Is 'Eyewitness' Based On A True Story? The USA Crime Series Draws Inspiration From Abroad
Crime procedurals have been popular for quite some time — there's a reason Law & Order: SVU is still going strong after 18 seasons. Recently, crime docuseries like The Jinx and Making a Murderer have taken center stage and even more series like these are currently in the works. So, when I learned that another new crime show will premiere on Oct. 16, my first question was is Eyewitness on USA a true story?
The answer is no — this series is fictional and there's no indication that it's inspired by true events. Rather, USA drew its inspiration from the Norwegian procedural Øyevitne and adapted it for American audiences. Based on its official synopsis from the network, it looks like the series will place a strong focus on character development in addition to the crime itself:
When two innocent teenaged boys secretly meet up in the forest, they bear witness to a shooting and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the perpetrator, they remain silent but soon learn that what has been seen cannot be unseen and when you witness a horrible event it changes everything, forever.
Adapting crime dramas from foreign countries has also become a trend, and the results have been successful — HBO's The Night Of and AMC's The Killing were the result of each network's admiration of a series from another country. Eyewitness has a similar backstory — Alex Sepiol, senior vice president of original scripted programming at USA told The Hollywood Reporter that the network was "immediately drawn to the source material" due to its exploration of character relationships. In fact, because viewers know the killers' identities from the get-go, it appears that the character development will be the show's strong suit.
According to Variety, the most interesting plot thread is the relationship between the gay couple who hold the truth about the crime. One of the young men is firmly closeted, while his partner chooses to come out to the people closest to him. And this plotline is probably the area where the show is most realistic — a struggle that some (but certainly not all) gay couples face is when both partners aren't on the same page about how and when to come out. Of course, most of them aren't caught up in the midst of a murder investigation, but it's an important issue to explore and I look forward to what Variety described as a solid, sensitive depiction of the topic.
Between the mystery element and strong emphasis on character development, I can't wait to watch Eyewitness. It may not be based on a true story, but important aspects of the series will be realistic.
Images: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network (2)