Lie to Me

For other uses, see Lie to Me (disambiguation).
Lie to Me
Genre Crime Drama
Police Procedural
Created by Samuel Baum
Starring Tim Roth
Kelli Williams
Brendan Hines
Monica Raymund
Hayley McFarland
Mekhi Phifer[1]
Opening theme Brand New Day by Ryan Star
Ending theme "Mr. Clean" by The Jam
Composer(s) Robert Duncan
Doug DeAngelis
Peter Nashel
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 48 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Brian Grazer
Vahan Moosekian
Daniel Sackheim
Samuel Baum
David Nevins
Elizabeth Craft
Sarah Fain
Alexander Cary
David Graziano
Shawn Ryan
Daniel Voll
Steven Maeda
Producer(s) Alexander Cary
Jeffrey Downer
Tim Roth
Cinematography Sidney Sidell
Joseph E. Gallagher
Alan Caso
David Geddes
Florian Ballhaus
Editor(s) Devon Greene
David Post
Rick Tuber
David C. Cook
David Siegel
Padraic McKinley
Thomas R. Moore
Gib Jaffe
Monty DeGraff
Marta Evry
Thom Noble
Suzy Elmiger
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Imagine Television
Pagoda Pictures
Samuel Baum Productions
MiddKid Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox
Original release January 21, 2009 (2009-01-21) – January 31, 2011 (2011-01-31)

Lie to Me (stylized as Lie to me*) is an American crime drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his colleagues in The Lightman Group accept assignments from third parties (commonly local and federal law enforcement), and assist in investigations, reaching the truth through applied psychology: interpreting microexpressions, through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language.[2]

In May 2009, the show was renewed for a second season consisting of 13 episodes;[3] Season two premiered on September 28, 2009.[4] On November 24, 2009, Fox ordered an extra nine episodes for season two, bringing the season order to 22 episodes.[5]

On May 12, 2010, Entertainment Weekly reported that Lie to Me received a 13-episode third season pick-up.[6][7] The third season of Lie to Me was originally set to premiere on November 10, 2010. On September 28, 2010, the date was moved up to October 4, 2010, because of the cancellation of Lone Star.[8] Lie to Me was officially canceled by Fox on May 11, 2011.[9]

The show is inspired by the work of Paul Ekman, the world's foremost expert on facial expressions and a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Ekman has served as an advisor to police departments and anti-terrorism groups (including the Transportation Security Administration) and acted as a scientific consultant in the production of the series. He is also the author of 15 books, including Telling Lies and Emotions Revealed.[10]

Cast and characters


Tim Roth, who plays the role of lead character Cal Lightman
Hayley McFarland, who plays the role of Emily Lightman



Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 January 21, 2009 May 13, 2009
2 22 September 28, 2009 September 13, 2010
3 13 October 4, 2010 January 31, 2011


Season one opens with Cal and Gillian hiring a new associate: TSA officer Ria Torres, who scored extraordinarily high on Cal's deception-detection diagnostic, and is in turn labeled a "natural" at deception detection. Her innate talent in the field clashes with Cal's academic approach, and he often shows off by rapidly analyzing her every facial expression. She counters by reading Lightman and, when he least expects it, peppers conversations with quotes from his books.

It was gradually revealed that Dr. Lightman was driven to study micro-expressions as a result of guilt over his mother's suicide. She claimed to have been fine in order to obtain a weekend pass from a psychiatric ward, when she was actually experiencing agony (which parallels an anecdote in Paul Ekman's book "Telling Lies").

For a small number of the early episodes, Lightman would team up with Torres to work on a case, while Foster and Loker would team up on a separate case. Occasionally, their work would intertwine, or Foster and/or Lightman would provide assistance on each other's cases. As the first season progressed, the cases became more involved, and all four of the main characters would work together on one case for each episode.

In addition to detecting deception in subjects they interview, Lightman and his team also use various interviewing and interrogation tactics to elicit useful information. Rather than by force, they use careful lines of questioning, provocative statements, theatrics and healthy doses of deception on their own part. In the show's pilot episode, Lightman is speaking to a man who is refusing to speak at all, and is able to discern vital information by talking to him and gauging his reaction to each statement. This approach is also taken in several other episodes (e.g., "Do No Harm").

Principal crew

Samuel Baum (showrunner/head writer), Brian Grazer, David Nevins, Steven Maeda. Katherine Pope, former president of NBC Universal’s TV studio, signed on as a consulting producer. Pope worked on the final four episodes of the first season.[18] Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield and The Unit, took over as show runner for the second season.[19][20]


Critical reception

The show received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It gained a score of 64 on Metacritic from 24 reviews.[21] Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker awarded Lie to Me a B- rating and wrote "Lie to Me is derivative yet well crafted, predictable yet ever-so-slightly novel… it's no wonder that Fox thinks it's got itself a potential hit". However, he also commented "if this review were a face, Dr. Lightman would say it had a forced smile: hopeful, but dubious, about Lie's chances."[22] Tom Shales, writing for the Washington Post, said "Lie to Me seems an unusually meaty, thoughtful and thought-provoking crime drama – another police procedural, yes, but one with a dramatic and mesmerizing difference… easily one of the season's best new shows."[23]


In the United States, the viewing figures declined as the series progressed. The Pilot was seen by 12.37 million, however by the final episode of the first season it was down to 8.46 million. The most viewed episode was episode three, "A Perfect Score", which attracted 12.99 million. The second season premiered on September 28, 2009 to 7.73 million viewers.[24] The season two finale had 4.94 million viewers in the U.S. on September 13, 2010.[25] The third season, which had its premiere moved forward to October 4, 2010, was viewed by 5.87 million people in the U.S.[26] The series' official cancellation was announced by Fox on May 10, 2011.[27]

Seasonal ratings

Season Episodes Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Notes Network
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1 13 January 21, 2009 May 13, 2009 2008–2009 #29[28] 11.06[28] Fox
2 22 September 28, 2009 September 13, 2010 2009–2010 #57[29] 7.39[29] [Note 1]
3 13 October 4, 2010 January 31, 2011 2010–2011 #78 6.71[31]

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

People's Choice Awards

Lie to me was nominated for two awards at the 37th People's Choice Awards and won both of them.[32]

International broadcasting

The series is broadcast on Global in Canada, Network Ten in Australia, M-Net in South Africa, and also airs in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Hungary and Belgium.[33][34] Lie to Me aired on Sky1 in the UK and Ireland,[35] starting on May 14, 2009. On July 20, 2009, Fox aired the premiere in Latin America.[36] RTL 5 in The Netherlands has been broadcasting it since November 6, 2009. The series debuted in Italy on September 7, 2009 on the Fox Satellite channel. The series has aired in India since September 2010.

Country Television Network
Albania Digi +
Argentina Fox
Egypt OSN First
Armenia Kentron TV
Australia Network Ten, W
Austria ATV
Belgium 2BE, RTL-TVI
Brazil Fox, Rede Record
Bulgaria bTV Cinema
Canada Global, V
Chile Fox, MEGA
Colombia Fox, Caracol Television
Costa Rica Fox
Croatia HRT2
Cuba Multivisión
Czech Republic TV Prima
Denmark TV2
Dominican Republic Fox
Ecuador Fox Broadcasting Company
El Salvador Fox Broadcasting Company
Estonia TV3
Finland MTV3
France M6, Paris Première, W9
Georgia Rustavi 2
Germany VOX
Haiti Canal Bleu
Honduras Fox
Hungary RTL Klub, Cool TV
Iceland Stöð 2
India STAR World
Indonesia Fox, Rajawali Televisi
Ireland RTÉ Two
Israel yes stars Action HD
Italy Fox, Rete 4, Top Crime
Japan Fox, TV Tokyo
Kazakhstan KazTRK
Latvia TV3, TV3+, TV6, Fox Life
Lithuania TV3
Malaysia NTV7, Fox
Mauritius MBCDigital12 (Cine12)
México Fox
Moldova Jurnal TV
The Netherlands RTL 5
New Zealand TV3 (New Zealand)
Norway TV2
Panama Fox, TV Max
Paraguay Fox
Peru Fox
Philippines Fox, Jack TV
Poland Canal+ Poland, FOX Life, TVP Seriale, TVP2
Portugal FOX (Portugal), TVI
Romania Pro TV
Russia Channel One (Russia), TV3
Serbia TV Avala, FOX
Singapore Starhub Channel 505 – Fox Channel
Slovakia TV JOJ
Slovenia TV 3
South Africa M-Net
South Korea Fox Korea
Spain Antena3, Cuatro
Sweden TV4
Switzerland RSI La 1, 3+, TSR 1
Taiwan PTS
Thailand True Series (Thailand), Fox Thailand
Turkey Foxlife, Fox Crime, TV2
Ukraine 1+1
United Kingdom Sky1, Pick TV, Universal Channel (UK)
Uruguay Monte Carlo TV
Venezuela Fox
Vietnam VTV6

Home media releases

Season one and two have been released on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4. However, while season one was also released on Blu-ray in North America[37] there has been no announcement about releasing the second season on Blu-ray.[38] The first and second season DVDs sets include deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.[39][40] The second season also includes "Dr. Ekman's Blog" and a gag reel.[40] The third and final season was released on October 4, 2011.[41]

Season DVD release date Blu-ray release date
Region A Region B
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 United States Canada United Kingdom Australia
1 August 25, 2009[37] September 14, 2009[42] October 28, 2009[43] August 25, 2009[37] N/A December 5, 2012[44]
2 November 9, 2010[40] January 3, 2011[45] December 1, 2010 N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 October 4, 2011[41] N/A November 2, 2011[46] N/A N/A Cancelled

See also


  1. The season 2 ranking and average viewers only covers the first 10 of 22 episodes in season 2. Episodes 11 through 22 of season 2 were broadcast beginning on June 7, 2010.[30]


  1. "Lie to Me – Characters". Fox Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  2. "Lie To Me". Fox. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  3. "Fall TV: Fox Renews Lie to Me, Sets Sights on Human Target and Sons of Tucson". Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  4. Shows, Fox
  5. Lie to Me gets full season pick up, TV by the numbers, November 24, 2009.
  6. Report: "Lie to Me", "Human Target" renewed by Fox, TV by the numbers, May 12, 2010.
  7. It is official: Fox cancels Lone Star, Deadline.
  8. "Season three of Lie to Me to premiere Monday, October 4, on Fox" (Press release). Fox Flash. September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  9. Ausiello, Michael (May 10, 2011). "Fox Cancels Human Target, Lie To Me, Chicago Code, Two Others". TV Line. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  10. "Lie to Me - Paul Ekman analyzes the real science". May 6, 2009. Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  11. "Dr. Cal Lightman – Tim Roth". Fox. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  12. Lie to Me: lack of candor, Hulu.
  13. Lie to Me, USFCA.
  14. "Lie to Me Cast Biographies". TV3 (New Zealand). Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  15. "Eli Loker – Brendan Hines". Fox. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  16. "Ria Torres – Monica Raymund". Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  17. "Unchained". Lie to Me. Season 1. Episode 5.
  18. Littleton, Cynthia (February 7, 2009). "Pope joins Fox's 'Lie to Me'". Variety. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  19. Ausiello, Michael (May 12, 2009). "Scoop: Fox renews 'Lie to Me,' installs 'Shield' creator as new showrunner". Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  20. Sepinwall, Alan (September 28, 2009). "Lie to Me improves with help from 'Shield' creator Shawn Ryan – Sepinwall on TV". The Star-Ledger. Newark. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  21. "Lie to Me reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  22. Tucker, Ken (January 14, 2009). "TV review – Lie to Me (2009)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  23. Shales, Tom (January 19, 2009). "'Lie to Me' handles famous psychologist's truth nicely". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  24. Calabria, Rosario T. (October 5, 2009). "Broadcast TV Ratings for Monday, October 5, 2009".
  25. Gorman, Bill (September 14, 2010). "TV Ratings Monday: 90210, Gossip Girl Premieres Down Sharply; Lie to Me Summer Finale Falls". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  26. Seidman, Robert (October 5, 2010). "Monday Finals: Castle, Lie to Me, 90210 Adjusted Down; How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  27. Ausiello, Michael (May 10, 2011). "Fox Cancels Human Target, Lie To Me, Chicago Code, Two Others". TVLine. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  28. 1 2 "Season Rankings from 09/22/08 through 08/23/09" (Press release). ABC Medianet. May 27, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  29. 1 2 Gorman, Bill (June 16, 2010). "Final 2009–10 Broadcast Primetime Show Average Viewership". TV By The Numbers. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010.
  30. Levin, Gary (May 14, 2010). "Networks freshen up summer with scripted series". USA Today. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  31. "2010-11 Season Broadcast Primetime Show Viewership Averages". TV By The Numbers by
  32. "People's Choice Awards 2011 Nominees". Procter & Gamble. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  33. Knox, David (November 10, 2008). "TEN cooks up Big Brother replacement". Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  34. "Tim Roth series honest about lying". JAM! Television. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  35. Wilkes, Neil (January 22, 2009). "Sky1 acquires 'Lie To Me'". Digital Spy.
  36. Tim Roth, un detector de mentiras, humano, (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved on July 20, 2009.
  37. 1 2 3 Lambert, David (May 27, 2009). "Lie to Me – Did Amazon Lie To Me? CORRECT Date, plus Details/Extras/Box for DVD & Blu-ray 3-disc Blu-ray and 4-disc DVD both due on August 25th (two weeks later than Amazon's current date)". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  38. Lambert, David (July 14, 2010). "Lie to Me – Honestly, Fox Has Announced a DVD Release for Season 2!". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  39. Lambert, David (June 24, 2009). "Lie to Me – Fox's Official Press Release for Season 1 on Blu-ray Disc & DVD". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  40. 1 2 3 Lambert, David (August 18, 2010). "Lie to Me - Fox's Official Season 2 Press Release Includes the Finalized DVD Street Date As mentioned in our previous report, the date was not in October: look for this on November 9th". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  41. 1 2 Lambert, David (August 10, 2011). "Lie to Me – The 3rd and Final Season of the Show is Announced for DVD". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  42. "Lie To Me – Season 1 (DVD) (2009)". UK: Amazon. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  43. "Lie To Me – Season 1 DVD". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  44. Lie To Me - Season 1 (Blu-ray) on JB Hi-Fi Online JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  45. "Lie To Me – Season 2 (DVD) (2010)". Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  46. "Lie To Me – Season 3 (DVD)". JB HI-FI. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
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