The Real "The Watcher" Family Got a Lot of Money Selling Their Story

The Real
Image credit: Netflix

Looks like Netflix is riding the wave of hype caused by true crime series: after the massive success of Dahmer, the platform released another horror series, The Watcher, which is also based on true events.

Despite the frustration it brought to fans by its underwhelming finale, The Watcher has successfully took over Dahmer as Netflix 's #1 TV show. In the first five days of streaming, the series scored 125 million hours of viewership as estimated by Deadline.

The show's success apparently proves that Netflix was right to risk it and pay quite a lot of money to the family whose story inspired The Watcher. The bidding war for the rights erupted in 2018, and back at the time, Deadline reported that Netflix had to pay seven figures for rights to both the article penned by Reeves Wiedeman for New York Magazine's website The Cut (the one that first told the story to the world), and the home owners who actually had to live through what was shown in the series.

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The real surname of the family who had to deal with the enigmatic stalker is the Broadduses, and, according to The Cut citing one of their neighbors, they might have "pocketed close to $10 million" for their story.

Initially, the couple purchased the now-notorious home for over $1.35 million, having to sell it later for just $959,000. However, with Netflix chipping in, the family has most certainly made up for their losses.

Besides, after selling the rights, the Broadduses received some control of the story. According to The Cut, they decided to make two changes. The first one was that they requested that Netflix did not use their real surnames — which is why the show follows the story of Nora and Dean Brannock, not Maria and Derek Broaddus. Another request was for Netflix to make sure that the on-screen family looks different from their own. For instance, Brannocks have two kids, while Broadduses have three.

The real-life family said it has no plans to watch the show. According to them, watching the trailer was already "traumatizing enough".

The personality of the mysterious stalker remains unknown until this day, with Netflix also providing little closure in their own adaptation of the story.

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The Watcher is available for streaming on Netflix since October 13.