actual event, with UCP president Beatrice Springborn having stated, "There are some true stories that are stranger than fiction as is the case for the events that inspire this show" (via Variety). Per the official logline, "Based on a True Story" will follow "a realtor, a plumber and a former tennis star whose lives unexpectedly collide, exposing America's obsession with true crime, murder and the slow close toilet seat."

We do know that Kaley Cuoco's character will be a married woman named Ava Bartlett and Chris Messina's character will be named Nathan, but that's about all we have to go on as far as character details are concerned. What we absolutely do not know yet is how the show's plot is going to bring together three people from such seemingly disparate walks of life, nor how slow-close toilet seats will factor into a plot involving crime and murder. But, given that series creator Craig Rosenberg was previously responsible for writing several memorable episodes of AMC's "Preacher" and Amazon Prime Video's "The Boys," we have every reason to hope that his grand design will be something to knock us all off our feet, and that "Based on a True Story" will have as witty, irreverent, and smart of an authorial voice as those past shows.