‘Secrets and Lies’ Preview: The Latest Whodunit from ABC

SECRETS AND LIES - ABC's "Secrets and Lies" stars Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford, Indiana Evans as Natalie Crawford, KaDee Strickland as Christy Crawford, Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell, Natalie Martinez as Jess Murphy and Dan Fogler as Dave Lindsey. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

SECRETS AND LIES – ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Ryan Phillippe returns to the small screen in ABC’s new drama Secrets and Lies. Phillippe plays Ben Crawford, a seemingly all-around good guy and husband who stumbles upon the body of a young boy from the neighborhood while out on a run. Juliette Lewis plays Detective Andrea Cornell, the lead investigator, who pegs Ben as “a person of interest” from the very beginning. As the story unfolds we find ourselves trying to decide whether or not Ben had something to do with it. Is he guilty or not?

Secrets and Lies stars Ryan Phillippe (“Damages,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Flags of Our Fathers”) as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis (“August Osage County”) as Detective Cornell, KaDee Strickland (“Private Practice”) as Christy Crawford, Natalie Martinez (“Under the Dome,” “CSI: NY”) as Jess Murphy, Dan Fogler (“The Goldbergs,” “Hannibal”) as Dave Lindsey, Indiana Evans (“Blue Lagoon: The Awakening”) as Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford.

Secrets and Lies premieres Sunday, March 1st with a two-hour special starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Did he or didn’t he?

The official synopsis for “The Trail” & “The Father”:

Ryan Phillippe portrays Ben Crawford, a handsome and decent family man, who will never be the same after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son in the woods. Even as Detective Andrea Cornell, played by Juliette Lewis, digs for the truth in her investigation and pegs Ben as a “person of interest,” the case unfolds from Ben’s unique perspective — whether he is guilty or not. In trying to clear his name, it is Ben who peels back the layers of these suburbanites’ lives in their quiet cul de sac, revealing their dirty little deceptions and all-too-crowded closets overflowing with skeletons in this 10-episode thrilling who-done-it.
In the first hour, in the pilot entitled “The Trail,” Ben is out for his usual morning jog when he comes upon the body of young Tom Murphy. After the news begins to spread throughout town, Detective Cornell, who’s been assigned to the case, pays Ben a visit for routine questioning. In the blink of an eye, Ben quickly turns from Good Samaritan to murder suspect. As the formidable detective searches for the facts, the media hone in on Ben and his family, and he struggles to escape from the pressure. From that point on, Ben’s life is turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence, on the two-hour premiere of “Secrets and Lies.”
In the second hour, in the episode entitled “The Father,” Ben decides to take matters into his own hands by investigating those that were closest to Tom after receiving shocking information about the case from Detective Cornell. Jess, Tom’s mother, propels Ben in the direction of her estranged husband, Scott, who she believes may be his killer. At home, Ben’s family continues to drift apart when he overhears his oldest daughter, Natalie, on a suspicious phone call. Later, the family attends Tom’s funeral where the media continues to harass Ben and he is the focus of excruciating attention by the community. When the Crawford family returns home, one of Ben’s dark secrets is revealed in stunning fashion.
Is Ben innocent or guilty? He is fighting to keep his marriage, kids, job and reputation, and he is barely clinging to his sanity. As the investigation progresses, the close knit community starts to come apart at the seams, unraveling until the jaw-dropping conclusion.
“Secrets and Lies” stars Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell, KaDee Strickland as Christy Crawford, Natalie Martinez as Jess Murphy, Dan Fogler as Dave Lindsey, Indiana Evans as Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford.
Guest stars in “The Trail” include Melissa Gilbert as Lisa Daly, GregAlan Williams as Kevin Williams, Denise Dowse as Elaine Williams, Kate Ashfield as Vanessa Richardson, Steven Brand as Dr. Joseph Richardson and Eric Lange as Danny Pierce.
Guest stars in “The Father” include Melissa Gilbert as Lisa Daly, GregAlan Williams as Kevin Williams, Denise Dowse as Elaine Williams, Kate Ashfield as Vanessa Richardson, Steven Brand as Dr. Joseph Richardson, Benjamin Ciaramello as Scott Murphy, Tad Cooley as Matt Daly, Eric Lange as Danny Pierce, Meaghan Rath as Nicole and Timothy Busfield as John Garner.

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Photo and Video Credit: ABC

ABC Winter TCA: ‘Secrets and Lies’

SECRETS AND LIES - ABC's "Secrets and Lies" stars Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell and Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

SECRETS AND LIES – ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” stars Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell and Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Executive Producer Barbie Kligman’s upcoming series, which is based on the Australian version of the same name, is set in a suburban neighborhood that changes forever after the body of a young boy is found by Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe).

Crawford goes from Good Samaritan to murder suspect and Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis), who is the lead investigator on the case will stop at nothing to find the boys killer and believes that it’s Ben from the get-go.

Secrets and Lies premieres on Sunday, March 1 with a two-hour special starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Cast: Ryan Phillippe (“Damages,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Flags of Our Fathers”) as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis (“August Osage County”) as Detective Cornell, KaDee Strickland (“Private Practice”) as Christy Crawford, Natalie Martinez (“Under the Dome,” “CSI: NY”) as Jess Murphy, Dan Fogler (“The Goldbergs,” “Hannibal”) as Dave Lindsey, Indiana Evans (“Blue Lagoon: The Awakening”) as Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford.

Executive Producers: Barbie Kligman (“Private Practice”), Aaron Kaplan (“Chasing Life,” “The Neighbors,” “Mysteries of Laura”),Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Charles McDougall (“Resurrection”).

Secrets and Lies Synopsis:

Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe) is about to go from Good Samaritan to murder suspect after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son, Tom Murphy, in the woods. Even as Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) digs for the truth in her investigation and pegs Ben as a “person of interest,” the case unfolds from Ben’s perspective — whether he is guilty or not. In trying to clear his name, it is Ben who peels back the layers of these suburbanites’ lives in their quiet cul de sac, revealing their dirty little deceptions and all-too-crowded closets overflowing with skeletons. No one is above suspicion. Ben’s family’s life, already privately in disarray, is turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence, on ABC’s gripping, explosive new drama, “Secrets and Lies,” which premieres on SUNDAY, MARCH 1, with a two-hour special (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET). The ten-episode drama will then air in its regular time period beginning SUNDAY, MARCH 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Ben, a handsome and decent family man who works as a house painter, has his normal share of parenting problems with his teenage daughter, Natalie, and smart-as-a-whip 12-year-old daughter, Abby, as well as the usual marital struggles, which have lately come to a head. His wife Christy (KaDee Strickland), who he has dated since they were both 19, is a local realtor. She finds her feelings for Ben complicated by his deadly discovery and the relentless police and media attention on their family. Natalie is a typical 16-year-old with an attitude, who is upset by Tom’s death, a little boy she used to babysit. But is she hiding her own indiscretion? And Abby, upset by the state of her family, is deeply concerned but hides her feelings. She is fiercely loyal to her dad.

The unflappable and formidable Detective Cornell is the smartest person in the room – always. But that isn’t to say that she isn’t hiding something behind that slight hint of sadness in her eyes and a deceptive look of disconcerting calm. Once she has a suspect in her crosshairs, she doesn’t let go. Unfortunately for Ben, she has targeted him as Tom’s murderer.

Jess Murphy, the mother of four-year-old Tom who has suffered her own indignations in a broken marriage, is crushed by her son’s death. The one person Ben can unload on is Dave Lindsey (Dan Fogler), his childhood friend. A tenant in the Crawford’s guest house, he lives a cheerfully irresponsible life, but is basically a good guy who is very supportive of Ben and the girls.

Is Ben innocent or guilty? He is fighting to keep his marriage, kids, job and reputation, and he is barely clinging to his sanity. As the investigation progresses, the close knit community starts to come apart at the seams, unraveling until the jaw-dropping conclusion.

Barbie Kligman (“Private Practice”) developed the mystery thriller, which is based on the original Australian series “Secrets & Lies,” created by Stephen Irwin.

The teleplay for “Secrets and Lies’” series pilot, entitled “The Trail,” is by Kligman, who also executive produced along with Aaron Kaplan (“Chasing Life,” “The Neighbors,” “Mysteries of Laura”),Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Charles McDougall (“Resurrection”), who also directed. Executive producers of “Secrets and Lies” include Kligman for Avenue K Productions, Kaplan for Kapital Entertainment, Robertson and Mayfield for Hoodlum Entertainment and Timothy Busfield. “Secrets and Lies” is a production of ABC Studios.

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