Secrets & Lies remake premieres in the US

02 March, 2015 by Don Groves

Some US critics responded enthusiastically to the US remake of Hoodlum’s Secrets & Lies but the bulk of viewers may need convincing.

The 10-part thriller starring Ryan Phillippe, Juliette Lewis, KaDee Strickland, Aussie Indiana Evans and Belle Shouse premiered on the ABC network at 9 pm Sunday US time.


The two-hour show averaged a 1.5 rating/4 share of the key 18-49 demo, equating to 5.9 million viewers, finishing second behind the debut of post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth on Fox.

US commentators rated the figures as unimpressive although they noted Secrets & Lies did far better than the January premieres of Resurrection (1.1) and Revenge (0.9) in the same timeslot. Also, encouragingly for the network and the producers, the thriller held its audience, averaging a 1.5 rating for each of the four half-hours.

Variety reviewer Brian Lowry opined, “Better than Gracepoint and not as compelling as Broadchurch, ABC’s Secrets and Lies is a solid, twisty version of the increasingly popular murdered-kid-sets-series-in-motion formula, with Ryan Phillippe as the seemingly ordinary family man who discovers the body and quickly becomes a target of police suspicion.

“Juliette Lewis lends additional star power to the proceedings as the detective working the case, but this is fairly familiar turf. Bringing viewers to the show will likely be a challenge for the network, but those who do sample the opening hours should be intrigued enough to want to see where the trail leads.”

The New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger declared the show “gets points for style but not many for originality. It’s a crisply paced suburban potboiler with a murdered child at the centre, and if you’ve been sucked in by other shows in this genre you may find yourself sucked in by this one. But also feel free to be vaguely annoyed that those clever TV makers are seducing you with formulas rather than freshness.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman said, “For ABC, the swings it’s taking with Secrets and Lies and American Crime are big ones. Both series have impressive casts, are shot like small films and invest heavily in dark, multi-layered and challenging storytelling.

“And while both have flaws that become clear… there’s a quality here that makes the shows well worth your attention.”

Network Ten has passed on its option to acquire the US remake and there is no deal yet with an Australian network.