ABC is in the early stages of development on a Watergate-themed event series focused on White House whistleblower John Dean.
Jon Maas is penning the teleplay from source material that includes Dean’s most recent Watergate tome, 2014’s “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew, and When He Knew It,” among other books. Bob Cooper’s Storyscape Entertainment is producing with Dean and author Jason Grote serving as consulting producers.
The project is in keeping with the current mania in TV for historical dramas revisiting events in the recent past, from FX’s upcoming “The People V. O.J. Simpson” to HBO’s Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas telepic “Confirmation.” ABC is diving into the Bernie Madoff financial scandal with the miniseries “Madoff” airing Feb. 3-4.
Dean served as White House general counsel during the Nixon administration and was a pivotal player in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon that led to his historic resignation in 1974.
Dean helped blow the lid on the cover-up of the bungled attempt to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., by operatives with ties to Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign. Dean famously warned Nixon in 1973 that the cover-up was “a cancer on the presidency,” and he later testified before the Senate panel that led the investigation into Watergate.
News of the ABC project was first reported by Deadline.