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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Based onLizzie Borden
StarringChristina Ricci
Clea DuVall
Cole Hauser
ComposerTree Adams
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producersJudith Verno
Christina Ricci
ProducersMichael J. Mahoney
Stanley M. Brooks
Production locationsHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
CinematographyFrancois Dagenais
EditorsIan Silverstein
Lori Jane Coleman
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesSony Pictures Television
Peace Out Productions
Original release
ReleaseApril 5 (2015-04-05) –
May 24, 2015 (2015-05-24)
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is an American television limited series following Lizzie Borden after she is acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. It premiered on Lifetime on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, and ended on May 25, 2015. The series is a continuation of the story begun in the network's 2014 film Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and, like the film, is fictionalized and speculative.


In 1893, four months after Lizzie Borden's acquittal for the murders of her father and stepmother, she and her sister Emma try to start a new life despite financial troubles and Lizzie's ruined reputation. Meanwhile, Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo arrives in Fall River, Massachusetts, to investigate the case for himself.[1]






No. Title Director Writer Original airdate Viewers
1"Acts of Borden"Stephen KayGregory Small & Richard BlaneyApril 5, 2015 (2015-04-05)1.14[2]
Four months after Lizzie Borden's murder trial and acquittal, Lizzie and her older sister Emma try to get on with their lives despite being shunned by all society in 1893 Fall River. However, an overwhelming debt by their late father to William Almy, a lawyer friend of Mr. Borden, and a greedy, unpredictable career-criminal half-brother named William threaten Lizzie and Emma's future when William finds a box in the basement of the Borden house containing the skeleton of a long-dead baby. Meanwhile, Pinkerton agent Charlie Siringo arrives in Fall River with an interest in Lizzie's case. Also, Lizzie tries to talk to Emma about purchasing a new house to live in away from their old one where their father and stepmother were murdered.
2"Patron of the Arts"Stephen KayGregory Small & Richard BlaneyApril 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)0.99[3]
During a trip to New York, Lizzie helps and takes in a street prostitute named Adele who soon shows a grateful and romantic interest in Lizzie. At the same time, Lizzie is also pursued by playwright Spencer Cavanaugh, who is seeking her patronage. Meanwhile, Siringo investigates the two newest deaths surrounding Lizzie, who are her trouble making half brother William 'Billy' Borden, and William Almy, the man to whom she owed a fortune, but his theories fall on deaf ears with Hilliard. Lizzie also discovers that Siringo is on her tail and makes a veiled threat against him.
3"Flowers"Russell MulcahyBarbara NanceApril 19, 2015 (2015-04-19)0.72[4]
Lizzie plans a party at the new mansion but finds herself the victim of an extortion from Adele's pimp, Skipjack, who is working on behalf of crime lord Mr. Flowers. Meanwhile, Spencer's disappearance raises suspicion, and skittish Adele becomes a liability for Lizzie. Siringo's secret employer is revealed to be Emma, who fires him for stirring up more trouble for Lizzie rather than exonerating her as intended. Siringo, already theorizing about Lizzie's involvement with Spencer, is hired by the missing man's sister, Nance, to investigate. Also, Lizzie finds a way to neutralize both Mr. Flowers and Adele.
4"Welcome to Maplecroft"Russell MulcahyJason GroteApril 26, 2015 (2015-04-26)0.80[5]
Emma and Officer Trotwood romantically get closer as Skipjack demands ongoing payments from Lizzie to keep Spencer's murder a secret. Meanwhile, Lizzie faces off with her neighbor Mrs. Kenney. Also, Siringo is hiding out after surviving the attempt on his life, and Nance takes the investigation of her brother's disappearance into her own hands.
5"Cold Storage"Howard DeutchJason Grote & Barbara NanceMay 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)0.82[6]
Nance's death at Lizzie's hands is ruled self-defense, and Hilliard enlists Siringo's help in convicting Lizzie for her many alleged crimes. Meanwhile, Lizzie stays one step ahead by finding where Skipjack secreted Spencer's body and disposing of it. Trotwood proposes marriage to Emma, who accepts. Elsewhere, Siringo and Isabel finally consummate their attraction, with disastrous results.
6"Fugitive Kind"Howard DeutchDavid SimkinsMay 10, 2015 (2015-05-10)0.58[7]
Siringo is tried and convicted of both Spencer and Isabel's murders. Lizzie's plan to turn Trotwood against Emma fails, so she arranges his murder. A devastated Emma decides to leave town. Siringo escapes while en route to his execution, and shows up at Maplecroft to kill Lizzie for framing him. He nearly succeeds, but Emma appears and stops him... with an axe.
7"The Sisters Grimke"Constantine MakrisGregory Small & Richard BlaneyMay 17, 2015 (2015-05-17)0.77[8]
After disposing of Siringo and Hilliard's bodies, Lizzie has reinvented herself by taking a new name and a new job as a prim schoolteacher in a small town far from Fall River. Emma, traumatized by Siringo's demise at her own hands, sits in a catatonic state at a nearby sanitarium. A pair of local murders jeopardizes Lizzie's new identity, and the sins of Emma's doctor reawaken her. Meanwhile, Siringo's Pinkerton associates Mr. Horn and Mr. Masterson pick up Lizzie's trail.
8"Capsize"Constantine MakrisGregory Small & Richard Blaney & David SimkinsMay 24, 2015 (2015-05-24)0.71[9]
Having escaped from the sanitarium, Emma seeks refuge with the Trotwood family in Boston, and Lizzie is not far behind. Lizzie meets her match in the cold and imperious Aideen Trotwood as Horn and Masterson arrive in search of the Bordens. Lizzie manipulates the Trotwoods to get Emma back and sets in motion a plan to eliminate the Pinkerton men, but the final results of her actions are not what she expected or hoped for.

Production and release[edit]

In October 2014, Lifetime announced plans for an additional limited series based on the network's 2014 film Lizzie Borden Took an Ax. Originally referred to as Lizzie Borden: The Fall River Chronicles, the series would take place after Lizzie's trial, with Ricci and DuVall reprising their roles as the Borden sisters. Hauser was cast as Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo, who investigates other strange occurrences, including murders, centered around the Bordens.[10][11] Stephen Kay directed the first two episodes.[10]

A teaser trailer calling the series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles aired on December 8, 2014, during the second part of The Red Tent miniseries, promoting a 2015 premiere. It featured the tagline, "Lizzie Borden Has an Axe to Grind".[12] The Hollywood Reporter wrote in October 2014 that the series would consist of six one-hour episodes,[13] but by January 2015 the order was increased to eight.[12][14] The Lizzie Borden Chronicles premiered on April 5, 2015. Most - if not all - of the series was shot in Nova Scotia, Canada, using period buildings and interiors in Halifax and other nearby communities.

Lifetime executive vice president and general manager Rob Sharenow said in 2014, “This series will take viewers further down Lizzie Borden’s dark path, revealing what many people suspected about her mysterious life."[11] Entertainment Weekly reported that "while the film was inspired by real-life events, the series will take certain creative liberties, which draw from the mysterious events surrounding the deaths of those close to Borden in the years after her acquittal."[12] Ricci said in January 2015, "It’s an imagining of what could've happened... There are no limits of behavior. There are no rules. It's the ultimate playing a fantasy."[12] Director Kay added, "It's what would happen if you let this woman loose on a community."[12] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times noted that "the show mixes tidbits of actual history—there really was a Charlie Siringo, for instance—with lots of fiction and speculation, so don't take anything here seriously".[1]

In June 2015, Lifetime opted to not produce further episodes.[15]

The complete series was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on February 2, 2016.[16]


The series has garnered mixed reviews despite high praise for Ricci's performance as Borden. Jane Borden of Vanity Fair called the series "playful, wicked brain candy", adding that "Ricci was born to play a 19th-century ax murderer, as it turns out."[17] Keith Uhlich of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Christina Ricci brings us the axe! Would that her effort was worth it"[18] and Deborah Day of TheWrap noted, "Christina Ricci kills it, but even her brand of crazy is not enough."[19] Praising Ricci's Lizzie as "gleeful and ruthless", The New York Times called the series "period-piece television served with a wink".[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2016 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
1st Young Entertainer Awards Best Supporting Young Actor - TV Movie, Mini Series or Special
Matt Tolton
59th CSC Awards Best Cinematography in TV Drama
François Dagenais

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Genzlinger, Neil (March 31, 2015). "Review: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, a Lifetime Series Starring Christina Ricci". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  2. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 7, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: MLB Baseball & The Real Housewives of Atlanta Top Night + Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Mad Men & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  3. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (April 14, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 4.12.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (April 21, 2015). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 25 Sunday's Cable Originals (& Network Update): 4.19.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (April 26, 2015). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 100 Sunday's Cable Originals (& Network Update): 4.26.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (May 5, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 5.3.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (May 12, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 5.10.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (May 19, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 5.17.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (May 27, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals: 5.24.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Lifetime Greenlights Limited Series "Lizzie Borden: The Fall River Chronicles"" (Press release). Lifetime. October 22, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2016 – via The Futon Critic.
  11. ^ a b Zuckerman, Esther (October 22, 2014). "Christina Ricci to play Lizzie Borden again for Lifetime". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e Abrams, Natalie (January 9, 2015). "Lizzie Borden has an ax to grind in trailer for Lifetime series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 22, 2014). "Lifetime Returns to Lizzie Borden With Six-Hour Limited Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  14. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (February 5, 2015). "Ricci takes an ax to her latest role". Florida Weekly. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  15. ^ Swift, Andy (June 24, 2015). "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Not Returning for Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: Season 1". 2 February 2016 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ Borden, Jane (April 5, 2015). "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Is Playful, Wicked Brain Candy". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  18. ^ Uhlich, Keith (April 5, 2015). "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  19. ^ Day, Deborah (April 5, 2015). "Lizzie Borden Chronicles Review: Christina Ricci Kills It, But Even Her Brand of Crazy Is Not Enough". TheWrap. Retrieved April 12, 2015.

External links[edit]