Hulu's New Theranos Series 'The Dropout' Will Star Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Holmes

The series will be based on ABC Radio's podcast about the disgraced med-tech company.
April 10, 2019, 10:52pm
Elizabeth Holmes
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

One drop of blood for dozens of blood tests. The pervasive story of Theranos—the medical startup that was meant to change the landscape of blood testing but ended up being a massive scam—is coming to Hulu, according to Deadline. SNL star Kate McKinnon will play Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos CEO and founder with large blue, unblinking eyes and an affected baritone. McKinnon will also serve as executive producer.


The limited drama series—which will have 6-10 episodes—will be based on the ABC Radio podcast of the same name, which initially aired in January, and then was turned into a documentary for ABC's long-running news show 20/20 in March. The Dropout podcast description asks: "How did the woman once heralded as ‘the next Steve Jobs’ find herself facing criminal charges—to which she pleaded not guilty—and up to 20 years in jail?" At this point, it's hard to keep track of how many versions of the Theranos story have been told—there's ABC's podcast and the 20/20 documentary, an HBO documentary, and the sweeping, best-selling book Bad Blood written by John Carreyrou (The Wall Street Journal investigative journalist who initially broke the story). And there's still a feature film in the pipeline, which will star Jennifer Lawrence and be directed by Adam McKay.

For the uninitiated, Theranos was a medical startup founded by Stanford dropout and master scammer Elizabeth Holmes. She claimed her company could conduct a full panel of blood tests from just a drop of blood, a claim that was proven false. At her peak, Holmes was considered the youngest self-made female billionaire, with her blood testing machine presented as a disruptor for a broken industry. All of these were lies. In June of 2018 Holmes, along with her former boyfriend and Theranos's COO Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, were charged by the Department of Justice with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They await trial.

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