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ABC Sets Post-Oscar Start Dates for ‘American Crime,’ ‘Secrets and Lies’

ABC has set premiere dates for John Ridley’s “American Crime” and Ryan Phillippe starrer “Secrets and Lies” —  a pair of limited-run, crime-themed dramas that will receive strong drama lead-ins and be a big part of the net’s post-Oscars push.

The 10-episode “Secrets and Lies” will take over the current “Resurrection” timeslot of Sunday at 9 p.m. starting March 1, the week after the Academy Awards air on the network. It will benefit from a potent “Once Upon a Time” lead-in, as the fairytale drama returns from its winter hiatus on that night with a string of original episodes.

“Secrets,” in which a man goes from Good Samaritan to murder suspect when he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son, will bow with a two-hour installment, and future episodes will air from 9 to 10 p.m., leading into “Revenge.”

American Crime” will bow Thursday, March 5 in the timeslot currently occupied by rookie hit “How to Get Away With Murder,” which has its two-hour season finale one week earlier (Feb. 26). The Alphabet will be giving the drama its best possible drama lead-in, “Scandal.”

In the 11-episode “American Crime,” a young couple in Modesto, California were brutally attacked in their home leaving Matt Skokie, a war vet, murdered, and his wife, Gwen, unconscious, barely hanging on. The crime sends shock waves throughout the community stirring up tensions across socioeconomic and racial lines in this gritty new drama – from the points of view of all those involved.

“American Crime” stars Felicity Huffman as Barb Hanlon, Timothy Hutton as Russ Skokie, W. Earl Brown as Tom Carlin, Richard Cabral as Hector Tontz, Caitlin Gerard as Aubry Taylor, Benito Martinez as Alonzo Gutiérrez, Penelope Ann Miller as Eve Carlin, Elvis Nolasco as Carter Nix and Johnny Ortiz as Tony Gutiérrez.

It was written, directed and produced by Oscar winning screenwriter John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”). Executive producers are John Ridley and Michael J. McDonald. “American Crime” is produced by ABC Studios.

“Secrets and Lies” stars Ryan Phillippe (“Damages,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Flags of Our Fathers”) as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis (“August Osage County”) as Detective Cornell, KaDee Strickland (“Private Practice”) as Christy Crawford, Natalie Martinez (“Under the Dome,” “CSI: NY”) as Jess Murphy, Dan Fogler (“The Goldberg’s,” “Hannibal”) as Dave Lindsey, Indiana Evans (“Blue Lagoon: The Awakening”) as Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford.

Barbie Kligman (“Private Practice”) developed the mystery thriller, which is based on the original Australian series “Secrets & Lies,” created by Stephen Irwin. The teleplay for “Secrets and Lies’” series pilot, entitled “The Trail” is by Kligman, who also executive produced along with Aaron Kaplan (“Chasing Life,” “The Neighbors,” “Mysteries of Laura”), Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Charles McDougall (“Resurrection”), who also directed the pilot.  Executive producers of “Secrets and Lies” include Kligman for Avenue K Productions, Kaplan for Kapital Entertainment, Robertson and Mayfield for Hoodlum Entertainment and Timothy Busfield. “Secrets and Lies” is a production of ABC Studios.

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