The television series ‘Lie to Me’, based on the work of Paul Ekman, aired on the FOX network from 2009 to 2011. It ran for three seasons (a total of forty-eight episodes), and has aired in over 60 countries worldwide. Ekman served as Scientific Consultant for the show, analyzing and critiquing each episode’s script.
‘Lie to Me’ featured Dr. Cal Lightman (the actor Tim Roth), a deception detection expert. Dr. Lightman was based loosely on Paul Ekman; analyzing facial expressions, speech, and involuntary body language, he could read a spectrum of feelings – hidden resentment, sexual attraction, jealousy were easily spotted. Lightman knew his ability was both a blessing and a curse, especially in his personal life where family and friends deceived each other as readily as criminals and strangers do. He and his colleagues in The Lightman Group provided a professional service to government agencies, corporations, and individuals. The team displayed extensive knowledge of micro expressions and the Facial Action Coding System while solving cases. They set out to discover not only if someone was lying, but also to lay bare the motivation for those lies.