Lie to Me (2009–2011)
5 user 1 critic
Dr. Lightman and Dr. Foster search for the truth in cases involving a devoutly religious high school student accused of killing a teacher, and a congressman accused of having an affair.


Robert Schwentke


Samuel Baum (created by), Samuel Baum

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Roth ... Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams ... Dr. Gillian Foster
Monica Raymund ... Ria Torres
Brendan Hines ... Eli Loker
Robert Wisdom ... Bonds
Jake Thomas ... James Cole
Kathryn Meisle ... Mary Cole
Scott Paulin ... Gerald Cole
Hayley McFarland ... Emily Lightman
Josh Stamberg ... AUSA Hutchinson
Tim Griffin ... Principal Castle
Randy Oglesby ... Congressman Zeb Weil
Tyrees Allen ... DNC Chairman Baldridge
Tim Guinee ... Ron Foster
Johanna Braddy ... Jacquelin Mathis


Dr. Cal Lightman teaches a course in body-language and makes an honest fortune exploiting it. He's employed by various public authorities in various investigations, doing more when the police etc. fail to go the extra mile. Today he finds out the truth about a murder involving high school-kids and/or - staff. And why Congressman Zeb Weil would rather resign under false accusations of having paid for sex than divulge his purpose in the bordello. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Surround)| Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Radical Honesty: Eli states that he practices "Radical Honesty"; Radical Honesty is the name of a self improvement program developed by Brad Blanton that challenges people to give up their addiction to lying. The Radical Honesty technique includes having practitioners state their feelings directly and in ways typically considered impolitic (the technique is sometimes confused with the person having functioning autism or Asperger's due to the practitioner's brutal honesty). See more »


When Lightman is speaking to James for the first time in the prison, after asking him how he felt about his teacher dying, the boy responds, "I prayed for her soul." Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the existence of a soul. See more »


Cal Lightman: Well we all pay for sex one way or another. At least hookers are honest about the price.
See more »


References A Current Affair (1986) See more »


Brand New Day
Written by: Ryan Star and Max Collins
Performed by: Ryan Star
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User Reviews

A Great Show Out Of The Gate, And That's The TRUTH!
26 January 2009 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

With my schedule already overstuffed with new shows I like PLUS returning favorites, I would rather not risk tipping the whole thing over into chaos with one more, thank you very much. But if I HAD to do it, I'm glad it's with something like LIE TO ME. Especially since an actor as great as Tim Roth doesn't just stroll onto the small screen everyday. For him to risk getting tied up in a series, it's got to be something good, and the premise of LIE TO ME is irresistible.

Roth plays Cal Lightman, the one guy you would probably never want to have as a boss. That's because Cal's specialty is dealing with human behavior, in this case the fine art of lying. Well, make that lie DETECTION. In a fascinating conceit, Lightman and his group study everything from body language, to skin temperature, to something called "micro-expressions" - facial tics and tells that can go by in the blink of an eye, but to the trained observer can reveal everything; from what you had for breakfast on your birthday seven years ago, to what you REALLY think about your spouse. Yep, it's that detailed, that incriminating and that startling.

Like most crime procedural shows, the pilot episode shows Lightman dealing with several cases at once, while also setting up his relationships with the rest of the cast: business partner and resident psychologist Gillian Foster (THE PRACTICE'S Kelli Williams); "radical truth-teller" and assistant Eli Loker (Brendan Hines), who has no filter on his ability to edit his feelings or opinions whatsoever, and newcomer Ria Torres (Monica Raymund), a former TSA agent who has an uncanny natural ability to sniff out prevaricators.

A fascinating concept, indeed, if a lot higher than most TV shows shoot for. But we wouldn't expect any less from the same production company that gives us ulcers every week with '24'. One can only hope that an attempt isn't made to shoehorn LIE TO ME into that same kind of genre. This plays much better to the same kind of audience geared towards something like CBS's THE MENTALIST or USA's popular, long-running MONK. Given the proper amount of room to breathe and episodes that continue to be driven more by characters than by car chases and explosions every ten minutes, this is a show that might actually gain some staying power - a minor miracle these days when shows have about the length of a "micro- expression" to gain an audience.

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