Secrets and Lies, the crime drama mystery show on ABC, was originally conceived as a limited series during the summer of 2015. The first season starred Ryan Phillippe, who played Ben Crawford, a man hounded by Juliette Lewis’ Detective Andrea Cornell’s icy stare every week as she tried to uncover who killed the young neighbor boy down the street with all roads leading to Crawford as the guilty party — only he didn’t do it.
Secrets and Lies was a hit, but its storyline ran out. ABC renewed the show for another year with Lewis’ Detective Cornell being the only character to come back. This season will focus on a whole new case and family for Cornell to make miserable in the process. Cornell is the heart of the show, despite the fact that Lewis’ character is largely unlikeable. Secrets and Lies was to appear again last summer, but ABC re-thought that decision and moved the show to a fall premiere instead.
This fall’s story takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina, involving successful Eric Warner (Michael Ealy), who is heir to his family’s equity firm. Newly and happily married, Eric has everything going for him. However, while attending a party where his father is to pass the business reins over to his son, Eric’s wife Kate (Jordana Brewster), is found dead. Again, all fingers are pointing right at Eric, as he struggles to prove his innocence, and in so doing, he finds out that his family is holding a few secrets.
“Part of the reason I wanted to take the role was the opportunity to work with Juliette; not only work with her, but go toe-to-toe with her, to challenge her,” Ealy told Parade magazine. “Being a private equity guy, yes, he has more resources, he has a better education, he knows the law, and all of that plays into their dynamic. But I wanted to go at her. I did not want to back down ever. Whether it was ego, whether it was just trying to play jazz with another musician, whatever it was, I did not want Eric to crumble under her rule, if you will. She’s on him from the moment the accident happens. It’s fun to watch, because he doesn’t back down, even though he’s mourning the loss of his wife.”
For this season, the cast of characters also includes Eric’s father (Terry O’Quinn), whose business practices are a bit suspect, Amanda Warner Young (Mekia Cox), Eric’s sister who just so happens to be a criminal attorney for the public defender’s officer, and perfect foil for Cornell, and Patrick Warner (Charlie Barnett), Eric’s youngest sibling, who is a functional alcoholic.
“Charlie and I have a lot of scenes together as brothers; it was so cool to have a brother. I didn’t grow up saying I wanted a brother, but by doing what I do, I’m able to fulfill some of those fantasies and see what it’s like, and it’s very interesting,” says Ealy.
Juliette Lewis, Mekia Cox, Michael Ealy and Terry O’Quinn in Secrets and Lies. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC)
ABC also points out that Cornell will also be dealing with some dark revelations about her life as well this season.
Like with the first season of Secrets and Lies, ABC.com will feature the companion series, Cornell: Confidential, which will show the case from her point of view and will give viewers additional clues. It will be offered online immediately after each episode’s East Coast broadcast of the main series.
Based on the Australian series of the same name, Adam Arkin directs the show’s premiere episode airing tonight. The 10-episode Secrets and Lies airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
[Featured Image via ABC]