NBC debuted its latest entry into the serialized murder mystery with the debut of "Deception" last week. Showrunner and executive producer Liz Heldens spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the new series and the inspiration behind it.
The popularity of the serialized drama is undeniable these days, with shows like "Revenge" and "Breaking Bad" bringing in viewers in droves. But the producer insists that the idea for the series is more rooted in film. "I was interested in stories like The Departed and Donnie Brasco and things like that. I was kicking around the idea of doing that with a female protagonist and combining that with a family drama," she said.
"I liked the idea of doing a long-arc murder mystery and I liked the idea of doing an undercover story," she continued. "NBC at the time was looking for a soap so it seemed a way to do a family drama, character soap with a thriller and procedural spine to it."
The series revolves around the murder of Vivian Bowers, member of an influential and wealthy family with some deep secrets. A detective with ties to the family attempts to go undercover to investigate the events of her former friends death, finding more than she bargained for. "The characters all came pretty easily. Creating a mystery that had enough legs and would get bigger and more complicated, that’s the challenge of the show. Is it a murder? Is it a bigger conspiracy? That stuff is challenging; it’s a puzzle, but it’s time-consuming for sure," Heldens said.
Heldens points to her past work on the acclaimed "Friday Night Lights" as the foundation for her new series' character work. "'Friday Night Lights' is all about character and it was a reminder that everything great comes from character and if you keep that in mind, you don’t go too far wrong," she said.
Don't miss a new episode of "Deception" airing tonight on NBC!