In 1997 the case of Louise Woodward stunned the world. The trial of the 19-year-old British nanny living in Massachusetts, charged with murdering eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, struck a nerve on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, Channel 4 has commissioned Naked (a Fremantle label) to produce Louise Woodward: Villain or Victim? a 3 x 60’ documentary series examining the murder charge, trial and appeal in a new context.
The tragic case saw Woodward in an all-or-nothing trial, where no charge lesser than second degree murder would be considered. The polarising trial saw the jury deliver a guilty verdict, after being presented with evidence of symptoms synonymous with Shaken Baby Syndrome. Justice protest rallies followed in both the UK and US, on separate sides of the argument.
With unprecedented access to both defence and prosecution lawyers, detectives, paramedics and journalists, Louise Woodward: Villain or Victim? will detail and re-examine the divisive case, the trial and its conclusion which saw the judge throwing out the jury’s decision, reducing Louise’s murder conviction to involuntary manslaughter and releasing her from prison.
Fatima Salaria, Managing Director of Naked, said: "The media circus around this story means it has remained in the public consciousness for over 20 years. With the opportunity to look back with fresh eyes alongside exclusive access to both sides of the story, this documentary offers a new perspective on the case.”
Daniel Fromm, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4, said: “With privileged access to some of those close to the case, this three-part documentary boxset offers fascinating insights into a trial that gripped the public’s attention on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Louise Woodward: Villain or Victim? is a 3x60’ series for Channel 4 and to be released as a boxset on All 4. It was commissioned for Channel 4 and All 4 by Daniel Fromm, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment, with Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment. The Executive Producers for Naked are Fatima Salaria, Tom O’Brien and Neil Grant and the Series Producer Director is Richard Wyllie.
For further information please contact:
Emma Hall | firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Naked (a Fremantle label) creates and produces high quality, innovative factual and entertainment programming for the UK, US, and international markets. Current and recent productions include BAFTA-nominated The Rap Game UK (BBC Three), Grand Designs (Channel 4), The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles, Strangers Making Babies (Channel 4), Secret Crush (ITV2), Planet Sex (BBC Three & Hulu), Great British Railway Journeys (BBC Two) and Escape to the Country (BBC One).
Fremantle UK is the British production arm of global entertainment group, Fremantle. We are made up of a number of labels, each with its own creative signature, which produce best-in-class programming for all the main UK television networks and many global streaming platforms.
Our content spans a wide range of genres from dramas and sitcoms through gameshows, talent shows, and panel shows to lifestyle, documentary and reality.
We are home to some of the UK’s best known, best loved, and most talked about series including Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor, Family Fortunes, Supermarket Sweep, Q.I., Celebrity Juice, Too Hot To Handle, The Apprentice, Grand Designs, Escape to the Country, Great Railway Journeys, Eating with My Ex, The Sister, Dublin Murders, The Rap Game, 100% Hotter, and many more.
We are proud of our work and our brand and strive for originality, diversity, and creative excellence in all that we do. Our team is passionate, hard-working and above all, collaborative.