Treat Williams (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood), Samaire Armstrong (Entourage, The O.C.) and Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects) are set to star in the Lifetime Original Movie, The Staircase Murders (working title), a provocative drama based on the famed murder case of Michael Peterson, the novelist accused of killing his socialite wife in their North Carolina home. Production is underway in Louisiana. Produced by Lionsgate, The Staircase Murders will premiere in April 2007 on Lifetime Television.
"This is a fascinating story with lots of bizarre twists and turns. It has all the gripping elements of great drama with mysterious deaths, sensational rumors and shocking revelations," said Libby Beers, Vice President, Original Movies. Beers continues, "Treat Williams and Kevin Pollak are perfectly cast to capture the complex mind of Michael Peterson and his skeptical lawyer David Rudolf, while Samaire Armstrong sensitively portrays the determination of the grieving daughter."
In The Staircase Murders, loving father, aspiring politician and successful New York Times best-selling novelist Michael Peterson (Williams) was the picture perfect husband to his wife Kathleen. But when a panic- stricken Michael frantically calls 911 to report Kathleen has accidentally fallen down the stairs, investigators arrive at their home to discover several suspicious findings at the crime scene and soon begin to question the truth about Kathleen's death.
Michael's children, biological sons Todd and Clayton from a previous marriage, adopted daughters Margaret and Martha and step-daughter Caitlin (Armstrong), quickly rally to their father's defense until autopsy findings reveal Kathleen's injuries could not have been sustained by a fall. Shocked and betrayed by her accused father's actions, Caitlin breaks rank with the family to publicly accuse Michael of murder.
All the while, Michael consistently maintains his innocence, even going so far as to allow cameras into his home to document his legal team's defense strategies. But as the trial looms, shocking discoveries about Michael's sexuality, previous marriage, war service and the mysteriously similar circumstances of an old friend are revealed, making even his own lawyer, David Rudolf (Pollak), question his client.
Treat Williams is an accomplished Broadway stage, theatrical and television actor, appearing most recently in the ABC drama series "Brothers & Sisters." Previously, Williams starred in the critically acclaimed WB drama, Everwood, as Dr. Andrew Bowen, a role that won him two SAG Award nominations. He scored his first Golden Globe nomination for his part in the smash Broadway musical "Hair." He later went on to earn two additional nods -- one for the feature film Prince of the City, and the other for the television adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. Williams also received an Emmy nomination for Best Actor for his role on the HBO film The Late Shift. Williams is also a director, winning two festival awards for his direction of Texan in Showtime's Chanticleer series.
Samaire Armstrong is best known for her role as sassy co-ed Anna on the Fox drama series The O.C. She began acting in high school productions before attending Parsons School of Design which fostered her passion for design and fashion. Later, she moved to Los Angeles where she was cast in Freaks and Geeks, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and CSI: Miami. Armstrong has a recurring role as Emily on HBO's Entourage. She was recently seen in the theatrical Just My Luck opposite Lindsay Lohan.
Stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Pollak landed his film debut in George Lucas' Willow. Pollak received critical acclaim for his work in Avalon, but gained wide recognition for his role in Rob Reiner's A Few Good Men. Pollak also won fans with his appearances on the cult classic The Usual Suspects and Casino. Pollak later co-created and co-executive produced The Underworld. Recently, he starred alongside Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry in The Whole Ten Yards.