Truth Be Told (2019 TV series)
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|Truth Be Told|
|Created by||Nichelle Tramble Spellman|
|Based on||Are You Sleeping|
by Kathleen Barber
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||28|
|Running time||39-50 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||December 6, 2019 –|
March 24, 2023
Truth Be Told is an American legal/crime drama streaming television series on Apple TV+. The series was created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman, based on Kathleen Barber's 2017 debut novel Are You Sleeping. Spellman also acts as executive producer and writes for the show. Unlike the book, Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) plays the main role, as a podcaster who revisits the case that made her famous with the hope of finally getting to the truth.
The series premiered on December 6, 2019. The soundtrack, composed by John Paesano, was released by Lakeshore Records on the same day. New York's Paley Center also aired episodes of the show.
The second season began in August 2021. In December 2021, the series was renewed for a third season, which premiered on January 20, 2023 and concluded on March 24, 2023. In April 2023, the series was canceled after three seasons.
In the first season, Oakland journalist Poppy Parnell restarts the true crime podcast that made her famous and reopens the 1999 murder case of Stanford professor Chuck Buhrman after new evidence suggests Warren Cave, the man she helped put behind bars, was wrongly convicted.
In the second season, Poppy investigates the murder of a photographer/filmmaker at the request of his wife Micah, an equally controversial wellness guru whose friendship with Poppy compromises her judgment.
In the third season, Poppy works with a high school principal to investigate the disappearances of several young black girls in Oakland whose cases lack mainstream media attention. Meanwhile, a mayoral candidate uses a white girl's disappearance for his campaign.
Cast and characters
- Octavia Spencer as Poppy Parnell, an investigative reporter behind a hit true-crime podcast. She uses the last name "Scoville" in Season 3.
- Aaron Paul as Warren Cave (season 1), a convicted murderer and subject of Poppy's podcasts
- Hunter Doohan as young Warren Cave
- Lizzy Caplan as Josie and Lanie Buhrman (season 1), identical twin sisters whose father was allegedly murdered by Warren Cave
- Elizabeth Perkins as Melanie Cave (season 1), Warren's mother who has been afflicted with lung cancer.
- Michael Beach as Ingram Rhoades, Poppy's husband
- Mekhi Phifer as Markus Killebrew, a former detective and long time friend of Poppy
- Merle Dandridge as Zarina Killebrew, Markus' wife
- Tracie Thoms as Desiree Scoville, Poppy's younger sister
- Haneefah Wood as Cydie Scoville, Poppy's youngest sister
- Ron Cephas Jones as Lukather "Shreve" Scoville, Poppy's father
- Kate Hudson as Micah Keith (season 2), Poppy's childhood friend and famous writer
- David Lyons as Inspector Aames (season 2), the inspector assigned to investigate Micah's husband's death
- Katherine LaNasa as Noa Havilland (season 2; recurring season 1), the producer of Poppy's podcast
- Tami Roman as Lillian "Lily" Scoville (season 2; recurring season 1), Poppy's stepmother
- Rico E. Anderson as Herbie, manages the biker bar, 'The Knock'.
- Nic Bishop as Chuck Buhrman (season 1), Josie and Lanie's father
- Annabella Sciorra as Erin Buhrman (season 1), Josie and Lanie's mother
- Molly Hagan as Susan Carver (season 1), Josie and Lanie's aunt
- Billy Miller as Alex Dunn (season 1), Lanie's husband
- Everleigh McDonell as Ella Dunn (season 1), Lanie's daughter
- Brett Cullen as Owen Cave (season 1), Warren's father
- Lyndon Smith as Chandra Willets (season 1)
- Michael Franklin as Young Leander "Shreve" Scoville (season 1)
- Christopher Backus as Holt Redding (season 2), a mysterious man, linked to both Poppy and Micah Keith
- Alona Tal as Ivy Abbott (season 2), Micah Keith's right hand woman
- Mychala Lee as Trini Killebrew (season 2), Markus' daughter
|First released||Last released|
|1||8||December 6, 2019||January 10, 2020|
|2||10||August 20, 2021||October 22, 2021|
|3||10||January 20, 2023||March 24, 2023|
Season 1 (2019–20)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Monster"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Teleplay by : Nichelle Tramble Spellman||December 6, 2019|
|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.|
|2||2||"Black People in the Neighborhood"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Nichelle Tramble Spellman||December 6, 2019|
|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.|
|3||3||"Even Salt Looks like Sugar"||Sarah Pia Anderson||Chitra Elizabeth Sampath||December 6, 2019|
|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.|
|4||4||"No Cross, No Crown"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Davita Scarlett||December 13, 2019|
|Poppy and Markus trace their prime suspect's (Owen's) movements on the night of the murder, revealing a startling gap in events.|
|5||5||"Graveyard Love"||Tucker Gates||Matt Johnson||December 20, 2019|
|Poppy continues building her new case, while Warren faces repercussions for his actions.|
|6||6||"Not Buried, Planted"||Sarah Pia Anderson||Michael Kastelein||December 27, 2019|
|A devastated Poppy tries to walk away from the case, but it won't let her go.|
|7||7||"Live Thru This"||Loni Peristere||Darla Lansu & Alexandra Salerno||January 3, 2020|
|Poppy zeroes in on her new suspect, and Warren makes a fateful decision.|
|8||8||"All That Was Lost"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Leonard Dick||January 10, 2020|
|Poppy enlists an unlikely ally (Josie) in her hunt. Finally, the events of Halloween 1999 are revealed.|
Season 2 (2021)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|9||1||"Other People’s Tears Are Only Water"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Nichelle Tramble Spellman||August 20, 2021|
|Poppy's old friend (Micah) from the streets invites her to a party celebrating her new book Discard. Something seems off about her relationship with her husband and Poppy is the one who later finds him dead in the arms of a younger man. Micah asks Poppy for help and to use her podcast to get to the bottom of the murder.|
|10||2||"Ghosts at the Feast"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Jamie Rosengard||August 27, 2021|
|11||3||"If Wishes Were Horses"||Dawn Wilkinson||Milla Bell-Hart||September 3, 2021|
|12||4||"In Another Life"||Jet Wilkinson||J.L. Tiggett||September 10, 2021|
|13||5||"If I Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry"||Nelson Cragg||Amanda Segel||September 17, 2021|
|14||6||"All These Women"||Ariel Kleiman||Jeanine Daniels||September 24, 2021|
|15||7||"Lanterman-Petris-Short"||Alexis Ostrander & Frederick E.O. Toye||Darla Lansu Campbell||October 1, 2021|
|16||8||"The Untold Story"||Nelson Cragg||Hilly Hicks Jr.||October 8, 2021|
|17||9||"Brick by Brick It Also Falls"||Kat Candler||Michael Kastelein||October 15, 2021|
|18||10||"Last Exit...Oakland"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Michael Kastelein & Matthew Montoya||October 22, 2021|
Season 3 (2023)
|Title||Directed by||Written by ||Original release date |
|19||1||"Unto the Sweet Bird's Throat"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Maisha Closson||January 20, 2023|
|Poppy focuses her next podcast on the neglected issue of missing black girls in Oakland as she tries once again to locate the runaway teen daughter of Markus' old friend. There is a series of black girls missing.|
|20||2||"Her, Armed with Sorrow Sore"||Mikkel Nørgaard||Jamie Rosengard & Henry "Hank" Jones||January 27, 2023|
|Poppy takes the investigation into her own hands and grapples with whether she can trust Eva, a Black female principal of the local high school. The show makes a startling turn when the vice principal, Eva, starts to use the dating app Questeur as "BOTTOM2TOPENERGY" to try to find out what is happening to these black girls. It turns out that Eva was "trafficked" by a Stanford Law student who promised to get her mother a green card.|
|21||3||"Here She Shall See No Enemy"||Bille Woodruff||Rebecca Dameron & Darla Lansu Campbell||February 3, 2023|
|Markus tries getting to the bottom of a shocking discovery. Eva makes a startling confession to Poppy. It is revealed from the raid of a pimp house, that Trini's boyfriend, is videotaping himself and Trini having sex. Trini is wearing a bra with the colors of the Jamaican flag.|
|22||4||"Never Take Your Eyes Off Her"||Bille Woodruff||Michael Kastelein & Lisa Michelle Payton||February 10, 2023|
|Trini ends up at a music recording studio with her boyfriend Aubrey. He threatens her for the first time after Trey attacks him. Trey is shot and killed in a back alley when Poppy shows up with the cops. Aubrey, boyfriend dating Trini, manipulates his girlfriend into wearing a satin lingerie, and having sex and taking drugs with him again.|
|23||5||"Freedom Is Never Given; It Is Won"||Alrick Riley||Henry "Hank" Jones & Darla Lansu Campbell||February 17, 2023|
|24||6||"From My Hand the Poisoned Apple"||Alrick Riley||Lisa Michelle Payton||February 24, 2023|
|25||7||"The Luxury in Self-Reproach"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Jamie Rosengard & Madeleine Pron||March 3, 2023|
|26||8||"Darkness Steals the Glory of Light"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Rebecca Dameron & Janelle Malak||March 10, 2023|
|Poppy finds her relationship with Eva hanging in the balance as Markus and Poppy make a discovery that challenges their theory.|
|27||9||"Only Little Secrets"||Millicent Shelton||Michael Kastelein||March 17, 2023|
|28||10||"A Kiss Not Mine Alone"||Millicent Shelton||Maisha Closson & Matthew Montoya||March 24, 2023|
|Reeling in the aftermath of the attack, Poppy sets her sights on locating a suspect on the run. Meanwhile, Markus seeks help from Shreve.|
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. On June 13, 2018, it was reported that Anna Foerster would direct the series' first episode. A featurette from the series was released on November 26, 2019. On March 5, 2020, Apple renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on August 20, 2021. On December 7, 2021, Apple renewed the series for a third season which premiered on January 20, 2023. On April 24, 2023, Apple canceled the series after three seasons.
Simultaneously with reports of the series' development, it was confirmed that Octavia Spencer has been cast in the series' lead role. 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. 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. 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. 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.
In October 2020, it was announced that Kate Hudson would be starring in the second season of Truth Be Told. The next month, it was reported that Merle Dandridge, Jason O’Mara, Alona Tal, David Lyons, Christopher Backus, Cranston Johnson, Hale Appleman, Anthony Lee Medina and Mychala Lee has been cast for the second season of the series. On March 23, 2022, Gabrielle Union was reportedly cast as a lead role in the third season. On April 5, 2022, it was announced that Ana Ayora had joined the cast in the third season.
Principal photography for the series commenced on June 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Filming reportedly concluded on December 12, 2018. Production for the second season began in Los Angeles on October 26, 2020, after being briefly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Filming moved to the Arts District in Los Angeles for the duration of April 2021 and wrapped by the end of the month. It was announced by Apple that third season has begun filming on April 15, 2022.
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." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Awards and nominations
|2020||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||Octavia Spencer||Nominated|||
|NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series||Nichelle Tramble Spellman||Won|||
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- ^ "Video: "Truth Be Told" - Official Trailer - Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "Truth Be Told (2019)". Writers Guild of America West. Archived from the original on December 16, 2022. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
- ^ "Truth Be Told – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Apple renews NAACP Image Award-winning series "Truth Be Told"". Apple TV+ (Press release). March 5, 2020. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- ^ "Apple TV+ debuts first look at season two of "Truth Be Told"". Apple TV+ (Press release). June 16, 2021. Archived from the original on September 14, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 7, 2021). "'Truth Be Told' Renewed For Season 3 By Apple TV+; Maisha Closson Joins As Showrunner". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 8, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
- ^ Otterson, Joe (April 24, 2023). "'Truth Be Told' Will Not Return for Season 4 at Apple". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Otterson, Joe (October 16, 2020). "Kate Hudson Joins 'Truth Be Told' Season 2 at Apple". Variety. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
- ^ Petski, Denise (November 17, 2020). "'Truth Be Told': Merle Dandridge, Jason O'Mara, Alona Tal, David Lyons, Among 9 Cast For Season 2 Of Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 28, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
- ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2022). "Gabrielle Union To Star In Season 3 Of Apple TV+'s Anthology Series 'Truth Be Told'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
- ^ Cordero, Rosy (April 5, 2022). "'Truth Be Told': Ana Ayora Joins Season 3 Of Apple TV+ Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 6, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
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- ^ 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.
- ^ "Truth Be Told". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on April 30, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
- ^ Patten, Dominic (2021-02-26). "'Truth Be Told' Filming In LA's Leimert Plaza Park Shut Down By Protestors". Deadline. Archived from the original on 2021-05-12. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
- ^ Steves, Ashley. "Season 2 of Truth Be Told in L.A." Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
- ^ "Truth Be Told: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
- ^ "Truth Be Told (2019): Season 1". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
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- ^ "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. Archived from the original on 2020-02-24. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
- Truth Be Told – official site
- Truth Be Told at IMDb