ABC’s new series “Betrayal” is about two people who have an affair, but it’s not out to make viewers root for the end of two marriages — at least not necessarily.
“Something that we all decided on the pilot … was to be truthful about this and not try to construct something that makes it too easy for the lovers,” executive producer David Zabel said Sunday (Aug. 4) at the TCA summer press tour. “By that I mean, they’re both in relationships that are viable marriages. I think most people could look at it and go, ‘That’s kind of like my marriage. That’s no so far off.'”
The lovers on “Betrayal” are a photographer, Sara (Hannah Ware of “Boss”), and an attorney, Jack (Stuart Townsend), both of whom are married but who embark on a relationship. The complicated feelings they have about what they’re doing get more complicated when Sara learns Jack is going to be opposing counsel in a big case her prosecutor husband (Chris Johnson) is trying.
Zabel and fellow exec producer Lisa Zwerling say they’re not trying to stack the dramatic deck one way or the other. “I think there are lots of places in the pilot and in the episodes we’re making now where you go, Wow. I’m conflicted about this relationship in the sane way the characters are conflicted about the relationship,” Zabel (“ER,” “Detroit 1-8-7”) says. “… To me that makes it a more sophisticated kind of story, a more complicated kind of story and a more real kind of story. There is a romanticism to it but also a reality to it.”
Zwerling notes that most of the “Betrayal” writers are married, and it’s sparked a lot of discussion in the writers’ room.
“We spend the day going, ‘Who are we rooting for?’ Zwerling (“ER,” “FlashForward”) says. “It’s confusing and real and complicated and makes it not the typical infidelity story at all. I think it’s very much how it really goes down — there are no clear bad guys.”
“Betrayal” is scheduled to premiere Sept. 29 on ABC.