Lie to Me
Fox's upcoming "Lie to Me," the luckiest TV drama on broadcast TV, is about the world's leading deception expert, who can see if you are lying or telling the truth just by looking at your facial ticks, your voice, your speech pattern, your body language, the direction of your gaze and your posture.
It's based on the real work of a Dr. Paul Ekman, who attended Tuesday's portion of I Think I'll Just Take Some of These Dinner Rolls to Feed My Hungry Children Winter TV Press Tour 2009 along with the series creators and cast, including star Tim Roth, who says he gets "really freaked out" sometimes when he's around Ekman.
"It's like traveling with a critic from the New York Times," Roth complains. "Wherever you go, there's the guy, going, 'No, I don't believe you. The performance was terrible.' I said, 'I only said I'm going to the toilet, you know. 'Well, I don't believe you. You betrayed the fact that you are completely [urine]-free at the moment.' It's an extraordinary feeling of nakedness."
"Lie to Me" is lucky because, only after the enormous ratings success this season of CBS's similar-ish "The Mentalist," Fox decided to give "Lie" a coveted post-"American Idol" time slot and big promotional push. That did not stop the "Lie"-ers from nicking the other series, in which Simon Baker plays a former faux-psychic who now uses his keen powers of observation, and his considerable charm, to help cops solve tough murder cases.
"Go at it, boys!" Roth snarked to his show colleagues when one TV critic asked the panel of actors and producers about the similarities.
"The difference between the two shows is that our show is based on actual science, whereas 'The Mentalist' I think is more of a scam," sniffed co-star Brendan Hines.
"And it's based on the most cutting-edge research," bragged show creator Sam Baum.
One TV critic wondered why, with so many British actors working in the United States being compelled to perfect American accents, Roth gets to be British.
"Tim said, 'I want to be British,' and we said, 'Okay'," explained producer Steven Maeda.
"Audiences are more comfortable with the British accent than we give them credit for -- Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay speak with British accents," noted exec producer David Nevins. "And Americans think that a British accent makes you smart, and he's a scientist."
Lisa de Moraes
January 14, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: Winter TV Press Tour 2009
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