Apple TV is debuting a new crime thriller this week called Defending Jacob, which chronicles a horrific crime in a small Massachusetts town and the shockwaves that the crime sends rippling through the community. Here’s what you need to know about the release date, time, schedule, cast, and more.
Defending Jacob Release Date and Time: This series premieres on Apple TV on Friday, April 24. A rep from Apple TV told Heavy that there is no set time that it drops; instead, it should be available at midnight local time on Friday.
Defending Jacob Season Schedule: The first three episodes will be released simultaneously on Friday, April 24. Subsequent episodes will be released on Fridays thereafter. The season is eight episodes long, so the finale will be on Apple TV on Friday, May 29.
Defending Jacob Cast: Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery star as Andy and Laurie Barber, an affluent family in a Boston suburb whose 14-year-old son, Jacob, played by Jaeden Martell, is accused of murder.
Supporting cast members include Cherry Jones (24, The Handmaid’s Tale), Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black), Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards), Betty Gabriel (Good Girls Revolt), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Patrick Fischler (Happy).
Defending Jacob Premise: The Barber family’s lives are upended when their son, Jacob, is accused of killing a classmate. To add conflict to the situation, Jacob’s father Andy is an assistant district attorney who must now “choose between his sworn duty to uphold justice and his unconditional love for his son,” according to the press release.
And as Dockery told the 2020 Television Critics Association winter press tour, the show is not so much about the mystery as it is about the characters.
“It’s not about the mystery of who did it so much as it’s a real kind of exploration into how would you respond as a parent,” said Dockery. “Certainly, for me playing Laurie, that was what I was really drawn to is this really tapping into how you would react as a parent and what lengths you would go to, to protect your child.”
Defending Jacob Book: This eight-episode limited series is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by William Landay, which the Washington Post’s book reviewer Patrick Anderson called “an exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing story that deserves and should achieve a large audience.”
Anderson compared it to Scott Turow’s classic novel “Presumed Innocent,” especially in its twist ending. “Both provide a stunning ending. If you remember the surprise at the end of ‘Presumed Innocent,’ be warned that the outcome of ‘Defending Jacob’ is even more unexpected,” Anderson wrote at the time.
However, book readers should know that having read the book doesn’t mean there are no surprises in store in watching the TV show. Showrunner Mark Bomback told the TCA audience, “It starts to veer from the narrative of the book a bit, but certainly the spirit of the book has been maintained throughout.”
Defending Jacob debuts its first three episodes Friday, April 24 on Apple TV.
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