Apple has confirmed the second season renewal of Home Before Dark as the producers talked about crafting a “super bingeable” young detective drama inspired by movies including Indiana Jones.
The ten-part series, which is inspired by the real-life story of 11-year-old Hilde Lysiak, will premiere its first three episodes on April 3 and the digital platform has already handed it a second run.
The series follows a young girl who moves from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury.
The drama, from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television Studios, was created by Ben and Kate creator Dana Fox and Dara Resnik (Daredevil), who executive produce with Joy Gorman Wettels (13 Reasons Why), Rosemary Rodriguez (The Walking Dead) and Sharlene Martin (Deadly Sins). Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) will direct and executive produce, while House and Glee writers Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner write and exec produce.
Fox said that she wanted to make the show “super bingeable” but that the big question for them was which audience was this show for? She talked about watching films such as Indiana Jones. “I think we just felt strongly that we wanted to make something that we had never seen before, a sophisticated drama with a young female at its core,” she said. “We wanted parents to watch first and see if kids can handle it. Parents will decide with their kids. The tone was the most difficult thing to nail.”
Fox added that she wanted Brooklyn Prince’s young character, who is based on Lysiak, to be treated in the same way as someone like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock.
The story is inspired by Lysiak, a young investigative reporter who, at age 9, was the first to expose a murder in her hometown of Selinsgrove, PA, breaking the news in her self-started newspaper, Orange Street News. Her exclusive drew negative feedback from online commenters who argued that that nine-year-olds shouldn’t be covering murders. Hilde fought back with a video, which went viral. She garnered national and international media attention and landed a deal with Scholastic to co-write four books with her author/journalist father, Matthew Lysiak, called Hilde Cracks the Case.
Hilde, born in Brooklyn where she spent her early childhood before the family moved to Matthew Lysiak’s hometown of Selinsgrove, also got the attention of Paramount TV and its partner Anonymous Content, who optioned Hilde’s life rights and the rights to her books.
The drama also stars Jim Sturgess, Adrian Hough, Jibrail Nantambu, Deric McCabe and Joelle Carter.
Sturgess, who plays the father, said, “I was flown to LA to meet Brooklyn for the first time, to feel the chemistry. Usually that’s a chemistry lead for a romantic lead, this was for someone to play daughter, which was more terrifying. We made up secret handshakes. I knew it was going to be a relationship that felt very special. To play a family unit within a family unit, was hugely rewarding.”
Prince added that the pair bonded over singing Queen and The Beatles songs.
Chu directed the first two episodes and he said that he wanted the show to look like old Amblin movies mixed with Instagram shots.
“We all sat down really early… one of the biggest things we talked about was why. The importance of truth and journalism and facing truths. That’s not easy. I love that subject. I love we tell our kids to be truthful but we lie to them. At some point, they look at us and we have to face reality. I loved the idea of a father daughter story and the truth is here to save us. At the end of it we picked actors that are the most grounded and honest and that’s what the show is about.”