Number of episodes: 2
Ratings for debut: 1.5 (5.29 million viewers)
Stars: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, Chris Johnson, Wendy Moniz, Henry Thomas, Braeden Lemasters, Elizabeth McLaughlin, James Cromwell
Premise: A beautiful but unhappily married photographerm Sara Hanley (Hannah Ware) begins an affair with a charming well-to-do stranger, Jack McAllister (Stuart Townswend), only to find out that said stranger is married and is the defending lawyer in a murder case on which her husband (Chris Johnson) is the prospecutor. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet for people who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey.
Prognosis: Hannah Ware and Stuart Townsend provide the standard eye candy of ABC Sunday primetime set by two shows before it, Desperate Housewives and Revenge. All you need is a libido and a mild interest in sexy lawyer shows to be intrigued by the first episode. If this is your shtick, it hooks you. The affair is set up and so is the murder, which may or may not have been committed by Jack's mentally challenged adopted brother T.J. (laughably played by Henry Thomas). It certainly doesn't help their case that T.J.'s father is a known business mogul with criminal side dealings, Thatcher Karsten (James Cromwell) and the victim is his Uncle Lou, whom the family had a financial disagreement with.
The second episode follows suit, kicking off with a sultry Jessie Ware song (a nod to Hannah's singer-songwriter sister), that dips its whole foot into the lives of the main characters. Oh, and the will-they-wont-they-again shtick begins between Sara and Jack, as it becomes clear who's who and how this can totally fuck both their lives. But that's about as deep as it goes.
If there's anything that will be the kiss of death for Betrayal, it's the show's predictability. Everything is familiar to viewers who've read romance novels or watched Unfaithful—the unhappy marriage, the secret rendesvous, the search for evidence to crucify the murderer. It's been done before. As of now, chances of renewal depend on whether or not viewers and the studio are willing to wait for Betrayal to show us something new. -TA