Is Special Ops: Lioness based on a true story?

By Louie Fecou
Published: July 25, 2023 (Last updated: September 6, 2023)
View all
Is Special Ops: Lioness based on a true story

Is Special Ops: Lioness based on a true story? We discuss the 2023 Paramount+ series, which contains minor spoilers.

Take the world of international espionage, add a stellar cast and a showrunner with a string of success, and you get the new Paramount+ thriller Special Ops: Lioness.

The show is the creation of Taylor Sheridan, and if that name sounds familiar, you may recognize it from Yellowstone, its spin-offs, and Sylvester Stallone’s hit series Tulsa King.

The series has had some great reviews and has already built up a good audience, so this companion piece to the show will explain a little about the plot and the characters and answer the question on everyone’s lips: is Special Ops: Lioness based on a true story?

What is Special Ops: Lioness about?

The show follows the dangerous undercover operations that involve female agents who have to infiltrate the inner sanctums of terrorists by befriending the daughters and wives of said criminals and using their close proximity to eliminate them.

These specially selected agents are recruited into the CIA’s covert operation under the codename “Lioness.”

READ: TV Shows like Special Ops: Lioness

Our main protagonist is U.S. Marine Cruz Manuelos, played by Laysla De Oliveira, whom you will probably recognize from Locke and Key, who is partnered with Joe, an agent at the head of the organization trying desperately to prevent further acts of terrorism while struggling to find some normal life outside her work.

The slow-burning thriller is not for the faint-hearted and does not shy away from the brutality that this kind of training and work involves, and with plots that involve assassination and betrayal at every level, this is a must-watch for fans of gritty thrillers.

Is Special Ops: Lioness based on a true story?

The show highlights the undercover operations that the agents have to perform, putting themselves into terrible danger and risking literally everything to help protect the public, and many viewers may be shocked to learn that, yes, the premise is actually based on true events.

However, although the idea of a female-led covert task force comes from true life events, the idea has, of course, been fictionalized for the TV series.

The real Lioness Task Force was inspired by a U.S. Marine initiative that was created to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The idea was to use female operatives to work undercover to find and monitor women who were enlisted to perform terrorist activities.

The task force was called The Female Engagement Team but was also known as Task Force Lioness.

Is Special Ops: Lioness based on real people?

With the premise of the show borrowed from a very real but essentially different set of circumstances, it is safe to assume that the characters, although perhaps modeled on real operatives, are fictional.

It would perhaps also be irresponsible to name and show characters that did such sensitive work and national security in a TV show.

I imagine that National Security might have raised an eyebrow if real-life agents were used as characters in the show.

More Stories

News, Paramount+, Streaming Service
View all