Have no doubt, the creators of Doubt have no intention of stringing you along.
By the time CBS' new legal drama, premiering tonight, reaches its first season finale, you will have answers to the series' central mystery surrounding the guilt of Billy Brennan (Steven Pasquale), the client Katherine Heigl's Sadie Ellis is starting to fall for. What might he be guilty of, you ask? Oh, just the 24-year-old murder of his girlfriend..
"You're going to know whether or not he's guilty or innocent," Joan Rater, who co-created the series alongside her husband Tony Phelan, promised reporters ahead of the premiere, before admitting that the pair found the inappropriate romance more intriguing than the answer over whether Billy did it or not. "So, here's what was interesting to us: The idea that you're a guy who's accused of something and arrested and you didn't do it—from your point of view. And you're stuck in jail—he was stuck in jail for four months—and his lifeline was Sadie. And they developed this deep friendship, this relationship that went beyond attorney-client, and that's a line, do you know what I mean...and I'm like, what if the line is blurred? What if? All those 'What if?'s came to play."
"And I think we're going to play those 'What if?'s as long as you grapple with the consequences. And we always grapple with the consequences," Phelan added. "It's never easy. For both characters, it's very difficult. And then as the circle begins to widen about people who begin to understand this relationship, the consequences are pretty dire."
Now about those answers. Just because the creators will be offering some by season's end, that doesn't mean the resolution will be just as it was when Phelan and Rater first dreamt up their series. "It was just Tony and I writing this pilot, right?" Rater explained. "Well, suddenly you have ten amazing, smart writer people to go, 'No! What about this?' So we are sort of always open and continue to want make stories we would want to watch."
Whether the pair wound up changing their minds on Billy's guilt at any point during the season or not, the actor at the heart of it will be able to truthfully claim he was blissfully unaware. "The interesting about Steven as an actor was he said to us, 'I don't want to know,'" Phelan revealed.
"So, that was crazy, you guys," Rater added. "At the final read-through, he didn't know! It was really exciting."
The series also stars Laverne Cox, Elliott Gould, Dule Hill, Dreama Walker and Kobi Libii.
Doubt premieres Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. on CBS.