The Lying Game

  (Redirected from The Lying Game (TV series))

The Lying Game is an American teen drama mystery television series developed by Charles Pratt Jr. It premiered on ABC Family on August 15, 2011, and ended on March 12, 2013. The series was produced by Pratt Enterprises, Alloy Entertainment, and Warner Horizon Television and is loosely based on a series of books of the same name by Sara Shepard.

The Lying Game
Based onThe Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Developed byCharles Pratt, Jr.
Opening theme"Gun for a Tongue" by Butterfly Boucher
Composer(s)Pieter A. Schlosser
Brian Adler (pilot)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Randy Sutter
  • Carol Dunn Trussell
  • R. Lee Fleming Jr.
Camera setupRed Two; single-camera
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkABC Family
Original releaseAugust 15, 2011 (2011-08-15) –
March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12)

On July 15, 2013, Alexandra Chando confirmed the series was canceled by the network after two seasons,[1][2] effectively ending the series on an unresolved cliffhanger.

Series overviewEdit

The series follows Emma Becker, a kind-hearted foster child who learns she has an identical twin sister named Sutton Mercer. 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.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
120August 15, 2011 (2011-08-15)March 5, 2012 (2012-03-05)
210January 8, 2013 (2013-01-08)March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12)

Cast and charactersEdit

The main cast of The Lying Game.

While the television series shares many of the same characters as the book series of the same name, there are important differences (chief among them that Sutton is deceased in the books):[3]


  • 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 (season 1), 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 (Sutton and Emma's birth mother).
  • Alice Greczyn as Madeline Margo 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 discovering all of Sutton's lies and that Sutton had come 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.
  • 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.
  • Sharon Pierre-Louis as Nisha Randall (season 1), Sutton's rival.
  • Charisma Carpenter as Annie Rebecca Sewell (season 2, recurring previously), 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.


  • Adrian Pasdar as Alec Rybak, the father of Mads and the stepfather 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.
  • 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 mother 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


ABC Family green-lit a pilot for The Lying Game, which was written and executive produced by Charles Pratt Jr. and which was based upon the then upcoming novel by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard, in October 2010.[4][5] Alexandra Chando was cast in the dual lead role in November 2010.[6] ABC Family ordered The Lying Game to series in February 2011.[7][8] It premiered on Monday, August 15, 2011, after an episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager,[9] drawing 1.4 million viewers.[10] ABC back-ordered an additional 10 episodes of season 1 in September 2011,[11][12] which premiered in January 2012[13] drawing a series high 1.8 million viewers.[14]

The Lying Game was renewed for a second season by ABC Family in April 2012, with production to take place during summer 2012 for a winter premiere.[15] Charisma Carpenter, who had been recurring in season 1, was promoted to the main cast for season 2 in July 2012.[16][17] Season 2 premiered on January 8, 2013,[18] drawing 1.55 million viewers;[19] the final episode of season 2 aired in March 2013. ABC Family took an unusually long time to decide whether or not to renew The Lying Game beyond season 2, and the cast's contract options lapsed in April 2013 with only Chando signing a new option.[20] ABC Family finally confirmed the cancellation of The Lying Game in July 2013,[1] after Chando had herself announced the news on Twitter and Instagram.[2][21]


Season Time slot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV season Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
1 Monday
9:00 pm
August 15, 2011
March 5, 2012
1.24[23] 2011–12 1.38[24]
2 Tuesday
9:00 pm
January 8, 2013
March 12, 2013
1.11[26] 2013 1.27[27]


The series is available to stream on The CW's free digital-only network, CW Seed.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Lesley Goldberg (July 15, 2013). "ABC Family Cancels 'The Lying Game'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  2. ^ a b Alexandra Chando [@alexandrachando] (July 15, 2013). "To our awesome #lyinggame fans, thank you for these two amazing seasons. Unfortunately, ABC Family has..." (Tweet). Retrieved 2016-05-19 – via Twitter. Full Instagram message (at To our awesome #lyinggame fans, thank you for these two amazing seasons. Unfortunately, ABC Family has decided not to bring us back for a third season. We so wanted to do 10 more for you guys! Thanks for your support and keep up with the cast to see what's next for us!
  3. ^ Robyn Ross (August 14, 2011). "The Lying Game: Who's Who and How Is It Different From the Books?". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  4. ^ Cynthia Littleton (October 8, 2010). "ABC Family orders four more pilots". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  5. ^ ""Melissa & Joey" Receives Episode Back Order to Complete First Season Plus: ABC Family greenlights pilots for "Untitled Brenda Hampton Project," "What Would Jane Do," "The Lying Game" and "The Great State of Georgia."" (Press release). ABC Family. October 8, 2010. Retrieved 2016-05-19 – via The Futon Critic.
  6. ^ "Development Update: Monday, November 1". The Futon Critic. November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  7. ^ Cynthia Littleton (February 22, 2011). "ABC Family in 'Lying Game' pact". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  8. ^ Nellie Andreeva (February 22, 2011). "It's Official: ABC Family Picks Up 'The Lying Game' To Series, Keeps 'Jane' In Contention". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  9. ^ "ABC Family's "Secret Life" to Wrap 24-Week Run on September 5, "Lying Game" to Get Earlier Slot in Fall". The Futon Critic. August 12, 2011. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  10. ^ Nellie Andreeva (August 17, 2011). "Soft Start For ABC Family's 'Lying Game'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  11. ^ Sam Thielman (September 16, 2011). "ABC Family renews 'Lying Game,' 'Break It'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  12. ^ Nellie Andreeva (September 16, 2011). "UPDATE: ABC Family Renews 'Make It Or Break It', Gives Back Order To 'Lying Game', Picks Up 4 Pilots, Cancels 'State Of Georgia'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  13. ^ "ABC Family's Original Series "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Lying Game" Return With All New Episodes Starting on Monday, January 2nd" (Press release). ABC Family. November 28, 2011. Retrieved 2016-05-19 – via The Futon Critic.
  14. ^ Nellie Andreeva (January 4, 2012). "ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars' Down In Return, 'The Lying Game' Posts Series Highs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  15. ^ Michael O'Connell (April 24, 2012). "ABC Family Renews 'The Lying Game' for Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  16. ^ Stuart Levine (July 9, 2012). "Carpenter promoted at 'The Lying Game'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  17. ^ "Charisma Carpenter Joins the Cast of the Hit Drama Series "The Lying Game"" (Press release). ABC Family. July 10, 2012. Retrieved 2016-05-19 – via The Futon Critic.
  18. ^ "ABC Family Sets Premiere Dates for Its Hit Returning Series All Premiering in January" (Press release). ABC Family. October 22, 2012. Retrieved 2016-05-19 – via The Futon Critic.
  19. ^ "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Justified" Tops Viewers, "Liars" Leads Demos". The Futon Critic. January 9, 2013. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  20. ^ Nellie Andreeva (April 19, 2013). "Future Of ABC Family's 'The Lying Game' In Limbo As Cast Options Expire. What About 'Bunheads'?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  21. ^ "Chando: ABC Family Has Canceled "The Lying Game"". The Futon Critic. July 15, 2013. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: No Stopping "Pawn Stars" on History". The Futon Critic. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  24. ^ "The Lying Game: Season One Ratings". TV Series Final. September 3, 2012.
  25. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Justified" Tops Viewers, "Liars" Leads Demos". 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  26. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Tosh.0" Reclaims Demo Crown, "Liars" Tops Viewers". 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  27. ^ "The Lying Game: Season Two Ratings". TV Series Final. March 13, 2013.
  28. ^ "The Lying Game on CW Seed". CW Seed. Retrieved June 9, 2020.

External linksEdit