Fall TV Preview

Lie To Me On the Bubble: Keep Or Cut?

Come mid-May (if not at times sooner), the networks will be making some tough calls as to which shows will return for the 2011-12 TV season, and which will say sayonara. In addition to our ongoing “Renew Our Show!” Bracket Tournament, TVLine is singling out select “bubble” shows to survey their prospects. The latest one to face some hard truths: Fox’s Lie To Me.

THE SHOW: Lie To Me (Fox)

THE TIME SLOT: Most recently, Mondays at 9/8c.

‘Renew Our Show!’ Sweet 16 Bracket Tournament: Harry’s Law vs. Brothers & Sisters

THE CASE FOR KEEPING: Personally, I like television that I can “learn” from, and call me crazy but I like to think that Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth with accent) teaches me something now and again about “microexpressions” and how to be a “human lie detector.” Also, in a world of procedurals rampant with icky-gooey evidence and shock-value corpses, it’s a relief to see a crime cracked by exposing lies and the lying liars who tell them. And while just the other day I dissed Human Target‘s misguided endeavor to drum up UST (unresolved sexual tension) ‘tween its male/female leads, here, in carefully measured does, it works. (I mean, who wouldn’t want to woo Kelli Williams?) As icing on the cake — and with props to young Hayley McFarlandLie To Me sprinkles in a father-daughter dynamic that smooths the rougher edges of Roth’s character juuuust enough.

‘Renew Our Show!’ Sweet 16 Bracket Tournament: Parenthood vs. The Defenders

THE CASE FOR CUTTING: The lack of gun play and foot chases typical of procedurals makes Lie To Me an odd bird indeed. With the FBI element excised for Season 3, it can at times feel like a reach for Cal’s team to get pulled into “solving” a crime off the books. And while Roth and Williams are of course excellent, too little time is spent developing secondary team members Loker and Torres (played by Brendan Hines and Monica Raymund). Lastly, should there be a Season 4, I want to meet a recurring adversary. Since every week can’t deliver a top-notch, cocksure foil à la guest stars Jason Dohring or Ashton Holmes, give Cal a thorn-in-the-side in the form of some high-ranking, Wrong Every Step Of The Way lawman.

Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Axed? What’s on the Bubble?

Hit the comments section to make your own case for keeping or cutting Lie To Me.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. lamoush says:

    ohhh come on keep it .. it is one of the best criminology/scientifique show… keeeeppp itt….

    • sim0n says:

      they’re both brilliant. keep them both! at least move lie to me to a network that will actually appreciate and promote it!

      • Chris says:

        WE all love Lie to Me one of the best TV shows for a long time…
        WE are very upset with FOX this is crazy…WE WANT THIS SHOW!!!!!

        • linda white says:

          Im sick that lie to me is not on the air.So i watch house and frange I,ll have to go out and buy the dvd of lie to me. Im going back to channel ten,and tmc,tbn that i love to watch, and leave fox on my off botton. good bye. linda

        • Joker93 says:

          I agree with him

          • they suck fer takin it off the air was dssapointed w the last epsode my boyfriend had me hooked i watched episode after episode just recently fnished i lk it better that csi

    • chris says:

      This is the only show i watch besides leverage and weeds…and they both aire their final episodes as well, although i think weeds is coming bacc this year. Lie to me and Tim Roth are the best thing since the creation of life.

    • AD says:

      Please, please, please keep it on! And bring back Jason Dohring – he gets off on a technicality or something and is released back into the wild to resume hunting. All the shows I love get cancelled and I really like this show! (Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars 1/2, tons more, but those are all I cam remember right now.)

    • ellie says:

      It’s another year of all the stupid shows…singing, dancing…who is sleeping with whom…I am bored to death with TV. Lie to me…I was sooooo excited for something new and fun. After all we live in a lying world why not a few pointers. Next it will be Harry’s law on the block. Real TV is gone by the wayside. Thank goodness for DVD’s.

  2. Coachingguy says:

    How is Lie To Me on the bubble and The Mentalist is a sure thing? Something is terribly wrong. Keep Lie To Me, drop The Mentalist.

    • Chrissy says:

      They’re on 2 different channels so that makes no sense BUT I agree with you:)

    • xav says:

      The Mentalist has secondary characters that get lines and storylines.

    • Richard says:

      I think The Mentalist is more like Castle, than Lie to Me. I watch The Mentalist and Castle, but not Lie to Me. He just seems like a total A-Hole. He acts like he’s better than everyone else. Too cocky.

      • DL says:

        I agree that he acts like he’s better than everyone else to a certain extent, but for me, his attitude and unique skills make him one of the most interesting and exciting protagonists to watch on TV today.

  3. revkce says:

    I have to say on eof the reasons I like Lie To Me is because it isn’t gory or creepy. I like the procedural and the exposing of the lies being told with out all the gore of some of the others on TV. Not to mention that Cal Lightman is something of a Gregory House, always about the mystery, but with a more human side – great interplay with Emily. And what’s not to love about Kelli Williams and the supporting cast, I think there were some good steps made ther this season and would love to see where it goes.

    • Bethany says:

      Agreed. They could really use season 4 to stretch and explore their secondary characters, as well as unique plots and yes, a season long adversary! Give Lie to Me at least 1 more season.

  4. Polly says:

    the reason to keep this show, 2 words: TIM ROTH

    • Vader says:

      I would say the two words would be KELLI WILLIAMS but I agree, it should come back.

    • Hayley McFarland is woefully underrated, I say.

      • Starmama says:

        you must be her acting coach, I can never understand her she sounds like she has mush in her mouth. The dynamic would have been better if the daughter had been beautiful and she was the only person who could successfully lie to her father!

        • Ciel says:

          Don’t have a problem with her annunciation, myself. I have to say she is one of my favorite characters, alongside Loker, and I love the interplay between her and Roth’s character.

          I don’t know that anyone would say she’s not beautiful (and I have to admit, to suggest that she needs to be more beautiful in order to increase the father-daughter dynamic is kind of disturbing to me). Also, she is one of the only people able to successfully lie to her father–so I really don’t know where you were going with that… But hey, to each his/her own.

    • debra trojan says:

      Ditto on Tim Roth; he’s exquisite to watch . . . he (and the show)is so much more intelligent and thoughtful than the regular fare that TV has to offer these days.

      • Angelina says:

        Absolutely agree. It’s the only program I can watch reruns of in my 35 years of TV watching. I appreciatethat this is not a cowboys and indians or cops and robbers chase type show. I enjoy discovering the nuances in Mr. Roth’s performances. Each time I see him I see his total concentration to the character and discover things in his performance I missed before. A true artist of which, unfortunately there are few of in cinema today. Thank you for giving us Lie to Me on a weekly basis and I hope to see more of it in the future.

  5. melissa M says:

    i love lie to me and the mentalist, both are similar but also very different
    tim however is simply awesome in his role. this show is very creative and i love the writing and acting, it has a awesomely dedicated fan base and needs another shot, maybe a new time slot will change things?

  6. William Howell says:

    KEEP LIE TO ME!!!!!!

  7. Alice says:

    “Who WOULDN’T want to woo Kelli Williams?”

    LOL. THIS.

    Seriously, though… Lie to Me is SO, so good, and it’s only gotten better. It needs a fourth season!

  8. LTMFan says:

    KEEP IT.

  9. Karen says:

    I enjoy watching Lie to Me. Sometimes not having the chase and shooting scenes is a good thing. The last episode they showed I feel was their best and proved they should stay.

  10. Carrie #2 says:

    I have watched this show from the beginning and I like it. Like Matt said, I feel like I learn from it occasionally, and I just generally like the characters. That said, while I feel it does deserve another season, I wouldn’t be devastated if it got cut. I want to keep it around, but I don’t have my hopes up.

  11. Eve says:

    Definitely keep!
    I can admit that it hasn’t been a very consistent show.
    But when an episode was good, it was REAL good.
    There’s still so much to explore, especially since Cal’s confession in the season 3 finale episode.

    Keep it Fox and give it some decent airslot and publicity !!

  12. SissiCuddles says:

    1st… everyone will miss the awesomeness of Kelli Williams, who is a great actress and a terribly hot woman. 2nd… now that Huddy is “over” I need Lie To Me to be back cuz I really really NEED IT!

  13. natalia says:

    I agree with your points. I love this show (probably my favorite drama right now, tied with The Good Wife), love Roth, love Williams, love McFarland, but it needs more Brendan Hines and an antagonist. I’m sure that if they expand Locker’s character and bring in a baddie, it’ll pick up.

    I’d still watch it, I do think you learn with it and I love that. So Keep it. Please.

  14. luke says:

    cut this and produce twice as many Fringe episodes, have Fringe on twice a week

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Keep it! It’s amazing. And a world without Kelli Williams on my TV is a sad sad world.

  16. Tammy says:

    Keep Lie To Me! It is one of the best shows on TV. It has great writing, directing and acting. Plus the chemistry between all the characters is off the charts. For once can a network please keep a show that is actually good even if the ratings aren’t what they want? Lie to Me deserves the chance to keep going!!!

  17. Ashley says:

    Keep it please!! One of my favorite TV shows at the moment. All 3 season have been fantastic!

  18. xav says:

    I’d say keep it only if they go back to the way the show used to be. Season 3 was all about Cal being an ass with cameos from the other cast. I liked it when they got storylines.

  19. Pat says:

    KEEP LIE TO ME! Not everybody is a fan of these so called “reality” shows, I would rather watch a good hour long drama then watch a crappy “reality” show and Lie To Me is that drama.

    • Amy says:

      Keep Lie to Me! I like a smart show.
      My interest in Fringe waxes and wanes. I’ve never really been able to connect with the characters.
      I think House is done.

  20. Ida says:

    Keep it of course!!! Tim Roth and Kelli Williams, that’s awesome!

  21. larrouxgirl says:

    Let’s keep one smart show that doesn’t rely exclusively on mayhem and sassy comments (OK, Cal is the master of sass, but I digress). Frankly I think it unnerves some people that their “tells” actually can give them away, but it is fiction after all, and good fiction at that. KEEP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Melinda says:

    I had a feeling this would happen. They always ax the good shows and keep the ones that tend to have comercials air that are more entertaining. This show is completely different fromthe normal 50,000,000 cop shows that are on everynight. Its funny, exciting, and entertaining, things that pretty much most shows today, lack!

  23. Caroline says:

    I love Lie To Me…I need another season.
    Please, keep it! Love the father-daughter dynamic, Lightman’s way of life, EVERYTHING!
    ANNNNNNND i need to know how it will be after the last episode – Lightman and Foster!!!

  24. kris says:

    My husband and I have been avid fans since the pilot. The show isn’t just about the blood and guts. It’s about the characters and their chemistry is amazing, unique and entertaining. There is so much left to explore. PLEASE RENEW IT, FOX!!!

  25. CK says:

    I’m a total Mentalist fan and never wanted to watch Lie To Me (would take to long to explain this now). Just recently I more or less stumbled over it and decided that I liked it. And I mean, really liked it. I totally agree with the article – you can learn something from that show, and I totally love that. Tim Roth is awesome, as is Kelli Williams. Besides, what’s not to love about a show that serves a shipper couple on the silver plate? *grins* In short: KEEP THAT SHOW!!!

  26. Sian says:

    Keep Lie To Me …. It’s one of the best programs on keeep it!!!!!

  27. Janah says:

    I love Lie to me! Its a very special and fantastic show and I would be very sad if it doesnt come back for another season! I think Tim Roth and Kelli Williams and the rest of the cast do an awesome job. The cases are great and the characters are very well written.
    The only problem the show has is that Fox keeps messing with the intended order of the episodes and with that makes storylines over several epis difficult to develop. So I really hope they come back and get the chance to show their awesomeness in another season!

  28. Maricela says:

    I love this show! The cast is great, and it shows some really sweet but genuine father-daughter time, something woefully lacking on TV right now.

    Keep it!

  29. Elena says:

    Keep Lie To Me!! I for one LIKE that they aren’t running around out there waving guns around; these guys help solve crimes with their minds. Something that is sorely lacking in most procedurals these days.
    If nothing else, it’s an original concept, unlike, say, The Mentalist, which is a blatant rip of USA’s Psych.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I’m not arguing FOR gun play, I’m just saying that not leaning on that crutch gives LIE TO ME a tough row to hoe on a weekly basis.

      • Lex says:

        Agreed. I think they should have some action around the frequency of every other episode but I do like the format as it is.

  30. KIM says:

    I think It’s a great show ! Keep it!

  31. radhika says:

    hmm, not enough gun play ? Seriously, the trend in mystery books right now is crimes solved by knitters, crocheters, book store owners, herb growers. Not alot of guns in those either, but they have a Strong fan base (Berkley Crime Series) and Sell Really Well.

    Lie To Me is smart,sassy, educational and brings a gritty British vibe to a lackluster TV season.

    Just sayin. KEEP !

  32. Pamela says:

    Keep it!

  33. Sonja says:

    It’s worth it!
    I love it! And it’s not just me …

    Among other things I want to see more of Loker and Ria in season 4, and that’s a case for keeping!

  34. Carol says:

    Just keep it.P l e a s e.

    Love Kelli Williams and Tim Roth

  35. RP says:

    Keep it! It’s different and well done. The guy assistant is kind’ve meh but I do like the new gang character they started to add last season. Tim Roth is fantastic though, and Kelli Williams keeps up with him well. I actually buy her as a psychologist, she’s smart and empathetic.

  36. Deb says:

    Keep it!!! This is one of the few shows that elicits “belly laughs” from me at least once an episode. There is SUCH a cast of characters – lovin’ or hatin’ or tryin’ to best Cal, it is fun just watching all of them interact.

  37. W0NK042 says:

    KEEP!! Love this show. The dynamics between the cast/characters are superb, Would be a huge loss if this got cut.

  38. Shirley says:

    KEEP LIE TO ME – it’s the best show on tv! It’s a thinking persons show!!

  39. Jason says:


  40. CR says:

    Don’t kill LIE TO ME its a good show we can actually learn something with the Entertainment.

  41. Sally says:

    Keep it! It’s one of the few truly original shows left!

  42. alexdavina says:

    Keep LIE TO ME!

  43. Anna says:

    Keep Lie To Me, cancel Fringe.
    Keep Human Target, cancel Fringe.
    Keep Chicago Code, cancel Fringe.

    BTW cancel Fringe.

  44. robinepowell says:

    I actually like both shows and maybe if either of them had a longer season, it might have helped them out more. ;)

    Don’t ask me to decide because I’d pick both. Never mind Fox finding new shows for the fall, stick with Human Target and Lie to Me. They already have a fan following and they don’t bomb out ratings wise, espcially since they’ve had more then one season.

  45. Avertet says:

    I like bones the mentalist and castle which are similar. But Lietome is completely different and I LOVE it. Science, cast and crew awesone, stories very interesting and Greats actors with Tim ROTH & Kelli WILLIAMS. A SEASON 4 FOX please

  46. Barbara says:

    Keep!!!! One of the best shows on TV.

  47. Mikaylah says:

    I say keep it. I love this show. You are so right about the father/daughter dynamic smoothing Cal’s edges just enough. And also when you see him trying to keep the people he cares about safe. Yes, he is a very flawed man, but he is also a good one, and I enjoy watching these characters explore that as much as the “case”. I agree though that I would like to see more development with Torres and Loker.

  48. Kimi2321 says:

    I hope they keep it. I really like the show. And I too, think that I learn something from it.

  49. darcy says:

    keep this show it’s so amazing! fox needs to better promote it, the show is quirky and fun and i miss it when it’s not on…please keep it

  50. Blondie72697 says:

    I love this show, they need to KEEP IT! Its just plain good, and yes you can learn a lot from it if you pay attention. Heck I find myself using Lightmen’s method’s on other tv characters to see that they are lying!! It’s fun too. KEEP IT Please FOX! It really is a good show!!!