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Secrets And Lies Season 3 Updates: Will The ABC Series Return?

The second season of ABC’s crime anthology Secrets And Lies ended on a major cliffhanger, but will there ever be a season 3 to resolve it?

ABC’s crime drama Secrets And Lies ran for two seasons and ended on a cliffhanger, but will the show ever get a season 3? Secrets And Lies is based on the Australian TV show of the same name and was adapted for American audiences by Magnum P.I. reboot executive producer Barbie Kligman. The series starred Juliette Lewis as a North Carolina police detective named Andrea Cornell and took a cue from fellow crime anthology True Detective by focusing on a different case each season.

Secrets And Lies season 1 premiered in 2015 and co-starred Ryan Phillippe as suburban family man Ben Crawford who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his neighbors’ five-year-old son. In Secrets And Lies season 2, the plot focused on newlywed Eric Warner, played by Jacob’s Ladder star Michael Ealy, who is set to take over his father’s business but finds himself the main suspect in his wife’s murder. A Secrets And Lies season 3 might have gotten even more personal, however.

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Related: True Detective Season 3 Ending Explained: Why The Finale Was Perfect

Season 2 ended with Andrea solving the case and going home to find her house broken into before being shot at by a mystery individual. That finale suggested the makers of the show were counting on it being renewed for a third season so the cliffhanger could play out properly. However, this has yet to actually happen, and probably won’t.

Secrets And Lies Was Cancelled In 2017 Due To Low Ratings

Ryan Phillippe Secrets And Lies

ABC announced in May 2017 that they had canceled Secrets And Lies alongside several other shows, including fellow anthology series American Crime and comedy Last Man Standing. Whereas Last Man Standing was resurrected by Fox, it seems unlikely Secrets And Lies will have similar luck. Though the show had decent ratings during its first season, viewership dropped dramatically in season 2. Some think the reason ratings plummeted was due to scheduling issues. The first season ran from March through May and Secrets And Lies was quickly renewed for a second season after the final episode aired.


It would’ve made sense to air season 2 at the same time of year but newly appointed ABC president Channing Dungey decided to hold it back until late September 2016 in hopes of it finding a bigger audience. Unfortunately, that plan backfired and the long delay between seasons meant the show lost its audience and ratings fizzled out.

Secrets And Lies Season 3 Is Unlikely To Happen

secrets and lies michael ealy

The show’s poor season 2 ratings don’t exactly make reviving Secrets And Lies for season 3 an attractive prospect. Stranger things have happened, though. Plenty of TV shows like Seth MacFarlane’s Family GuyTimeless, and Arrested Development have been canceled and then resurrected. Secrets And Lies season 3 isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility, then, but since there’s no recent news about reviving it, it still seems extremely unlikely.


Related: Why Arrested Development Was Canceled (& Why It Came Back)

Secrets And Lies Proves Cliffhanger Endings Are A Greenlighting Gamble

Secrets And Lies season 2

The cliffhanger ending that Secrets And Lies season 2 left off with is a perfect example of how TV series can run into story trouble if they assume future greenlighting. Leaving off on an uncertain note can make viewers eager to see more and possibly motivate a network to renew the show for more seasons. As in the case of shows like Secrets And Lies or Amazon Prime’s series Utopia, however, it can also backfire and lead to dangling questions that will never be addressed if the renewal doesn’t happen. The medium of TV does lend itself well to the model of leaving some threads loose for future seasons to pick up, but a big cliffhanger like the one Secrets And Lies used is much more of a gamble. Plenty of other shows over the years have made similar miscalculations, such as Pushing Daisies, Moesha, and Hannibal. Unfortunately for Secrets And Lies, though, its prospects of miraculous resurrection seem lower than any of these.


Next: Why A Hannibal Movie Would Be Better Than Season 4

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