CBS All Access has released the trailer for its new true crime series Interrogation, which stars stars Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars, Outsiders) as a young man convicted of brutally murdering his mother but who maintains his innocence for years after being sentenced to life in prison.
The 10-episode series, which debuts Thursday, Feb. 6 on the subscription streaming service, is based on a real case and spans more than 20 years. Each episode of the show is structured around interrogations that were informed by real police case files. After the series premiere, which depicts the day of the crime, CBS All Access hopes viewers will view the evidence presented as if they too are a cold case detective, abandoning the linear narrative and following their own investigation by watching the episodes leading up to the finale, which are all named after different characters, in whatever order they choose.
However, viewers don't have to skip around. "If you don't make any choice whatsoever, the next episode will start playing," executive producer Anders Weidemann told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday, noting that the curated viewing order is still non-linear though.
In order to craft a story that would work in this fashion, the writers had to approach the story through the characters, not the narrative itself. "The way that we approach the series is very much like imagine you have a box of documents, of photographs, of stories and reports and they're all jumbled," series co-producer and writer Johanna Factor said. "So you're going through this box and you're trying to tell a story that is multi-linear and that branches out into several different avenues, and putting them together but also making each episode really unique and stand out, and then fun to watch in any order. So the way that we approached it really is based off of character. We looked at case files and reports and then we sifted through them and figured out who are the key people in this story and then built a narrative off each key figure."
The writers and producers revealed that they hope viewers will rewatch the show while choosing different episode orders, and that by doing so they might get a different perspective on exactly what happened.
In addition to Gallner, the show also stars Peter Sarsgaard as lead detective David Russell, David Strathairn as Eric's father Henry, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Chris Keller, a homeless teen who befriends Eric, and Vincent D'Onofrio as Sgt. Ian Lynch, an Internal Affairs officer who becomes Eric's biggest ally.
All 10 episodes of Interrogation debut Thursday, Feb. 6 on CBS All Access.
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