The Lying Game

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The Lying Game
Genre Drama
Based on The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Developed by Charles Pratt, Jr.
Starring Alexandra Chando
Allie Gonino
Blair Redford
Helen Slater
Andy Buckley
Alice Greczyn
Charisma Carpenter
Kirsten Prout
Sharon Pierre-Louis
Opening theme "Gun for a Tongue" by Butterfly Boucher
Composer(s) Pieter A. Schlosser
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Charles Pratt, Jr.
Leslie Morgenstein
Gina Girolamo
Fred Gerber
Mark Piznarski
Producer(s) Randy Sutter
Carol Dunn Trussell
R. Lee Fleming Jr.
Camera setup Red Two; single-camera
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Pratt Enterprises
Alloy Entertainment
Warner Horizon Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network ABC Family
Original release August 15, 2011 (2011-08-15) – March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12)
External links
Official website

The Lying Game is an American teen drama television series that aired on ABC Family from August 15, 2011 to March 12, 2013.[1] The series was produced by Pratt Enterprises, Alloy Entertainment, and Warner Horizon Television.[2] and is loosely based on a series of novels of the same name by Sara Shepard. The network green-lighted the series in February 2011 with a 10 episode order.[2] with the series.

On September 15, 2011, ABC Family gave the series a 10 episode back order bringing the first season to 20 episodes.[3] The second half of the season began airing on January 2, 2012.

On April 24, 2012, ABC Family announced it has been renewed for a second season, slated for a winter premiere.[4] Season two premiered on January 8, 2013, right after the premiere of the second half of Pretty Little Liars' third season.[5] In June 2013, cast member Allie Gonino announced that the fate of The Lying Game will be announced in July.[6][7] ABC Family first wanted to see how its new summer series perform before renewing either The Lying Game or Bunheads for another season.[8][9]

On July 15, 2013, Chando revealed that ABC Family has canceled the series after two seasons.[10][11]

Series overview[edit]

The series follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster child who learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on the mysterious identity of their birth mother. After Sutton inexplicably fails to return to the girls’ designated meeting place, Emma must decide whether to come clean about her identity and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister’s whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place.

Cast and characters[edit]

The main cast of The Lying Game.

Main cast and characters[edit]

  • Alexandra Chando as Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker. Sutton was adopted by a wealthy family and Emma grew up in the foster care system.
  • Allie Gonino as Laurel Mercer. Laurel is Sutton and Emma's paternal half-sister and the biological daughter of Kristin and Ted Mercer. She bonded with Emma and tends to go to her for advice.
  • Blair Redford as Ethan Whitehorse. He is initially Sutton's secret boyfriend, hiding the relationship due to class, but soon falls for Emma after finally realizing that Sutton was ashamed of their relationship. He later cheated on Emma with Sutton, realizing a part of him will always love her, causing Emma to break up with him.
  • Andy Buckley as Ted Mercer, a plastic surgeon. Ted is the biological father of Sutton, Emma, and Laurel. He had an affair with Rebecca seventeen years prior to the series, resulting in the conceiving of Sutton and Emma.
  • Helen Slater as Kristin Mercer. Kristin is the adoptive mother of Sutton and the biological mother of Laurel. She is oblivious to Sutton's biological history. Her relationship with her husband became strained when she learned of his past relationship with Rebecca, demanding a divorce and ownership of everything they owned.
  • Kirsten Prout as Charlotte "Char" Chamberlin, a friend of Sutton's and daughter of Phylis Chamberlin. She is also a cousin to both Sutton and Emma, via Phylis' sister Rebecca Sewell (Emma and Sutton's birth mother).
  • Alice Greczyn as Madeline Margaux Rybak, known as "Mads". Mads is the daughter of Alec and the maternal younger half-sister of Thayer. She is initially one of Sutton's best friends, but ends their friendship after finding out that Sutton came onto her boyfriend. She then becomes best friends with Emma after learning the truth about the twins. She begins a complicated relationship with Jordan, her step-sibling, in season 2 after spending a one night stand with him, not realizing he is her step-brother until later on.
  • Charisma Carpenter as Annie Rebecca Sewell (season 2, recurring previously)[12] Rebecca is Phyllis Chamberlin's estranged younger sister and Char's aunt. She returns to town after many years, now going by her middle name. Her motive for coming back to town was to reunite with Ted. She married Alec at the end of season one in order to achieve this plan.
  • Christian Alexander as Thayer Rybak, the former step-son of Alec and the maternal older half-brother of Mads. He has had feelings for Sutton since childhood, and gets involved with her in LA by sleeping with her. When he realized Sutton didn't want him, he moved back to Phoenix and met Emma, whom he developed feelings for. Despite being in a strong relationship, it ends when he gets jealous of Emma's potential feelings for her ex-boyfriend Ethan. In the season 2 spring finale, it is revealed that Thayer may be Theresa's killer.

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

  • Adrian Pasdar as Alec Rybak, the father of Mads and the step-father of Thayer. He is Ted's best friend. His ex-wife Caroline is the mother of both children and she ran away a long time ago with Thayer's biological father, which might be the reason as to why he resents Thayer. In the season one finale, he marries Rebecca, and is arrested for the murder of Derek Rogers. He was cleared with Theresa's help at the beginning of the second season. He knew about the twins all along and turns out to be the one who split them up at birth. He has been spending his time trying to get Rebecca convicted for the two murders that have occurred, though Rebecca insists that he himself is hiding the real killer.
  • Tyler Christopher as Dan Whitehorse, a police officer and Ethan's older brother. He used to work for Alec, but turned against him when Alec tried to have Ethan charged with murder. He later proposes to his former sweetheart Theresa, set on having a future together, but the two never make it to the altar due to her mysterious and abrupt murder.
  • Ryan Rottman as Jordan Lyle (season 2), Rebecca's former step-son from her marriage in Los Angeles. During his first night in town, he has a one night stand with Mads. He has also gained interest in Laurel and has become good friends with Ethan. He attends Arroyo. Rebecca has been getting him to do some of her dirty work in exchange for her keeping his dark secrets in the past, although Rebecca eventually turns on him when he refuses to leave town with her after Alec and Dan try to get her arrested. He is arrested for the murder of his brother back in LA.
  • Yara Martinez as Theresa Lopez, Dan's fiancėe and an attorney. Dan calls her to defend Ethan when he is on trial for murdering Derek. She wins Ethan's case due to lack of evidence. In an attempt to find Derek's real killer, she gets herself murdered on the night before her wedding to Dan, they thought it was because of drowning. She was found dead in a pool but, the autopsy showed that she had been killed many days before that because of many blunt objects hitting her head.
  • Adam Brooks as Baz, Laurel's fellow band member in Strangeworthy. Laurel kissed him after she and Justin broke up, though their relationship never grew into something more.
  • Randy Wayne as Justin Miller (season 1), Laurel's ex-boyfriend. In episode 13, it is revealed that his mother died during an operation due to Ted's carelessness. Laurel ultimately breaks up with him when she finds out he used her to get close to her father.
  • Ben Elliott as Derek Rogers (season 1), Alec's accomplice and Charlotte's ex-boyfriend. Alec hired him to get information on Sutton. He was the one in Sutton's car the night she drove into a lake. He is found dead the morning after Ethan and Sutton interrogate him about what happened.
  • Sydney Barrosse as Phyllis Chamberlin (season 1), Char's mothr and Rebecca's sister. She is an alcoholic. After she left Sutton's birthday party drunk and got a DUI, Rebecca tells Alec to put Phyllis on mandatory lockdown at a rehab facility.
  • Rick Malambri as Eduardo Diaz (season 1), Mads and Char's ballet teacher who had a secret affair with Mads. When Alec learned about Mads and Eduardo, he paid Eduardo to leave town. He was in an accident on his way out of town and fell into a coma before being transferred to a new hospital.
  • Misha Crosby as Ryan Harwell (season 1), one of the students at Arroyo High. He has a "bad boy" reputation and dated Mads for a short time before he broke up with her due to her father's arrest. It was revealed that he had hooked up with Sutton a few years ago.




TV Fanatic's Leigh Raines rated the pilot episode five out of five stars. She went on to say "If the mark of a good show is when it leaves you wanting more, The Lying Game definitely accomplished that goal."[13] Melody Simpson of Buzz Focus, also reviewed the pilot and stated, "While this is not exactly a series one would watch with the entire family, the older audiences will surely enjoy this series as much as the younger audiences."[14] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rob Owen compared the show as a "lighter, better executed version of the fall CW pilot Ringer."


The pilot episode scored a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating and 1.39 million viewers.[15] The second episode scored another 0.5 adults 18-49 rating, steady versus the pilot episode, but was up 84,000 viewers to 1.47 million.[16] The 13th and 14th episodes reached series highs of 0.7 in adults 18-49.[17]

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Monday 9:00PM
August 15, 2011
March 5, 2012
1.24[18] 2011-2012 1.38[19]
Tuesday 9:00PM
January 8, 2013
March 12, 2013
1.11[21] 2013 1.27[22]

Awards and accolades[edit]

International distribution[edit]

Country Channel Premiere date
 Argentina Boomerang August 29, 2012[23]
Glitz* August 7, 2013[24]
 Australia Fox8 (Pay TV, Foxtel) December 7, 2012
 Brazil Boomerang August 29, 2012[25]
Glitz* August 7, 2013[26]
SBT September 12, 2013[27]
 Bulgaria BTV July 22, 2013 - September 7, 2013
(1-2 seasons)
 Canada ABC Spark January 26, 2012
 Chile Boomerang August 29, 2012[28]
Glitz* August 7, 2013[24]
 Colombia Boomerang August 29, 2012[29]
Glitz* August 7, 2013[24]
 Costa Rica Boomerang August 29, 2012
 Finland Sub January 5, 2014
 Germany Disney Channel February 2, 2015 [30]
 Greece Star Channel July 14, 2014
 Israel Yes Drama February 11, 2012
 Italy Rai 2 January 13, 2013
 India Zcafe October 30, 2013
 Mexico Boomerang August 29, 2012[31]
Televisa Regional April 2012 / January 2015
Glitz* August 7, 2013[24]
 New Zealand TV2
 Nicaragua Boomerang August 29, 2012
 Norway FEM April 16, 2012
 Panama Boomerang August 29, 2012
 Peru Boomerang August 29, 2012
 Philippines ETC June 2, 2012
 South Africa MNet December 16, 2011[32]
 Turkey DiziMax More January 5, 2012
 Serbia B92 June 27, 2012
 Slovenia POP TV December 16, 2013
 United Kingdom 5*
January 30, 2012 [33]
September 29, 2012[34]
 Venezuela Boomerang August 29, 2012[35]
Glitz* August 7, 2013[24]


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2011). "ABC Family Expands Schedule To 3 Nights Of Original Programming". Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "ABC Family Picks Up "The Lying Game"". The Futon Critic. February 22, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Lying Game Gets More Episodes!". September 16, 2011.  - ABC Family
  4. ^ "The Lying Game Returns to ABC Family for a Second Season". April 24, 2012.  - ABC Family
  5. ^ Wetpaint Visitor (2013-01-08). "When Will Season 2 of The Lying Game Premiere? - The Lying Game". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  6. ^ "Allie Gonino Reveals When We'll Find Out The Status Of Season 3". Retrieved 20 June 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ Ellwood, Pip. "10 reasons The Lying Game should be renewed". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  8. ^ O'Connell, Michael (13 June 2013). "What ABC Family's Recent Ratings Mean for a 'Bunheads' Renewal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (19 April 2013). "Future Of ABC Family’s ‘The Lying Game’ In Limbo As Cast Options Expire. What About ‘Bunheads’?". PMC. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Photo by achando • Instagram". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  11. ^ "'The Lying Game' canceled by ABC Family". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Levine, Stuart (July 9, 2012). "Carpenter promoted at 'The Lying Game'". Variety. 
  13. ^ The Lying Game Pilot Review: A New Hit? By Leigh Raines, TV Fanatic
  14. ^ ‘The Lying Game’ Series Premiere Review: Pilot By Melody Simpson, Buzz Focus
  15. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (August 16, 2011). "Updated Monday Cable Ratings: 'Pawn Stars,' Jets-Texans, 'WWE RAW' Top Night + 'Closer,' 'Rizzoli,' 'Warehouse 13' & Much More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 24, 2011). "Monday Cable: Bears-Giants Preseason Wins + 'WWE RAW,' 'Rizzoli,' 'T.O. Show,' 'Alpha's' & Much More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 24, 2012). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Pawn Stars' Rules, 'Pretty Little Liars,' Love & Hip Hop' Rise + 'Being Human,' 'Lost Girl,' 'WWE RAW' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  18. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: No Stopping "Pawn Stars" on History". March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ "The Lying Game: Season One Ratings". TV Series Final. September 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Justified" Tops Viewers, "Liars" Leads Demos". 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  21. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Tosh.0" Reclaims Demo Crown, "Liars" Tops Viewers". 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  22. ^ "The Lying Game: Season Two Ratings". TV Series Final. March 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c d e "Glitz estrena diversión y drama en 'The Lying Game'". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Glitz* estreia a série "The Lying Game" nesta quarta". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "SBT estreia "The Lying Game" (Jogo de Mentiras)". Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Disney Channel startet "The Lying Game"". 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  31. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Lying Game | M-Net". 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  33. ^ "C5 plays Lying Game". 2011-12-09. 
  34. ^ "The Lying Game pulled by 5Star again!". Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  35. ^ "The Lying Game". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 

External links[edit]