By Nick Romano
September 06, 2019 at 10:30 AM EDT
  • TV Show

Jessica Biel is on the case. Not her own case, as it were in USA’s The Sinner, but the case of a town full of missing people.

The Limetown trailer, previewing Facebook Watch’s upcoming drama series, stars Biel as Lia Haddock, a journalist for American Public Radio looking into the mysterious disappearance of 326 people in a Tennessee neuroscience research community.

Lia tells the tale over her podcast, but the shadowy players who want to keep this story quiet soon turn their eyes to the woman trying to unravel it.

As scenes of people in some sort of facility with electrodes on their heads flash across the screen, Lia says, “If I don’t tell this story, it will never be told.”

“In the podcast, we don’t know much about her—where does she live and what does that look like? Is she dating anyone? … These are really important pieces that really bring her to life,” Biel said during an interview at EW and PEOPLE’s studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the series premieres. “We picked pieces and worked through her psychology.”

Stanley Tucci also stars as Emile Haddock​, who warns Lia she has “no idea.” The cast is rounded out by Marlee Matlin​, Kelly Jenrette​, John Beasley​, Sherri Saum​, Omar Elba​, Louis Ferriera​, and Janet Kidder​.

Limetown is based on the hit fictional podcast of the same name, but Biel initially thought she was listening to a telling of real events.

“I missed it, that the news cycle went so quickly, and we had so many crazy things that happened… And I was Googling and looking her up, looking up Limetown.,” the actress said. “I’m so embarrassed that I missed this thing. And then I called [executive producer] Michelle [Purple] and she said, ‘No, no. It’s not real.’ And I said, ‘It is real!'”

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, who created the Limetown podcast, write and executive produce the Facebook Watch series. Josh Appelbaum of Midnight Radio serves as showrunner, and he also EPs with Biel, Purple, and Midnight Radio’s Jeff Pinkner, André Nemec, and Scott Rosenberg.

The first two Limetown episodes, directed by Rebecca Thomas, will premiere on Facebook Watch Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

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