Jan Broberg’s kidnapping by master manipulator Robert Berchtold was at the centre of Netflix’s chilling 2017 documentary Abducted in Plain Sight. Now, according to Deadline, The Act creator Nick Antosca is adapting her story for the small screen for a show just as twisted as the Munchausen syndrome by Proxy-centred Hulu series.
Jan, now an actress who recently starred in horror movie Behind You, and her mother, Mary Ann Broberg, will serve as executive producers on the upcoming series. Antosca will have rights to their life story to develop a show under his Universal Cable Productions deal. The access will allow Antosca unprecedented insight into the bizarre circumstances that led to Berchtold, a family friend of the deeply religious Brobergs, to kidnap Jan twice as a child.
In addition to grooming and brainwashing young Jan, Berchtold allegedly manipulated both Mary Ann and her since-deceased husband Bob into having separate extramarital affairs with him. The shame of these affairs, and the Brobergs’ strong faith in the Church of Latter-Day Saints, which included a belief in total forgiveness, allegedly clouded the family’s judgment and made them unable to see Berchtold’s nefarious intentions with their daughter.
As of now, the Broberg story was not announced as season 2 of The Act, despite the Hulu series being billed as an anthology series. Thematically, though, the drama surrounding Jan’s kidnappings might be the ideal follow-up to the true tale of teen Gypsy Rose and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard, whom Gypsy Rose was convicted of having killed due to her allegedly abusive nature. Just as Berchtold manipulated those around him into believing his lies so that he could take advantage of a child, Dee Dee allegedly pretended that Gypsy Rose was a sick child to reap the emotional and material benefits of being seen as a doting, selfless caregiver.
Whether the crimes against the Broberg family become a part of The Act or remain a separate series, Antosca's latest series about a complicated family will likely be the next one the world obsesses over.