Facebook to take on Netflix with original 10-part horror series Sacred Lies

Last year, Facebook pledged to spend $1 billion in 2018 on original content for its (still US-only) Netflix and YouTube competitor, Facebook Watch. The social network has kept to its word and commissioned its first new series of the year from Blumhouse Productions (Get Out, The Purge) and two key members from the team behind HBO's True Blood.

The 10-part half-hour series, titled Sacred Lies, has been announced at the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) conference by Facebook’s director of development and co-founder of CollegeHumor, Ricky Van Veen.

As reported by Deadline, Sacred Lies will be based in part on the fairy-tale The Handless Maiden by the Brothers Grimm, as well as the Stephanie Oaks novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. Deadline says the show "is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention."

Former True Blood executive producer Raelle Tucker will act as showrunner with Scott Winant, also from True Blood, directing the first two episodes. The series is now in its casting phase. 

Needless to say, the show will be much darker and more fantastical than the reality-focused content currently streaming on Facebook Watch. “Raelle and Scott are known for pushing the envelope with complex characters, mixing genres and diving into dramatically dark subjects, which is also a hallmark of Blumhouse storytelling,” said Blumhouse Television co-presidents, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold.

Tucker, who is currently an executive producer on Marvel's Jessica Jones, promises "a young female protagonist we’ve never seen on screen before,” describing the handless character as "complex, brave, funny…and sometimes dangerous." 

No projected release date has been given, though we'll bring you more details as they arrive.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.