Secrets and Lies (U.S. TV series)

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Secrets and Lies
Secrets and Lies (US).png
Based on Secrets & Lies 
by Stephen M. Irwin
Developed by Barbie Kligman
Composer(s) Matteo Zingales
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Barbara D'Alessandro
Editor(s) Noah Nelson
Robert Ivison
Kaja Fehr
Location(s) Wilmington, North Carolina
Cinematography Frank G. DeNmark
Robert Humphreys
Production company(s)
  • ABC Studios
  • Avenue K Productions
  • Hoodlum Kapital Entertainment
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original channel ABC
Original release March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) – present
Related shows Secrets & Lies (Australia)
External links
Official website

Secrets and Lies is an American drama television series based on the Australian television series of the same name. The series has a 10-episode series commitment.[1] Barbie Kligman was brought in as executive producer and showrunner while the producers from the original series, Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield, serve as executive producers.[2][3]

On May 9, 2014, Secrets and Lies was picked up by ABC[4] to air as a mid-season entry during the 2014–15 season.[5]

On November 19, 2014, it was announced that the series would premiere on March 1, 2015.[6] It airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central.

The series was renewed for a second season on May 7, 2015.[7]


The series is based on the Australian series of the same name and follows Ben Crawford, a family man who discovers the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime suspect in his death. Ben then goes in search of the real killer in order to clear his name. He puts up quite an effort that ends up revealing a great many secrets of the small community.




Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Viewers
1 10 March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03) TBA TBA


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1 "The Trail" Charles McDougall Barbie Kligman March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 6.06[13]
Ben Crawford finds five-year-old Tom Murphy's body in some woods near his neighborhood. Detective Andrea Cornell initially thinks Ben is guilty of killing Tom, and the media quickly stakes out the Crawford home. His wife Christy's divorce lawyer assists Ben, who later takes Cornell on the route he took the morning he found Tom. She continues to question him regarding his memory and inquires about his repeated calls to Jess Murphy, Tom's mother. Returning home, he finds the police searching his property. Christy gave them permission. Ben finds it difficult maintaining his job as a painter, as he has become a professional outcast. After finally submitting to a DNA test, Ben learns from Cornell that he is Tom's father.
2 "The Father" Timothy Busfield Barbie Kligman March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 6.06[13]
Ben and Jess discuss Tom and the murder. She believes Scott, Tom's father, killed him and would have killed Ben, had it been made known about the paternity. The coroner confirms the cause of death to be blunt trauma from a flashlight (of which Ben's happens to be missing). Against his lawyer's advice, Ben submits to a polygraph test, which is inconclusive. Ben breaks up an argument between Jess and Scott, only to be punched and choked by him. Ben presses Cornell to question Scott about the murder. Later after Christy hesitantly gives permission, Ben consoles Jess, who is planning Tom's funeral. She tries to kiss him, but he pulls away. Cornell tells Ben that, because of a leak, the press now knows that Ben is Tom's father. Ben's family is shocked at the news. He speaks with daughter Abby about it, and she cries. Christy confronts Ben about the night of Tom's conception, when she and the girls were at her brother's house following a fight with Ben, right after her abortion. Ben later wakes on the couch to see Scott standing above him. Scott threatens to kill him, if Ben does not get sent to prison.
3 "The Affair" Paul McCrane Andrew Wilder March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) 5.96[14]
Ben tells Jess that Scott knew Tom's paternity before it was announced. Jess tells Ben that she only told her sister Nicole about it. They find Nicole and Scott in bed together. Cornell gets involved, but she still suspects Ben. As the Crawfords and Dave set up Christmas lights in the house, Ben finds his flashlight with blood on it in his truck and hides it in his garage. Later, upon returning home from a run, he sees Cornell and Christy entering the garage. Cornell wants to see a receipt for the flashlight to help eliminate him as a suspect. When she leaves, Ben and Christy argue, and he later hides the flashlight by gift-wrapping it in a box. He goes to Tom's gravesite and Scott arrives to say Nicole was his alibi, and he didn't want to come forward and hurt Jess. Ben insists he didn't kill Tom and they make peace. At home, Ben sees that Christy had bought a pregnancy test. She refuses to discuss it. Ben admits to Dave that the flashlight came back. Dave reveals he can hear everything through their bathroom window. He insinuates believing the pregnancy test is Natalie's, and Ben looks for her. With Dave and Abby, Ben goes to a party to find Natalie, whom he confronts and intends to take home. A fight ensues and a drunken Natalie alludes that Ben's a killer. When Natalie refuses to get in the car with Ben, Dave accompanies her, while Ben and Abby walk home. The next day, Ben tells Christy he knows the test was for Natalie and she invites him to sleep in their bedroom again. Cornell arrives, showing Ben and Christy footage from when he threatened someone at the party. Cornell needs a statement from Dave, so Ben goes to get him at the guest house. He notices Natalie's party glitter all over Dave's chest and, upon finding evidence Natalie stayed over, throws him out of the house in front of Cornell.
4 "The Sister" Kate Dennis Alfonso H. Moreno March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) 5.45[15]
Ben learns that, two nights before Tom died, babysitter Natalie left him with the neighboring Richardsons to attend a concert. Vanessa Richardson tells Ben that their own son Malcolm died. Ben finds some police report photos of Malcolm with bruises. Vanessa later explains that Malcolm had hemophilia, and his visible bruises were publicly presumed to be from parental abuse. He was taken from them, and his new family beat him repeatedly, causing his death. Meanwhile, Cornell confronts Ben about his drunk dialing Jess the night Tom died. He mistakenly called a wrong number and left an ominous voicemail, now in Cornell's possession. Ben also still cannot remember what happened that night.
5 "The Jacket" Adam Arkin Pamela Davis March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 5.56[16]
Ben calls Dave to ask if he indeed called Jess from the bar that night. Dave cannot remember that evening's events. Ben sees and pursues Matt Daly when he runs into the woods. Matt drops a blue jacket stained with blood. Ben helps him home in the rain. Matt's mother Lisa greets them with an umbrella but doesn't answer Ben's questions about the jacket, which disappeared before Ben returns for it. He later finds Matt's brother Tyler, smoking and with visible cuts on his hands, in the woods. Ben suspects him as the killer when Dave mentions Tyler's drug addiction. The next morning, Christy's car is vandalized, with the word "Guilty" written on the side of it. Ben finds a cigarette near the car and later sees a trail of blood leading to his garage. He discovers dozens of flashlights carefully placed in rows inside. Cornell quickly arrives, responding to a text he sent her. When he says he didn't send it, she asks him to step away from the crime scene. Ben barges into the Daly house to talk to Matt, who has an escalating violent episode. Tyler arrives to calm down his brother. Ben now thinks Matt killed Tom. Lisa initially tries to cover for Tyler, but he reveals that he crashed his car while drunk and is in hiding, with her help. Cornell later tells Ben that Matt couldn't have been the murderer, as it was raining the night of the murder. According to Lisa, Matt hates the rain and tries to avoid it. Also, his GPS bracelet shows he was at home sleeping at the time of the murder. Later, Cornell finds the vandal – Natalie's boyfriend, Cooper, who confesses to tagging their fence and messing up Christy's car. He was angry at Ben for not allowing him to see Natalie, and he apologizes. Ben assumes the ordeal is over, but Cornell states that the flashlight incident is unrelated. Ben later receives a threatening text from an anonymous sender, who also remotely locks him into his car.
6 "The Confession" Kate Dennis Chitrah Elizabeth Samprath March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29) 5.15[17]
After escaping his vehicle, Ben is told by Cornell that someone highly skilled hacked its security system. She offers him police protection, but he declines, viewing that as her way to enhance his arrest. Ben later receives a video text of him sleeping in his room with audio of his conversation with Dave about the flashlight. Cornell's team finds finds a military-grade covert camera. Ben stays with Dave at his new apartment, while the team inspects the house and protects his family. Ben relates to Dave when he had the affair with Jess and Tom was conceived. It was at the Haynes' Fourth of July barbecue, which Ben attended alone and Kevin caught them having sex. Kevin later abducts Ben from outside Dave's and tries to scare him into confessing to Tom's murder, by torturing him. Kevin reveals that his own wife, Elaine, cheated on him while he was serving in Kuwait. Ben manages to briefly escape and call Cornell on Kevin's cell phone. She soon arrives to arrest Kevin and to also tell Ben that she knew Kevin was his stalker. Back home, Ben is asked by reporter-neighbor Arthur Fenton to help take down Cornell.
7 "The Cop" Nick Copus Judith McCreary April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12) 4.85[18]
Fenton convinces Ben to assist him in bringing down Cornell. Ben visits Jennifer Barrett in jail. He is surprised to see the likes of her there, and she reveals that Cornell is her mother. Jennifer tells him about Seth Goring, the prime suspect in the murder of a little girl. She advises Ben to confess. After hearing Ben visited Jennifer, Cornell brings him into a room filled with evidence from the crime scene, attempting to scare him into a confession. Ben realizes that this is Cornell's personal payback for visiting the jail. He visits Mrs. Goring, whom he had seen arguing with Cornell, to learn Seth committed suicide; his son had evidence of the murder. The Crawfords attend Michael's holiday party with gifts, one of which is the wrapped flashlight that Ben disposes of in the nearby woods. A search team later combs the woods and Ben spots Linda, the police's leak in the crime lab. Fenton is arrested for paying Linda for Tom's DNA info. The recent secrecy causes Christy to take the kids to her brother's house. Cornell visits Ben to show him a video from a taxi of Ben going to Jess's house the night Tom died.
8 "The Son" Laura Innes Andrew Wilder April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19) 5.13[19]
After trying to visit his girls for Christmas, and Christy refusing him, Ben spends the day with Dave, reexamining what happened the night Tom was killed. Dave gives Ben the flashlight, revealing he had dug it up and saved Ben from going to prison, and they destroy it. Dave tells Ben that he sedated him at the bar the night Tom was killed. Ben learns that, that night, he was waving around a picture of his terminated baby, which is why Cornell thought he knew Tom was his son. Ben then finds Tom's tooth in his pocket, which leads him to remember everything that happened that night. He also remembers that the call he placed that night, thinking it was Jess, was to let her know that he was sorry if Christy had confronted her about their affair. He then reveals to Cornell that he walked towards Tom's house because he saw Tom's tricycle laying in the driveway and moved it. Intending to tell Jess about Christy, should she confront her the next day, he sees her asleep and lets himself in. Tom awakes because he had lost a tooth, so Ben puts him in bed and takes the tooth for the tooth fairy. Cornell states that his admission does not prove his innocence. He agrees but is happy that he knows that he did not kill Tom. Back home, he receives a phone call from his attorney, telling him that the $25,000 received as payment was from Christy. Ben states that they do not have money, and the attorney implies Christy's guilt. Ben is told that, if she gets divorced, she is not going to give him any money, leading Ben to search the house to find tens of thousands of dollars.
9 "The Mother" Matt Penn Pamela Davis & Judith McCreary April 26, 2015 (2015-04-26) 5.83[20]
Cornell believes that Ben did not kill Tom. She re-examines the crime scene and questions Christy, who is now dating another man. Christy tells Cornell to leave. Ben takes Abby to the fireworks show and Jess tags along. Abby thinks that Ben loves Jess, according to Christy, and dislikes that she has Ben's attention. When Ben cannot take Abby home, she gets upset that she can't stay with Ben. She becomes emotional and says that Christy was right about Ben not loving her or Natalie but only loves Jess. Jess invites Ben into her house, which leads to sex. While she is in the shower, he sees a picture of her in the blue jacket, which prompts Ben to look for it, only to find her medication bottles stashed in her room. He takes two bottles to learn that they're used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (antipsychotic medications). He also discovers it could lead to anger outbreaks. With the key to her house, he looks for more clues and discovers she had another infant baby that died within a year. Jess finds him and becomes enraged and violent. He hurriedly leaves her house. Christy calls to tell him that Abby is missing. He panics and frantically searches for Abby. He sees Jess, who then locks him out of his house and asks, "How does it feel to lose your daughter?". Cornell finally receives information regarding the killer, which is a female.
10 "The Lie" Timothy Busfield Barbie Kligman & Judith McCreary May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03) 6.53[21]
Ben searches for Abby, even breaking into Jess's house to do so and gets arrested. Jess has pressed rape charges against him. Cornell is shown the blue jacket, found in the house. At the station, Ben insists that he didn't rape Jess. Cornell tells him that she knows he didn't have the jacket nor that he killed Tom. Abby then calls him to say that she just wanted to be alone. Cornell questions Jess and ultimately tells her that she is being framed. At home, Ben gives Christy the signed divorce papers. He later finds bloody sneakers in an air vent, Abby's sneakers. Abby confesses, saying it was an accident and that she planned on running away with Tom, due to each of their turbulent households. In the woods, Tom wanted to return home and she panicked, accidentally striking him with the flashlight. Ben then intends to protect his family by sending them away and turning himself in. However, Cornell knows Abby killed Tom and tries to talk a stubborn Ben out of it, revealing the murder was much more violent than Abby had let on, but he still refuses. Traveling on the road, Christy comforts Abby, but is shocked when her daughter mentions that Jess should've moved after Tom's death. Abby then states that none of this would've happened had she gotten Tom to the river.



No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "The Trail" March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 1.5/4[13] 6.06[13] 0.9 N/A 2.4[22] N/A
2 "The Father" March 1, 2015 (2015-03-01) 1.5/4[13] 6.06[13] 0.9 N/A 2.4[22] N/A
3 "The Affair" March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) 1.4/4[14] 5.96[14] 0.8 2.39 2.2 8.35[23]
4 "The Sister" March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) 1.4/4[15] 5.45[15] 1.0 2.75 2.4 8.21[24]
5 "The Jacket" March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22) 1.5/4[16] 5.56[16] 0.8 2.47 2.3 8.03[25]
6 "The Confession" March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29) 1.3/4[17] 5.15[17] 1.0 2.51 2.3 7.66[26]
7 "The Cop" April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12) 1.3/4[18] 4.85[18] 0.9 2.66 2.2 7.41[27]
8 "The Son" April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19) 1.5/4[19] 5.13[19] 0.8 2.49 2.3 7.62[28]
9 "The Mother" April 26, 2015 (2015-04-26) 1.7/5[20] 5.83[20] N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 "The Lie" May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03) 1.8/5[21] 6.53[21] N/A N/A N/A N/A

Critical reception[edit]

Secrets and Lies has received mixed criticism. On Rotten Tomatoes, it received a 37% approval rating, with a rating average of 4.7/10, based on 30 reviews.[29] On Metacritic, it scored 48 out of 100, based on 22 "mixed or average" reviews.[30]


On March 16, 2015, ABC and the show's producers came under fire from the bleeding disorder community for portraying hemophilia as an incestuous disease with Michael Beach's character stating: "Hemophilia is the nasty byproduct of incest".[31] A petition for a public apology was started on[32]


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 24, 2013). "Adaptation Of Australian Series 'Secrets & Lies' Gets 10-Episode Series Commitment At ABC With Aaron Kaplan Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Development Update: Wednesday, November 20". The Futon Critic. November 20, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Idato, Michael (February 28, 2014). "Indiana Evans joins Juliette Lewis in US remake of Secrets and Lies". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 9, 2014). "ABC Orders Ryan Phillippe Drama 'Secrets and Lies' to Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Lavin, Gary (May 13, 2014). "ABC courts women with fall schedule". USA Today. 
  6. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 19, 2014). "ABC Announces Premiere Dates for 'American Crime' and 'Secrets and Lies'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ 'American Crime', 'Castle', 'S.H.I.E.L.D.', 'Agent Carter', 'Secrets & Lies', 'Galavant', 'Fresh Off the Boat' Among ABC Renewals
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 4, 2014). "Ryan Phillippe Poised To Play The Lead In ABC Drama 'Secrets & Lies'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 12, 2014). "Juliette Lewis to Star Opposite Ryan Phillippe in ABC's 'Secrets & Lies'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 19, 2014). "KaDee Strickland Joins ABC's Secrets & Lies". TV Line. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Development Update: Wednesday, February 5". The Futon Critic. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ "David Andrews Joins ABC's 'The Whispers', Meaghan Rath In 'Secrets & Lies'". Deadline Hollywood. July 23, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Bibel, Sara (March 3, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Last Man on Earth' & 'Dateline' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (March 10, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Last Man on Earth', 'Bob's Burgers', 'Family Guy', 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' & 'Revenge' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (March 17, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Last Man on Earth', 'Secrets & Lies', 'Battle Creek' & '60 Minutes' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (March 24, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Last Man on Earth' & 'Once Upon a Time' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (March 31, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Madam Secretary', 'The Good Wife' & '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (April 14, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'America's Funniest Home Videos' Adjusted Up; 'Mad Secretary', 'The Good Wife' & '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (April 21, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time', 'Secrets & Lies' & 'A.D.: The Bible Continues' Adjusted Up; 'ACM Awards' & 'American Odyssey' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (April 28, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up; No Adjustments to 'Once Upon A Time'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (May 5, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Family Guy' & 'Secrets and Lies' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (March 15, 2015). "'The Big Bang Theory' Leads Adults 18-49 Gains + 'Glee' Tops Percentage Increases, 'The Blacklist' Wins in Viewer Growth in Live +7 Ratings for Week 23 Ending March 1". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  23. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 23, 2015). "'Empire' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains + 'Glee' & 'Hart of Dixie' Top Percentage Increases in Live +7 Ratings for Week 24 Ending March 8". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  24. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 30, 2015). "'Empire' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains + 'The Originals' Tops Percentage Increases in Live+7 Ratings for Week 25 Ending March 15". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  25. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 6, 2015). "'Empire' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains + 'The Originals' Tops Percentage Increases in Live +7 Ratings for Week 26 Ending March 22". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 13, 2015). "'Modern Family' Leads Adults 18-49 Gains, 'Forever' Tops Percentage Increases & 'The Blacklist' Wins Viewership Growth in Live +7 Ratings for Week 27 Ending March 29". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  27. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 27, 2015). "'The Big Bang Theory' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains, 'The Following' Tops Percentage Growth in Live +7 Ratings for Week 29 Ending April 12". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  28. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 4, 2015). "'The Big Bang Theory' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains, 'Reign', 'Supernatural' & 'The Vampire Diaries' Top Percentage Growth in Live +7 Ratings for Week 30 Ending April 19". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Secrets and Lies: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Secrets and Lies : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  31. ^ ABC's Secrets and Lies Dishonors Hemophilia Patients
  32. ^ petition requesting public apology for offending the bleeding disorders community

External links[edit]