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The Dropout: Premiere Date, Cast And 5 Quick Things We Know About Hulu’s Theranos Series

Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Hughes in The Dropout.
(Image credit: Hulu)

Every controversial subject, whether it be a person or potentially revolutionary technological breakthrough, seems to get their own movie or television series these days. And that happens to be the case for the story of Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled founder of Theranos, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur with an amazing idea that simply just did not work, no matter how hard she, and her investors, tried. And while there have been attempts to tell the story of Holmes’ rise and fall in the past, most notably the long-in-the-works Jennifer Lawrence-led Theranos movie, it seems like it’s finally going to happen with Hulu's limited series, The Dropout

The Theranos TV show, which has been in the works for a number of years now, will be a limited series dramatizing Elizabeth Holmes’ monumental rise as an intelligent, eager, and over-zealous tech entrepreneur and devastating fall from grace after it was discovered her revolutionary blood-testing technology just didn’t work. Here’s everything we know about The Dropout from its podcast roots to growing cast and more.

Hulu logo

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Dropout Premieres March 3 On Hulu

Those wanting to see how Elizabeth Holmes’ story plays out on the small screen are in for some good news as The Dropout premieres Thursday, March 3 exclusively on Hulu. As was the case with Pam & Tommy earlier in 2022, the first three episodes of the limited series will be available initially, with subsequent episodes debuting every Thursday until the series wraps up later in the spring.

Amanda Seyfried and Naveen Andrews on The Dropout

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Dropout Cast Includes Amanda Seyfried, Naveen Andrews And More

When The Dropout debuts on Hulu, it will be Amanda Seyfried taking on the role of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Seyfried, who is coming off her Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated Mank performance, was first revealed to be cast in the Theranos TV show’s lead role in March 2021, per Variety, a little more than a month after the limited series’ original star, Saturday Night Live mainstay Kate McKinnon dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons.

Starring alongside Seyfried in will be former Lost star Naveen Andrews, who will be taking on the role of Holmes’ business partner and secret boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, according to Deadline. Those familiar with the Theranos story will remember how much of a role the real life Balwani played in both the rise and eventual fall of the company and who is currently awaiting trial on charges alleging he operated the business as a scheme to defraud investors, doctors, and patients alongside Holmes.

In addition to Seyfried and Andrews, the Dropout cast includes some heavy hitters, with Hulu revealing that Utkarsh Ambudkar, Kate Burton, Michel Gill, Lisa Gay Hamilton, William H. Macy, Elizabeth Marvel, Laurie Metcalf, Dylan Minnette, Alan Ruck, Sam Waterston, and Michaela Watkins will all appear in guest roles throughout the limited series.

Elizabeth Holmes in The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

(Image credit: HBO)

The Dropout Is Based On The 2019 Podcast Detailing The Rise And Fall Of Elizabeth Holmes

Those familiar with the Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos story will find the name of the Hulu limited series, The Dropout, familiar, as it was the title of the popular 2019 ABC News podcast that chronicled the inventor and company from the beginning of their respective stories all the way up to their shared downfall. Hosted by ABC News correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, the six-part investigative podcast followed Holmes’ story from her days as a Stanford University dropout (hence the name) and carried on with the founding of Theranos, the company that claimed it had developed the technology to complete a myriad of tests with only a single drop of blood.

As was shown in the podcast and 20/20 news special that followed, the blood test simply didn’t work and instead of accepting defeat and backing down, Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos doubled-down, resulting in nearly a dozen indictments.

Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes.

(Image credit: Hulu)

New Girl Creator Elizabeth Meriwether Is Serving As The Dropout’s Showrunner

Leading the charge making The Dropout on Hulu is television writer and producer Elizabeth Meriwether. According to a Deadline report announcing the casting of Amanda Seyfried in March 2021, it was revealed that Meriwether, who created the successful New Girl, Single Parents, and Bless This Mess would serve as the series’ showrunner. The article also noted that Meriwether had been the driving force behind the development the past few years.

Deadline previously reported that Elizabeth Meriwether signed a lucrative, multi-year deal with what was formerly 20th Century Fox TV in April 2019, which is producing The Dropout through its Searchlight Television division.

Michael Showalter on Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

(Image credit: Netflix)

Michael Showalter Will Direct Multiple Episodes Of The Dropout

Michael Showalter, the actor/writer/director/producer who helped create Wet Hot American Summer, is not only joining The Dropout as an executive producer with his Semi-Formal Productions company, he is also sitting in the director’s chair for multiple episodes. As first reported by Deadline in late March 2021, Showalter will join his producing partner Jordana Mollick, Elizabeth Meriwether, Liz Heldens, Katherine Pope, Rebecca Jarvis, Victoria Thompson, and Taylor Dunn to tell the story of Elizabeth Holmes, a person once compared to Steve Jobs before her fall from grace.

Michael Showalter, who got his start on You Wrote It, You Watch It in 1992, most recently directed the Apple TV+ miniseries The Shrink Next Door that saw a reunion for Anchorman costars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, who were joined by Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson.

Amanda Seyfried on The Dropout

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Dropout Will Consist Of Eight Episodes

When The Dropout was first announced in 2019, Deadline revealed the limited series could be anywhere from six to ten episodes in length, which makes sense considering the podcast on which it is based had six entries upon its release, especially if the show keeps a similar structure as its source material. The exact number of episodes was eventually revealed by Hulu itself when the popular streaming service announced The Dropout will consist of eight episodes. 

The Dropout cast

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Dropout Was Given A Straight-To-Series Order In 2019

In April 2019, just when the Elizabeth Holmes story was at its zenith with the hit podcast, the release of ABC News special, and HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley still fresh in everyone’s memory, Variety reported that Hulu had given the team behind The Dropout a straight-to-series order. At the time of the announcement, Kate McKinnon was revealed to be taking on the role of the disgraced Holmes (two years before dropping out).

Those are a few quick things we know about The Dropout, the latest in a long line of great Hulu original series. If you want to know more about what’s coming to Hulu, other streaming services, and traditional broadcast networks, take a look at CinemaBlend’s updated 2022 TV schedule.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.