The TV program premiered on October 13 and was developed by renowned producers Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale play a couple in the eerie psychological drama, and their ideal house quickly turns into a nightmare when they begin to receive threatening anonymous messages. Mia Farrow, Terry Kinney, Richard Kind, and Margo Martindale round out the impressive cast as their inquisitive neighbors.
The series advertises itself as being based on a genuine story in its opening title card. The genuine events were described in a 2018 piece in New York Magazine’s The Cut, however, most of the cast members said the show is significantly exaggerated when they spoke to The Hollywood Reporter during the premiere. Cannavale’s leading role, Dean, the family’s father, was created in close collaboration with Ryan Murphy. It depicts the American dream, says the author. Beyond the events that took place in that house, Ryan is attempting to explore a variety of subjects. They claim that neither he nor Watts tried to contact the true family.
The Watcher began sending Derek and Maria Broaddus anonymous letters when they first moved into the six-bedroom home at 657 Boulevard in the picturesque neighborhood of Westfield, New Jersey, as was described in The Cut in 2018. At the time, the Broaddus were new homeowners. The first letter in the series, which is nearly totally replicated, was written to the “New Owner” and contained precise information on the Broaddus family.
Reeves Wiedeman, the article’s author, claims that after living there for 23 years, the previous owners had only ever received one letter from “The Watcher” before they left. They were instructed to remain quiet by the police after they reported it since all of their neighbors would be suspects. The Broaddus family stopped bringing their kids over after they got a second letter with even more information about their five-person household. When the police ultimately informed them that they could do nothing to help short of an admission, Derek Broaddus decided to take matters into his own hands. He increased house security, hired private detectives, and hired a lawyer to interview one suspect, a nearby family. The Broaddus sought to sell 657 Boulevard six months after the letters were sent and after experiencing severe mental and emotional distress.
However, the tale leaked, and the specifics of their odd case went public when the family sued the previous owners for failing to disclose the letter. The case was never solved and turned into “a scary urban legend,” which would have long-lasting ramifications for the family since they couldn’t sell the property despite the increased attention, hypotheses, and pressure from the community (they eventually rented it out).
Wiedeman revisited the case four years later to update that it is still unresolved and to tell how the genuine family behind The Watcher series feels about the tale being recounted for television. This is in light of the Netflix series revisiting the incidents. Five years after the Broadduses purchased 657 Boulevard, in 2019, they were finally able to sell it to a builder, who in turn sold it to a family. Wiedeman observes that no further letters have been received, and the probe has been closed.
Wiedeman observes that the Broadduses, who still live in the area, turn down press requests and documentary filmmaker interest. One horror producer wanted to acquire 657 Boulevard to use the residence as a set, according to Wiedeman. In 2018, several well-known producers for cinema and television showed an interest in acquiring the rights to adapt our article and their life experience.