Peacock will premiere the docuseries The Battle for Justina Pelletier, about a teen who entered a Boston hospital with mysterious symptoms, and ended up a ward of the state, December 13. There are four episodes. David Metzler directs.
"Adding a story like Justina’s to the outstanding library of documentaries on Peacock is something we couldn’t be more proud of," says Stephanie Steele, senior VP, unscripted current production, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. "With clashing opinions about what’s best for a child, The Battle for Justina Pelletier offers a compelling account of a committed family, those who were inspired to jump into action, and the resilient girl at the heart of it all. Audiences are sure to be engrossed and left deciding for themselves which side they agree with."
The case happened in 2013. The hospital accused the Pelletier parents of medical child abuse, or "Munchausen syndrome by proxy." The family called it "medical kidnapping." An anonymous hacker started digging in and sparked a national debate about parental rights, child protections and what Peacock calls "the gray areas in between."
"When our team started this project three years ago, we wondered how one event could be interpreted two entirely different ways. As we investigated, we found there were few easy answers," said Metzler. "What drove us forward was the very brave girl at the center of it and to make sure Justina's story gets told and remembered." ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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