Poor Michael Ealy. The Seven Pounds actor has been trying to find a home on network television for years, but from FlashForward to Common Law to Almost Human to The Following, the only gigs that have come across his desk have been one-season commitments, regardless of whether they were pitched that way or not. Now, Ealy is back on a major network for another one-season role – as the lead on the second season of ABC’s Secrets & Lies.
Ryan Phillippe led the first season of the crime mystery-drama, playing a family man accused of killing a neighborhood boy. That story had run its course by the end of season 1, and once Secrets & Lies was renewed, Phillippe took to Twitter to make sure fans understood that he would not be reprising the role in future episodes. Instead, the second season will see only series star Juliette Lewis return, again playing tough-as-nails Detective Andrea Cornell.
Ealy will play the new suspect – the smart, hard-working, well-educated Eric Warner, who stands to inherit his family’s private equity firm in Charlotte, NC. He’s also in love and over the moon about spending the rest of his life with his beloved Kate. But suddenly, his happy future is ripped away when Kate is murdered while Eric attends a party to mark his ascension to the head of the family business. Life, as Eric knows it, is over.
In keeping with the model set up in the first season, Ealy has signed a one-season deal, and his character’s story will be wrapped up by the end of the show’s sophomore run. Lewis will serve as the connective tissue for all of Secrets & Lies‘ cases, but the other actors are also expected to come and go. Like the first season, Secrets & Lies will serve as a midseason premiere for ABC sometime in the 2015-16 season.