Truth Be Told
Truth Be Told poster.jpg
GenreLegal drama
Crime drama
Created byNichelle Tramble Spellman
Based onAre You Sleeping
by Kathleen Barber
Starring
ComposerJohn Paesano
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Production companies
DistributorApple Inc.
Release
Original networkApple TV+
Original releaseDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06) –
present

Truth Be Told is an American drama streaming television series based on the novel Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber and produced for Apple TV+. The series was created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman, who is also set to executive produce and write for the show. The series premiered on December 6, 2019.[1]

In December 2021, the series was renewed for a third season.

The soundtrack, composed by John Paesano, was released by Lakeshore Records on the same day.[2] New York's Paley Center also aired episodes of the show.[3]

Premise

True crime podcaster Poppy Parnell is called to investigate the case of convicted killer Warren Cave, a man she painted as the murderer of the father of identical twin daughters Josie and Lanie. Soon, Parnell must decide where the lines between guilt and innocence lie when Cave claims that he was framed for the crime.

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18December 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)January 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)
210[4]August 20, 2021 (2021-08-20)October 22, 2021 (2021-10-22)[4][5]

Season 1 (2019–20)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Monster"Mikkel NørgaardTeleplay by : Nichelle Tramble SpellmanDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
Two decades after sixteen-year-old Warren Cave is incarcerated for the murder of Chuck Burnham, a retrial for Cave brings about new evidence involving the inconsistent testimony of Chuck's daughter Lanie. Poppy Parnell, a podcaster who rose to fame for her coverage on the trial, is a witness and the judge files against the appeal because of Lanie's fragile state following her father's murder. This however brings about a sense of worry and guilt for Poppy and prompts her to retell the events through her podcasts. Poppy soon decides on visiting Warren through his cancer-ridden mother and Lanie who refuses to participate. However, Warren's mother Melanie agrees on letting Poppy visit her son, but the meeting ends with Poppy leaving after Warren reveals numerous Nazi tattoos. Later, Poppy revisits Warren and believes he was changed by the system before revealing about his mother's cancer diagnosis and Cave reveals he used to infiltrate the Burnham's household for pills. A flashback shows Warren sneaking in for pills but after hearing a noise, left the house which could be what Lanie saw that night.
22"Black People in the Neighborhood"Rosemary RodriguezNichelle Tramble SpellmanDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
Warren calls Melanie and berates her for not telling him about her diagnosis before beating up a inmate who insults his mother. Poppy is confronted by Owen Cave, the chief of police and Warren's father who says his son deserves prison. She calls her ex, Markus to seek out Josie, the identical twin sister of Lanie who never appeared at the trials or testified. Markus soon follows Lanie and her aunt Susan, in the car, Lanie tries asking Susan where Josie is and when the phone rings revealing Josie as the caller, Susan tries to stop her niece, causing the car to crash and Susan to die of her injuries. Poppy hears of the accident and Susan's death from Markus who gives her Susan's phone he found. Josie Burnham is revealed to have adopted a new persona and engaged but listens to Poppy's voicemail through Susan's phone about her help in the case while Lanie searches through her aunt's belongings for clues on her twin sister's whereabouts. Owen meets with Warren and tells him to stop seeing Poppy. In New York, Poppy successfully finds Josie and talks with her about Warren's innocence and asks for her help. Markus discovers Melanie Cave had an affair with Chuck Burnham, thus opening a motive for Owen. Josie calls Lanie who asks for her sister to come home but she refuses while a fight in prison turns out to be a diversion and Warren is stabbed.
33"Even Salt Looks like Sugar"Sarah Pia AndersonChitra Elizabeth SampathDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
Poppy hears of Warren's stabbing and is denied any access to see Warren anymore while Warren requests to be put back into the general population when he is released. Poppy asks her old biker friend, Jerbic, to send a message to Warren in prison. However, Wever receives a call from Warren who reveals that he knew about his mother's affair with Chuck and even told Owen months before the murder.
44"No Cross, No Crown"Mikkel NørgaardDavita ScarlettDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)
Poppy and Markus trace their prime suspect's movements on the night of the murder.
55"Graveyard Love"Tucker GatesMatt JohnsonDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
Poppy continues building her new case, while Warren faces repercussions for his actions.
66"Not Buried, Planted"Sarah Pia AndersonMichael KasteleinDecember 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)
A devastated Poppy tries to walk away from the case, but it won't let her go.
77"Live Thru This"Loni PeristereDarla Lansu & Alexandra SalernoJanuary 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)
Poppy zeroes in on her new suspect, and Warren makes a fateful decision.
88"All That Was Lost"Mikkel NørgaardLeonard DickJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)
Poppy enlists an unlikely ally in her hunt. The events of Halloween 1999 are revealed.

Season 2 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [4]
91"Other People’s Tears Are Only Water"Mikkel NørgaardNichelle Tramble SpellmanAugust 20, 2021 (2021-08-20)
102"Ghosts at the Feast"Rosemary RodriguezJamie RosengardAugust 27, 2021 (2021-08-27)
113"If Wishes Were Horses"Dawn WilkinsonMilla Bell-HartSeptember 3, 2021 (2021-09-03)
124"In Another Life"Jet WilkinsonJ.L. TiggettSeptember 10, 2021 (2021-09-10)
135"If I Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry"Nelson CraggAmanda SegelSeptember 17, 2021 (2021-09-17)
146"All These Women"Ariel KleimanJeanine DanielsSeptember 24, 2021 (2021-09-24)
157"Lanterman-Petris-Short"Alexis Ostrander & Frederick E.O. ToyeDarla Lansu CampbellOctober 1, 2021 (2021-10-01)
168"The Untold Story"Nelson CraggHilly Hicks Jr.October 8, 2021 (2021-10-08)
179"Brick by Brick It Also Falls"Kat CandlerMichael KasteleinOctober 15, 2021 (2021-10-15)
1810"Last Exit...Oakland"Mikkel NørgaardMichael Kastelein & Matthew MontoyaOctober 22, 2021 (2021-10-22)

Production

Development

On January 3, 2018, Apple announced that it was developing a television series based on the novel Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. The show was created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman who also wrote and executive produced the series as well. Other executive producers include Octavia Spencer via her Orit Entertainment, Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for their company Hello Sunshine, and Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Kristen Campo for Chernin Entertainment. On May 2, 2018, Apple announced that they had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes.[6] On June 13, 2018, it was reported that Anna Foerster would direct the series' first episode.[7] A featurette from the series was released on November 26, 2019.[8] On March 5, 2020, Apple renewed the series for a second season,[9] which premiered on August 20, 2021.[10] On December 7, 2021, Apple renewed the series for a third season.[11]

Casting

Simultaneously with reports of the series' development, it was confirmed that Octavia Spencer has been cast in the series' lead role.[12][13] In June 2018, it was announced that Lizzy Caplan, Aaron Paul, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood, and Ron Cephas Jones had joined the main cast. Caplan, Paul, and Perkins all reportedly signed one-year deals for the series.[7][14][15] In July 2018, it was reported that Tami Roman and Moon Bloodgood had joined the main cast and that Nic Bishop, Annabella Sciorra, Molly Hagan, Billy Miller, Brett Cullen, and Hunter Doohan would appear in recurring roles.[16][17] In August 2018, it was announced that Lyndon Smith had joined the cast in a recurring capacity. Additionally, it was reported that Bloodgood had dropped out of the role of Cath Min after filming of the first four episodes had been completed. The role was expected to be recast and her already-filmed scenes to be reshot.[18][19] On October 8, 2018, it was announced that Katherine LaNasa had been cast to replace Bloodgood, and her character Cath Min, in the newly devised recurring role of Noa Havilland.[20] On March 23, 2022, it was reported that Gabrielle Union has been cast as a lead role in the third season.[21] On April 5, 2022, it was announced that Ana Ayora had joined the cast in the third season.[22]

Filming

Principal photography for the series commenced on June 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.[23] Filming reportedly concluded on December 12, 2018.[24] Production for the second season began in Los Angeles on October 26, 2020, after being briefly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[25] In February 2021, Leimert Park was planned to be a filming location for the second season but was delayed due to protesting against the filming.[26] Filming moved to the Arts District in Los Angeles for the duration of April 2021 and wrapped by the end of the month.[27] It was announced by Apple that third season has begun filming on April 15, 2022.

Reception

Critical response

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2020)

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a score of 31%, based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 5.72/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A twisty thriller that never quite comes together, Truth Be Told's commitment to the true crime at its center is less interesting or engaging than the family drama orbiting in the periphery."[28] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2020 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Octavia Spencer Nominated [30]
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Nichelle Tramble Spellman Won [31][32]

References

  1. ^ "Video: "Truth Be Told" - Official Trailer - Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. October 10, 2019. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Leak, Brian (November 27, 2019). "Premiere: Hear 'Hunting At Buhrman's' from Apple's 'Truth Be Told' Series Score". Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "Apple's TRUTH BE TOLD Truth Be Told Heads to the Paley Center". Broadway World. November 26, 2019. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Truth Be Told – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  5. ^ "Listings – October 22, 2021". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 3, 2021. truth be told: tba (#210) [2nd season finale]
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 2, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping' Drama Starring Octavia Spencer Gets Apple Series Order; Reese Witherspoon & Peter Chernin Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 13, 2018). "Ron Cephas Jones Cast In Apple Series 'Are You Sleeping', Will Continue To Recur On 'This Is Us'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Moon, Mariella (November 26, 2019). "Apple offers a deeper look at Octavia Spencer true crime series 'Truth Be Told'". Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Apple renews NAACP Image Award-winning series "Truth Be Told"". Apple TV+ (Press release). March 5, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  10. ^ "Apple TV+ debuts first look at season two of "Truth Be Told"". Apple TV+ (Press release). June 16, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 7, 2021). "'Truth Be Told' Renewed For Season 3 By Apple TV+; Maisha Closson Joins As Showrunner". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Long, Stephanie (January 3, 2018). "Apple nabs 'Serial'-inspired true-crime drama 'Are You Sleeping'". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  13. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle (January 3, 2018). "Reese Witherspoon Keeps Turning Her Book Club Selections Into Pulpy TV". W Magazine. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 7, 2018). "Lizzy Caplan To Star In Apple Drama Series 'Are You Sleeping'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 13, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping': Aaron Paul, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer & More Join Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 13, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping': Nic Bishop, Annabella Sciorra, Tami Roman & Molly Hagan Join Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 19, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping': Moon Bloodgood To Co-Star, Trio To Recur On Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (August 21, 2018). "'Bosch' Casts Chris Ashworth; Lyndon Smith Joins 'Are You Sleeping'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2018. Are You Sleeping, created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman based on the true-crime novel by Kathleen Barber, provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 23, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping': Moon Bloodgood Exits Apple Series, Role Is Being Recast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 8, 2018). "'Are You Sleeping': Katherine LaNasa Joins Apple Series In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 26, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2022). "Gabrielle Union To Star In Season 3 Of Apple TV+'s Anthology Series 'Truth Be Told'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  22. ^ Cordero, Rosy (April 5, 2022). "'Truth Be Told': Ana Ayora Joins Season 3 Of Apple TV+ Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  23. ^ "Monday, June 25 Filming Locations for Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, It's Always Sunny, South Side, & more! - On Location Vacations". On Location Vacations. June 25, 2018. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  24. ^ Spencer, Octavia (December 12, 2018). "Octavia Spencer on Instagram: "That's a wrap! #AYS"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 13, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "Truth Be Told". Variety Insight. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  26. ^ Patten, Dominic (2021-02-26). "'Truth Be Told' Filming In LA's Leimert Plaza Park Shut Down By Protestors". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  27. ^ Steves, Ashley. "Season 2 of Truth Be Told in L.A."((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "Truth Be Told: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  29. ^ "Truth Be Told (2019): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 2, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ "NAACP Image Awards®️ on Instagram: "The Nominees for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special are #AunjanueEllis, @gabunion,…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  31. ^ "NAACP Image Awards®️ on Instagram: "The Nominees for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series are @ava, @michaelstarrbury, @damonlindelof, @cordjefferson,…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  32. ^ "Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series - NAACP Image Awards: Lizzo Named Entertainer of the Year; 'Just Mercy,' 'Black-ish' Among Top Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-03-05.