Late last year, the Dirty John podcast and companion articles produced by the Los Angeles Times took the pop culture zeitgeist by storm. The true-story compiled by reporter Chris Goffard explains how conman John Meehan seduced businesswoman Debra Newell and almost destroyed her entire life before her family helped her escape.

Bravo is adapting the tale into a television series starring Eric Bana and Connie Britton, but their vision will be missing one important component -- The Walking Dead. Without spoilers, the AMC series became a vital part of how Debra and her two daughters escaped John. Since Bravo is a competing network though, the television adaptation won't be able to use The Walking Dead as liberally as the Newell family did in real life.

Eric Bana to Star Opposite Connie Britton in Crime Anthology Dirty John

"Luckily for us The Walking Dead hasn't cornered the market on zombies. Zombies are in the culture in a way that we can access besides the show," executive producer Alexandra Cunningham explained during the final day of the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "We will have zombies in the show. We just won't be name checking The Walking Dead. I would never leave out the zombie part because it is integral to what happens."

We can't tell you how it works without ruining the TV show, but it turns out that people are learning a lot more than how attractive Norman Reedus is when they tune in to watch cable's number one show.

The Walking Dead returns for Andrew Lincoln's final season on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 9/8c on AMC. The Dirty John premiere date will be announced in the coming weeks.



Other Links From TVGuide.com The Walking DeadDirty JohnConnie BrittonEric Bana