Gypsy Rose Blanchard Says ‘Prison Confessions’ Docuseries Puts Her Story In Its “Truest Light” – Contenders TV: Doc + Unscripted

Gypsy Rose Blanchard Says ‘Prison Confessions’ Docuseries Puts Her Story In Its “Truest Light” – Contenders TV: Doc + Unscripted

The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard became a massive hit for Lifetime from the moment the first episode of the docuseries debuted in January.

“It definitely surpassed even our wildest expectations,” executive producer Nicole Vogel said during a panel discussion of the series as part of Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted event. “It’s been our number one most downloaded property ever across all of A&E networks. It’s been the highest social-performing property and buzz for us across A&E networks. So, it really has been a hit.”

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Vogel said Lifetime expected big things when they green lighted the series. They had every reason to be confident because Blanchard’s shocking story has captivated the nation since it first came to light almost a decade ago. It’s a tale of Munchausen by Proxy and murder: Gypsy’s mother Dee Dee subjected her daughter to needless medical treatment – even keeping her in a wheelchair when that wasn’t necessary — over a period of years, in a twisted bid for attention. Seeking to free herself from her mother’s control, Gypsy and her then boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, concocted a plot to kill Dee Dee.

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The bizarre story has been told in a previous documentary and in a fictionalized adaptation, but The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard goes directly to the source.

“I’m happy with the way that it came across,” Gypsy said during the panel. “I just feel like this was the way that my story should have been told all along because I know that my story has been told through different other outlets and I feel like there was always margin for error. So, this one definitely really painted the most truest light to what my life was and what my life is.”

Executive producer Melissa Moore reached out to Gypsy several years ago as Blanchard was serving a 10-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. They began to speak weekly by phone, which laid the groundwork for the eventual Lifetime docuseries.

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“We started talking about her life as a young woman in prison and she said something that I’ll never forget, which was, ‘I feel more free in prison than I’ve ever felt my entire life,’ ” Moore recalled. “And I thought, wow, there is something more to her story. This is a woman coming of age in prison. She’s learning from other inmates how to be a woman. She didn’t get that training from her own mother.”

The series producers were able to secure permission from authorities at Chillicothe Correctional Facility in northwest Missouri to film with Gypsy behind bars.

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“Being able to get in with Gypsy so early in our production window and so many years still before she was actually going to be released, it allowed us to experience Gypsy for the first time with her own agency,” EP Laura Fleury explained. “Her perspective on where she had come from and where she wanted to go was really, really special and unique. And obviously that shows up in the documentary as the spine of the program.”

Check out the panel video above.

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