Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Given that a pair of its primary lead performers happen to be African American, it might seem logical to assume that the ethnicity of stars Meagan Good and Laz Alonso would be somehow interwoven into the storyline of the midseason NBC soap ensemble Deception (formerly Infamous) that premieres tomorrow night at 10. But this assumption would be wrong, as showrunner Liz Heldens stressed during an afternoon TCA panel. Good portrays a police detective investigating a possible homicide, while Alonso plays an FBI agent and her former flame. “I guess the way it all shook out, (the ethnicity of Good and Alonso) is a way of sort of dealing with race without actually having to talk about it,” Heldens said. “But it’s not something we really talk about too much in the writers room…I just think it is sort of there. I’m not sure what we could put in the characters’ mouths that would speak louder than the fact of what you’re looking at on-screen.” Heldens pointed out that there certainly was no specific intent to cast African Americans in the roles, but that when Good originally came in to read “she just walked in and owned it. It was fantastic.”
The fact that her character isn’t specified as to race was seen as a plus by Good when she read the original script. “I just thought it was really cool that it wasn’t listed as a ‘young black girl’,” she said. ” Added Alfonso: “To me, it’s just great to play a well-rounded human being regardless of color and ethnicity.” You can watch a trailer below: