Grazer, Nevins to exec produce Baum drama

Tim Roth is set to make his television series starring debut in “Lie to Me,” a one-hour from Imagine and 20th Century Fox TV that is being eyed for a bow early next year. Fox has picked up the drama to series, with a 13-episode commitment.

Brian Grazer is exec producing with Imagine TV prexy David Nevins and writer-creator Sam Baum.

Roth will play Dr. Cal Lightman, a scientist who pioneered the field of deception detection. The doc is a human lie detector, skilled at reading the human face, body and voice to uncover the truth in criminal and private investigations. The fact that the character can apply the same skills to his personal life complicates his relationships. The science in the show is genuine, based on the work of Dr. Paul Ekman.

Robert Schwentke is directing the pilot, which will shoot in August.

Roth was pursued for three months by Grazer and Baum. The actor agreed over the weekend, after a lunch with Baum.

Gig will rep the first TV regular series role for Roth, and the first TV work he has done since making several appearances in British TV dramas in his early career. Roth just starred in “The Incredible Hulk,” “Funny Games” and “Youth Without Youth.”

In addition to “Lie to Me,” Imagine and Fox are teamed on the returning drama “24.” Grazer’s also in the midst of production on the Ron Howard-directed “Angels & Demons” for Columbia Pictures.

Roth is repped by CAA and attorney Geoff Oblath

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more