Lie to Me

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Television series
German title Lie to Me
Original title Lie to Me
Lie to Me.svg
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 2009-2011
Imagine Entertainment,
Fox Television
length 42 minutes
Episodes 48 in 3 seasons ( list )
genre Drama , crime thriller
Theme music Brand New Day by Ryan Star
idea Samuel Tree
production Brian Grazer ,
David Nevins ,
Samuel Baum
music Robert Duncan
Doug DeAngelis
Peter Nashel
First broadcast January 21, 2009 (USA) on Fox
first broadcast
March 10, 2010 on VOX

Lie to Me is an American television series that premiered on January 21, 2009 in the United States. In the series, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues at the Lightman Group commission third parties (mostly local or state law enforcement agencies ) and assist with investigations by using microexpression to expose liars and discover the truth.

The production broadcaster Fox discontinued the series after three seasons and 48 episodes in May 2011. In Germany, the series began broadcasting on March 10, 2010 on VOX .


Based on the real-life scientific research of Paul Ekman , the series accompanies Lightman and his team of deception experts as they help their respective clients in their search for the truth. To do this, in addition to body language, they analyze so-called microexpressions, involuntary movements of the facial muscles, which indicate the true and suppressed emotional state. This allows them to find out whether the person being interviewed is lying or telling the truth.

At the beginning of the first season, Lightman and his colleague Gillian Foster recruit a new employee: TSA official Ria Torres. She is a natural at interpreting microexpressions and body language, and stood out for her exceptionally good deception recognition.

Novel plot elements

A recurring part of the presentation that is typical of the series are short, flash-like images or scenes in which certain elements of the body language of people reveal a state of mind, which are then contrasted with similar images or scenes of real people in public life . Mostly these are incidents where the person concerned lied and was later convicted. Frequent examples appearing in the series are Richard Nixon ( Watergate affair ), Bill Clinton ( Lewinsky affair ) and George W. Bush ( rationale for the Iraq war ).

main characters

  • Dr. Cal Lightman is an expert on body language and microexpressions. He is the founder of the Lightman Group, a private company that, as an independent contractor, carries out research with applied psychology for its clients. He uses whatever psychological technique he thinks is necessary to find out the truth. Lightman is divorced and shares custody of their daughter Emily with his ex-wife. His mother died of suicide when he was a child, which led him to research microexpressions. He has long had a gambling problem and used his skills to win big at games like poker . In addition, he often watches illegal street fights to study the facial expressions of the fighters. The character of Lightman is based on Paul Ekman, one of the most important contemporary psychologists.
  • Dr. Gillian Foster is Dr. Lightman's colleague and partner in the Lightman Group. Her husband's insincerity often strains her agreement with Lightman not to use her professional skills in private life. Gillian adopted a baby who was eventually brought back to its birth mother. During the second season, she enters into a relationship with Dave Atherton. He works under a false name as an undercover DEA investigator in a juvenile prison.
  • Eli Loker is an employee of the Lightman Group. Loker is academically trained and acquired his skills through practice. He supports Brad Blanton's “radical honesty” thesis . That means he seldom lies, even if it makes him look rude and undiplomatic. In a later episode, Lightman demoted him to an unpaid intern for disclosing classified information to the SEC while the company was working on a case. In the course of the series he is taken back into a normal employment relationship.
  • Ria Torres is an employee of the Lightman Group and protégé of Dr. Lightman, who recognized her as a natural at debunking lies when she was still working for security at the airport. Torres was abused as a child by her father, which encouraged her ability to interpret even the smallest facial expressions. Even when talented and loyal, she often lacks academic knowledge, which allows her feelings to influence her decisions. She is loyal to Lightman and does not shy away from putting herself in danger during investigations.
  • Emily Lightman is Lightman's 15-year-old daughter. Her parents share custody of her. Problems often arise between her and her father when he uses his psychological skills on her, which she displeases.
  • Ben Reynolds is an FBI agent who is assisting the Lightman Group with their investigation. He becomes a close friend and confidante of Cal Lightman over the course of the series and represents a connection to the authorities. He mostly relies on his instinct and not on science like Lightman. After the end of the second season, Lightman ends the collaboration with the FBI and Reynolds is therefore leaving the Lightman Group.

Minor characters

  • Clara Musso , widow of an economic mogul. She gets to know the Lightman Group during a court hearing against herself. Based on what Cal Lightman said, she is acquitted of allegations of killing her husband. She then becomes the main shareholder of the Lightman Group and can thus avert the impending bankruptcy. She also has a brief affair with Cal Lightman. Shortly thereafter, she sells her shares back to Lightman.
  • Karl Dupree , Secret Service agent from Washington. He also works with the Lightman Group in some cases and begins a relationship with Ria Torres.
  • Bernard Dillon , head of the FBI headquarters in Washington. He distrusts the methods and techniques of the Lightman Group, but is dependent on cooperation several times. He and Cal Lightman deeply distrust each other.
  • Dave Atherton meets Gillian Foster while investigating a juvenile detention center, where he works as a psychologist. They fall in love and start a relationship. In the course of the second season it is revealed that he works as an undercover police officer and tries under a false name to get information about a drug ring from Mexico.
  • Zoe Landau , ex-wife of Cal Lightman and mother of Emily. She works as a lawyer in Washington and often meets her ex-husband in court.
  • Sharon Wallowski is a police officer with the Washington Police Department and has worked with the Lightman Group on a number of occasions. Cal Lightman begins to take an interest in her privately and helps her survive an internal investigation against her.
  • Alec Foster , husband of Gillian Foster. At the beginning of the series, they are both still married and seem like a happy couple. Later on, it becomes known that Alec is addicted to cocaine and they break up.

Cast and dubbing

The German synchronization was for a dialogue book by Klaus Bickert and the dialogue director of Joachim Tennstedt by the synchronous company FFS film and television synchronous GmbH in Berlin .

Role name Actress image Voice actor
Dr. Cal Lightman Tim Roth Tim Roth (2015) Patrick Winczewski
Dr. Gillian Foster Kelli Williams Kelli Williams Claudia Lössl
Eli Loker Brendan Hines Brendan Hines (2009) Markus Pfeiffer
Ria Torres Monica Raymund Monica Raymund (2013) Sonja Spuhl
Ben Reynolds Mekhi Phifer Mekhi Phifer (2011) Dennis Schmidt-Foss
Karl Dupree Sean Patrick Thomas Martin Lohmann
Clara Musso Melissa George Melissa George 2010 Natascha Geisler
Bernard Dillon Conor O'Farrell Bernd Vollbrecht
Dave Atherton Max Martini Max Martini 2009 Tim Moeseritz
Sharon Wallowski Monique Gabriela Curnen Monique Gabriela (2008) Peggy Sander
Emily Lightman Hayley McFarland Hayley McFarland (2011) Victoria Frenz
Zoe Landau Jennifer Beals Jennifer Beals (2008) Maud Ackermann


United States

In the USA, the series started on January 21, 2009 as a so-called mid-season series. The first season was broadcast on the US broadcaster Fox until May 13, 2009 . The first 13 episodes of the second season aired from September 28 to December 14, 2009. The remaining nine episodes aired from June 7 to September 13, 2010.

Fox extended the series for a third season of 13 episodes at the annual Upfronts in May, which aired from October 4, 2010 through January 31, 2011. In December 2010, Fox announced that it had no plans to produce more than the thirteen ordered episodes for the third season.

On May 10, 2011, Fox announced that the series would not be renewed for a fourth season.


In Germany, the first season was broadcast on VOX between March 10 and June 2, 2010 .

The first episode of the second season aired following the first season on June 9, 2010, before the series went on summer break. The further broadcast of this season took place from September 15, 2010. The third season was broadcast in Germany from October 26, 2011 to January 25, 2012.


The Swiss free TV broadcaster 3+ showed the first season from March 24th to June 9th, 2010. The station showed the second season from September 15th, 2010.


The Austrian broadcaster ATV broadcast the first season from June 22 to August 10, 2010 and the second from May 31 to August 17, 2011.

DVD release

United States
  • Season 1 was released on August 25, 2009.
  • Season 2 was released on November 9, 2010.
  • Season 3 was released on October 4, 2011.
Great Britain
  • Season 1 was released on September 14, 2009.
  • Season 2 was released on January 3, 2011.
  • Season 3 was released on January 9, 2012.
  • Season 1 was released on September 17, 2010.
  • Season 2 was released on April 15, 2011.
  • Season 3 was released on February 24, 2012.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert Seidman: Fox Cancels 'Breaking In,' 'Human Target,' 'The Chicago Code,' 'Lie To Me' & 'Traffic Light' . May 10, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. a b Lie to Me. In: German synchronous index , accessed on February 24, 2012 .
  3. Bill Gorman: Lone Star Canceled; Season Three Of “Lie To Me” To Premiere Monday, October 4, On Fox . TV By the Numbers. September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  4. ^ Christian Junklewitz: Lie to Me: FOX does not order any further episodes . Serial junkies . December 7, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  5. Manuel Weis: FOX has decided: Numerous series jump over the cliff . Quota meter . May 11, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  6. "Lie to Me" returns from the summer break . August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  7. Mariano Glas: Lie to Me: Season 3 in October on VOX . Serial junkies . September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.