Apple continues to roll out new original series now that its premium streaming service, Apple TV+, is live, and coming up next is the legal drama “Truth Be Told,” starring Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul and Lizzy Caplan. IndieWire has the first look at the behind-the-scenes featurette of the limited series, which premieres December 6 and is based on the 2017 novel “Are You Sleeping” by Kathleen Barber.
Spencer plays Poppy Parnell, a true-crime podcaster who is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation and comes face to face with Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars for allegedly murdering the father of identical twins Josie and Lanie Burhman (both played by Lizzy Caplan). Publicly relitigating the murder case via her podcast, Parnell is aided by Markus Knox (Mekhi Phifer), a former detective, as she contends with nearly 20 years of family secrets, deceit, and the Bay Area’s powerful in order to get to the truth.
The series explores urgent concerns about privacy, media and race, and is created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife”), It also stars Elizabeth Perkins, Michael Beach, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood, and Ron Cephas Jones.
For star and executive producer Spencer, an avid reader of mystery novels and a real-life true crime podcast fanatic, playing the host of a true crime podcast was a no-brainer. “My first love would have been to have been a profiler for the FBI, but then I thought, I can be an attorney, and then I thought, I could play an attorney, and so here we are,” she said. “Mysteries to me are all about deductive reasoning which keeps me engaged with the narrative, so of course that leaks into my real life as I try to solve real unsolved cases. So it was a natural progression for me.”
Bay area native Tramble Spellman’s attraction to the project started with the novel, which she loved, and also the opportunity to explore where she was born and raised. “I’m such a Bay Area girl and I just really want it to show the diversity that I remembered,” she said. “Much of what we were fond of has kind of disappeared, or been altered after all the money that came in from Silicon Valley spread through San Francisco and then into the East Bay. So the series is a little bit of a love letter to how things used to be.”
“Truth Be Told” joins other high-profile series that have been available on the Apple TV+ platform since it launched on November 1. These include “The Morning Show,” “See,” “For All Mankind,” and “Oprah’s Book Club Book,” along with the feature documentary “The Elephant Queen.”
Ahead of the limited series’ December 6 debut, watch the exclusive extended featurette that provides an overview of what viewers can expect, with commentary from cast members including Spencer, Paul and Caplan, as well as showrunner/executive producer Tramble Spellman.
Additional executive producers of the series include Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine and Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for Chernin Entertainment, with executive producers Kristen Campo, Leonard Dick, Ben Watkins, Victor Hsu and Mikkel Norgaard.