Dirty John Season 3: Everything We Know

Spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of Dirty John ahead.

As Dirty John wraps up another twist-filled season, fans are left wondering: Will there be a third installment of the crime anthology series? The first two seasons followed true crimes involving a pair of real-life couples—Debra Newell and John Meehan in the first, and Betty and Dan Broderick in the second. Both delved into the psychology behind relationships that began on a high note and ended in bloodshed. Will a third season dissect a new murderous marriage, or, as showrunner Alexandra Cunningham suggests, will a family-focused crime tale be on the way? Here’s everything we know about a potential season 3 of the Dirty John franchise.

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A third season hasn’t been confirmed.

Back in 2018, Bravo ordered two seasons of Dirty John, the first airing on that network and the second on USA Network. A third season hasn’t been announced just yet, making speculation about what the next installment could be about entirely hypothetical.

Season 3 would tell an entirely new crime story.

The July 14 finale of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story marks the shocking end to the tale of the Brodericks; Betty (Amanda Peet) murders her ex-husband Dan (Christian Slater) and his new wife Linda Kolkena (Rachel Keller) after one of the most acrimonious divorces in California history. Betty is sentenced to more than 30 years in prison following two trials (the first ended in a mistrial). The show depicts a real-life crime that took place in the early ’90s and inspired articles, books, and TV movies.

Season 2 of the show connects to the first only in the fact that both depict marriages gone wrong that led to shocking deaths. The first season followed the story of Debra Newell’s (Connie Britton) marriage to con artist John Meehan (Eric Bana). After his perpetual lies and criminal history are exposed, Meehan is killed by one of Debra’s daughters, Terra (Julia Garner), when he tries to attack her in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Similar to the Betty Broderick tale, the attack spawned headlines and the Los Angeles Times podcast Dirty John, which was adapted into the show’s first season.

dirty john connie britton eric bana
Bana and Britton in Dirty John season 1.

Bravo

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Alexandra Cunningham spoke about the thread between the two seasons that could continue in season 3. “We had a two-season pickup initially, but of course I knew that John Meehan dies [at the end of season 1]…”Love gone wrong” was the thread we identified that would connect seasons, and Betty had always been in my head since before I wanted to be a writer,” Cunningham said. Season 3 could introduce viewers to a new crime and fit into the “love gone wrong” mold of the first two installments.

The next season could focus on ‘love gone wrong’ within a family, not a couple.

While the first two seasons chronicled the crumbling of two romantic relationships, Cunningham has reportedly set her sights on telling a different kind of crime story. First off, season 3 would likely take place outside the “Orange/San Diego counties” depicted in the previous installments, she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“The thing I would love to do, all things being equal, to me the ultimate example of love gone wrong is familial,” Cunningham explained. “Not romantic love, not a couple, not a boyfriend-girlfriend like the first season or a married couple divorcing, but mother-child, siblings. Especially parentally, I think that’s where love gone wrong truly begins, that the love coming from a parent is not appropriate or twisted or not real, that is obviously one of the things that contributes to people’s future behavior. That’s something I’d love to explore if given the chance.”

A release date is likely years away.

Although Cunningham said she would “be having a conversation very soon” about a third season, there’s no way of predicting a release date without confirmation. The first season premiered in November 2018, while season 2 debuted in May 2020. With that precedent set, it would likely be at least two years before another season aired. Film and TV production has also been delayed due to COVID-19 safety concerns, which could also impact season 3’s filming schedule. Still, the showrunner told THR, “If it’s something that everyone is excited about as I and my executive producer Jessica Rhoades are, [season 3] will be super awesome.”

Watch Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story

Watch Dirty John season 1

Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.

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