Is The Girls On The Bus Based On A True Story?
4 mins read

Is The Girls On The Bus Based On A True Story?


  • The Girls on the Bus brings a fresh and original perspective to the world of campaign reporting with its strong ensemble cast.
  • Inspired by Amy Chozick’s memoir, the show adds new fictional characters and storylines while still maintaining authenticity.
  • Led by Melissa Benoist, the series explores the personal and professional challenges faced by female journalists on the campaign trail.



The Girls on the Bus is Max’s latest original show, telling the story of a group of female journalists on the campaign trail. In her first main television role since Supergirl, Melissa Benoist leads The Girls on the Bus cast along with Carla Gugino, Natasha Behnam, and Christina Elmore. The series features a strong ensemble that plays the different presidential candidates, other journalists, and important people in their lives. While the show is about journalism, The Girls on the Bus also focuses on the issues the characters face inside and outside of work.

The Girls on the Bus was co-created by Julie Plec, who is best known for creating The Vampire Diaries and its spinoffs, and is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Benoist, and more. Rina Mimoun, who first made a name for herself writing on Dawson’s Creek, serves as the political drama’s showrunner. To make the series as authentic as possible, The Girls on the Bus also brought on CNN correspondent Abby Phillip as a consultant.

The Girls On The Bus Is Based On Amy Chozick’s 2018 Memoir Chasing Hillary

Sadie (Melissa Benoist), Grace (Carla Gugino), Kimberlyn (Christina Elmore), and Lola (Natasha Behnam) in The Girls On The Bus

The Girls on the Bus is inspired by Amy Chozick’s 2018 memoir Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling. Along with creating the source material, Chozick is a co-creator of The Girls on the Bus, with the characters and story based on her experiences covering Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. The 2018 memoir is an in-depth look at what it’s like to be on the bus, and Chozick’s involvement further adds to the show’s legitimacy.


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In addition to being based on Chasing Hillary, The Girls on the Bus gets its title from the famous 1973 book The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse, which is about a group of reporters on the road covering the 1972 presidential election. One of the journalists Crouse profiled for his book was Hunter S. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style in which the writer is central to the story. Thompson, played by P.J. Sosko, appears in The Girls on the Bus as a figment of the main character Sadie’s imagination.

The Girls On The Bus Still Makes Several Big Changes To The True Story

Kimberlyn, Sadie, Grace, and Lola in The Girls On The Bus

While Chasing Hillary is the inspiration for The Girls on the Bus, the dramedy makes many changes to the true story. Outside of Hunter S. Thompson, every character is fictional, as is the race that’s being depicted. Though parallels can be drawn between The Girls on The Bus characters and storylines with real-life people and events, much of the show was changed for dramatization purposes. In doing so, The Girls on the Bus provides a new, original look at the real experiences of journalists on the campaign trail.

Where To Watch The Girls On The Bus

The Girls on the Bus

The story centers on Sadie McCarthy (Melissa Benoist), a journalist who romanticizes a bygone era of campaign reporting and scraps her whole life for a shot at covering a presidential candidate for a paper of record. Sadie joins the bus and eventually bonds with three female competitors, Grace (Carla Gugino), Lola (Natasha Behnam), and Kimberlyn (Christina Elmore). Despite their differences, the women become a found family with a front-row seat to the greatest soap opera in town – the battle for the White House.

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