Deadline reports that NBC has preemptively purchased The Watcher, a project from Homeland executive producer Alex Cary and Aaron Kaplan, producer of Secrets & Lies. The psychological thriller series is based on the true story of the Broaddus family, who purchased a $1.3 million home in Westfield, New Jersey only to receive unsettling letters from an unidentified person claiming to be “watching“ the property.
According to reports, the first letter arrived days after the Broadduses closed on the property, boasting the following credentials: “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920’s and my father watched in the 1960’s. It is now my time.” So at least the watching wasn’t being left in the hands of a complete amateur.(Although it does seem to gloss over the ’90s, when the house went totally unobserved).
Presumably concerned about the risk of knob-and-tube wiring threatening the validity of the family’s homeowner’s insurance, another letter asks, “Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.” Announcing the writer’s familiarity with the Broaddus clan and their movie collection—which may have included the classic 1986 Rob Lowe hockey drama—their watcher confesses, “I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought to me.”
And perhaps readying themselves to help move furniture, the watcher also inquired as to the upstairs floor plan. “Who has the bedrooms, facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in,” a letter reads. “It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better.” Obviously.
The Broaddus family never moved into the home, and sued the previous owner for hiding the fact that the home was entrusted to three generations of unpaid, extremely creepy overseers. Of course, if one were to start getting all paranoid about innocent talk of “young blood,” and “names” and stuff “in the walls,” one might start watching back—specifically at who comes in with the lowest counter offer once the house is back on the market.