One Show Under Shawn Ryan: 'Lie to Me' and 'The Shield' Converge

Today's cuppa: Irish breakfast tea (tea coffers refilled, thank goodness)

Lie_to_Me_Pied_Piper_Benito_Martinez_Catherine_Dent_Tim_Roth_David_Marciano.jpgWhen FX's "The Shield" ended in late 2008, the cast members knew that Shawn Ryan, creator and executive producer of the hard-hitting LAPD drama, would try to hire them again.


"He always said, 'I'll be looking out for you guys,' " says David Marciano, who played irritating LAPD Detective Steve Billings on "The Shield." "So you knew something was coming, but you didn't know what. I was pleasantly unsurprised, I guess you would say. That's the kind of guy he is. He's a man of his word."


The unsurprising event was a call for a role on "Lie to Me," the Fox drama that Ryan took over as executive producer in its second season - and Marciano wasn't the only one.

(Picture above: center row, from left, Benito Martinez, Catherine Dent, Tim Roth, reflection is David Marciano, in the center behind is Jennifer Beals)

"Pied Piper," the episode airing Monday, Aug. 16, also features "Shield" regulars Catherine Dent, Kenny Johnson, Benito Martinez, Cathy Cahlin Ryan (below) and David Rees Snell.


"It's more like a cameo situation than huge guest roles," says Shawn Ryan, standing outside the Twentieth Century Fox stages in Los Angeles where "Lie to Me" is filming in December 2009. "That's why I felt this was a good episode to do it, because all the roles are two-scene, three-scene. It's hard to fit six of these people in one episode."


"Lie to Me" stars Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, an expert in deception. In this episode, he'sLie_to_Me_Pied_Piper_Tim_Roth_Cathy_Cahlin_Ryan.jpg attending the execution of Jason Wilkie (Marciano), a prisoner he helped convict in the kidnapping and murder of a child 17 years before, whose parents subsequently died in a car crash.


When the child of the victim's aunt and uncle ( Martinez , Dent) is snatched, Lightman begins to wonder if he got the wrong man - or if he got the only culprit - the first time around.


Roth, who became a "Shield" fan after only a few first-season episodes on DVD, doesn't mind the idea that the normally unflappable Lightman could be wrong.


"I like that," he says. "The more he can be wrong or potentially wrong, the more fallible he is, the better."


Along the way, Lightman turns to Wilkie's younger brother (Snell), the brother's ex-girlfriend (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) and a shady photographer (Johnson).


Lie_to_Me_Pied_Piper_Tim_Roth.jpgAs Johnson wasn't on hand on this particular day to describe his character, Marciano helpfully takes a stab, saying, "Kenny's playing this questionably sexually perverted person.


"I was asking him yesterday, 'Are you a voyeur? What's the thing that you're doing?' He says, 'I don't know.' I said, 'You know what, don't tell me. I want to see what you're doing with it.' He says, 'What does that mean?'"


In the course of the scene being shot, Marciano is strapped to a gurney, ready to receive the lethal injection, with Lightman and the victim's uncle and aunt in attendance.


"First time as dead man walking," Marciano quips. "You just don't like to do things like that, because you don't like to manifest that energy."


But Dent had no problem enjoying the sight of a man who played a character that so bedeviled hers on "The Shield" getting his just deserts.


"Yes!" she says. "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I'm thrilled. Good riddance! I was like 'Burn, baby, burn.'"


"Exactly," Ryan says, "that's for all the trouble he caused. That's pretty funny."


"I don't think she was talking about David Marciano," Marciano says, "but my character, for sure. On 'The Shield,' he was pretty evil."


Meanwhile, Roth is enjoying the company of friendly strangers.


"We've had a good run with these guys," he says, "with all these actors coming through, watching them reconnect. It's been a good one, this one."