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Apple continues to hand out second-season pickups to its crop of original scripted series. The latest to get a Season 2 renewal is drama Truth Be Told, starring an executive produced by Octavia Spencer. The series is created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and is produced by Hello Sunshine, Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content.
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Truth Be Told was billed as a limited series but had been designed for a multi-season run. It will be a quasi-anthology in the vein of USA drama The Sinner and NBC comedy Trial & Error where there is a central protagonists that carries over as each season focuses on a new story with new characters.
Spencer will reprise her role as Poppy Parnell in season two, which will unfold around a new case. The first season of Truth Be Told follows podcaster Parnell as she is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation, and comes face-to-face with the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars.
“Working with Octavia Spencer has been a dream come true for me. I am honored to continue to build the character of Poppy Parnell with her, and my partners at Hello Sunshine and Chernin Entertainment,” said Tramble Spellman. “Apple continues to show their tremendous support for us and the show. I am thrilled to dive back into exploring our national obsession with true crime and how it plays out with our rich canvas of compelling characters.”
There has been a divide in the reaction to Truth Be Told, with lukewarm reviews by critics and high marks by regular viewers. The series recently landed two NAACP Image Award nominations, for Spencer and Tramble Spellman, with the latter going on to win.
“Octavia's performance and Nichelle's story struck a chord with audiences,” said Matt Cherniss, head of development, Apple Worldwide Video. “We are proud of this powerful show and the incredible team behind it, and look forward to a second season.”
Truth Be Told is executive produced by Spencer, alongside writer and executive producer Tramble Spellman, Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for Chernin Entertainment, and Mikkel Norgaard.
Truth Be Told joins the other original Apple scripted series that have debuted or are pending, all of which have been renewed for a second season. That includes Home Before Dark, Little America, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, Dickinson, See, Servant and For All Mankind. The Morning Show also is returning for a second season.
On Friday, April 3, Apple TV+ releases all 10 episodes of the first season of its mystery-thriller “Home Before Dark.” Inspired by the life of Hilde Lysiak, a young journalist who gained national notoriety at age nine when she scooped a local homicide case in her Pennsylvania hometown, the Jon M. Chu-directed and executive produced series has already been renewed for a second season.
Created and executive produced by Dana Fox and Dara Resnick, “Home Before Dark” follows Brooklynn Prince as Hilde Lysko, a nine-year-old journalist whose family's cross-country move from New York to her father's Jim Sturgess small Washington hometown leads her to investigate a dark, deeply buried mystery from decades ago.
IndieWire spoke with “Home Before Dark” co-showrunner and co-creator Dana Fox about the series, from the process of making a bingeable mystery-thriller she hadn’t seen before to her transition from comedy to drama to the unexpected “Justified” reunion.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
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IndieWire: How exactly did you come to co-create “Home Before Dark”? How did you come to Hilde Lysiak’s story?
Fox: Basically, my dear friend Joy Gorman Wettels, who’s an amazing producer — she was my manager for a long time and then she started producing, as well — she was at the Tribeca Awards, and there were a bunch of adults winning awards for cool things. And then, this little nine-year-old girl stood up and gave this incredible speech and was incredibly poised. She started talking about the need for journalists and how important it was to try to find the truth, and it really resonated with Joy. We weren’t even deeply in the times that we are in now, but it’s something that was feeling important already.
And so Joy was talking to the people next to her about how extraordinary this little girl was, and it turned out to be Hilde’s parents. So she joked, “I have a five-year-old, can you come move in with me, and help me raise my daughter, because this girl is amazing.” And so they struck up a conversation, they got along, and eventually, Hilde was featured in the New York Times for essentially scooping her local paper on a murder.
Joy was in a very competitive situation with a lot of other producers and they were all talking to Hilde and her parents on the phone and they had all these conversations. Joy ended up winning the rights and when she did, afterwards she said, “Why did you pick me?” And Hilde’s...