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Producers Of 'The Girl From Plainville' Discuss Creating The True Crime Show

Producers Patrick MacManus and Liz Hannah discussed what they wanted to accomplish in the “The Girl From Plainville” and what they hoped viewers would take away from it. 

By Chambolion Fairley

Showrunner Patrick McManus describes the story that inspired his new Hulu series, "The Girl From Plainville," as a "tragedy."

Oxygen.com correspondent Stephanie Gomulka spoke to McManus and Liz Hannah, the series' producers and writers, about what they wanted to explore in this new series inspired by the Michelle Carter case. 

“We definitely didn't want people to walk away from this series thinking that we had come to a conclusion as [to] who was guilty or who was innocent because the truth of the matter is that there were shades of right and wrong throughout the course of this entire tragedy,” said McManus.

Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the 2014 death by suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III and sentenced to 15 months in prison after a judge found that Carter, 17 at the time, was responsible for 18-year-old Conrad Roy’s death because she encouraged him to take his life via text message, and told him to get back into his truck when it was filling with carbon monoxide. 

Carter, now 25, was released from prison after serving 11 months.

The controversial case, which was highly sensationalized by the media, who cast Carter as a teenage black widow. But the Hulu series is based on Jesse Barron’s Esquire article which provided more insight into Carter’s mindset during the incident as well as some necessary context. 

Barron, who was present during most of Carter’s high-profile trial, was a consulting producer on the Hulu series. 

“Patrick and I really connected on was the opportunity to find empathy in these characters and in this story, not just with Michelle, but with Conrad and the families and I think we both came to it with the same amount of knowledge that everybody else did,’ said Hannah, of making the series. 

“So we felt like we had a chance to maybe show a little bit more of the true story.”

McManus spoke about the discussions that he and Hannah would often have when it came to telling the stories of these characters. 

“You know, were it not for these two young people meeting by chance in Florida, maybe none of this would have happened, or maybe it would have happened. I think that that's ultimately the take away, which is something that Liz and I talk about often,” he said.  “We can never know what anybody is going through at any given point in time as well that we can't judge what people are going through in their individual lives as everyone is dealing with mental health issues to certain degrees.”

“The Girl From Plainville" is a production of Universal Content Productions, a division of Universal Studio Group. UCP and Oxygen share a parent company in NBCUniversal.