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

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. It stars Alexandra Chando, playing as the twin sisters Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker. On July 15, 2013, Chando confirmed the series was canceled by the network after two seasons.[1][2]

Series overview

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.


Main article: List of The Lying Game episodes

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 characters

The main cast of The Lying Game.
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]




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]

Home media and streaming

The series is available to stream on The CW's free digital-only network, CW Seed.[22][23]


Critical response

TV Fanatic writer Leigh Raines rated the pilot episode five out of five stars. She went on to say "If the mark of a good show is when it leaves you wanting more, The Lying Game definitely accomplished that goal."[24] Melody Simpson of Buzz Focus, also reviewed the pilot and stated, "While this is not exactly a series one would watch with the entire family, the older audiences will surely enjoy this series as much as the younger audiences."[25] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's writer Rob Owen compared the show as a "lighter, better executed version of the fall CW pilot Ringer."


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[27] 2011–12 1.38[28]
2 Tuesday
9:00 pm
January 8, 2013
March 12, 2013
1.11[30] 2013 1.27[31]


  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. ^ "CW Seed Bulks Up – More Than 300 Additional Hours of Programming to Be Rolled Out Through the Remainder of The Year". CW Seed. September 1, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020 – via The Futon Critic. To date, CW Seed had added more than 350 hours of content including the complete seasons of the... teen mystery drama THE LYING GAME
  23. ^ "The Lying Game on CW Seed". Retrieved June 9, 2020 – via CW Seed.
  24. ^ The Lying Game Pilot Review: A New Hit? By Leigh Raines, TV Fanatic
  25. ^ ‘The Lying Game’ Series Premiere Review: Pilot By Melody Simpson, Buzz Focus
  26. ^ 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. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  27. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: No Stopping "Pawn Stars" on History". The Futon Critic. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  28. ^ "The Lying Game: Season One Ratings". TV Series Final. September 3, 2012.
  29. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Justified" Tops Viewers, "Liars" Leads Demos". 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  30. ^ "Ratings - Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Tosh.0" Reclaims Demo Crown, "Liars" Tops Viewers". 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  31. ^ "The Lying Game: Season Two Ratings". TV Series Final. March 13, 2013.