For six years fans have been gripped by the Ryan Murphy drama 9-1-1 and its wildly entertaining emergencies – who can forget the girl who popped a maggot out of her face? — and the chemistry between the firefighters and paramedics at Station 118. Since 2020, the show's first spin-off 9-1-1: Lone Star has also been praised for its over-the-top scenarios and thoughtful character arcs.
But will we ever see a second spin-off? There has long been talk of Ryan Murphy launching a third series, but recent events suggest that this may no longer be an option for Ryan, and the show's current showrunners Tim Minear, Kirsten Reidel and Rashad Raisani.
In May 2023 it was confirmed that ABC had picked up 9-1-1 season seven, poaching it from Fox who had aired the series for six years. ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns 20th Television Studios - previously owned by Fox - which makes 9-1-1 and Lone Star.
Reports revealed that the move was a purely financial one; it costs up to $10 million to make one episode of 9-1-1 due to major visual effects and their big names casts, including Angela Bassett.
But with the two series now split across different networks, the likelihood of a third remains up in the air — and if there was a decision made to produce another show, it would more than likely air on ABC.
Fox representatives had also spoken optimistically about a third show, although prior to the confirmation of 9-1-1's move to ABC it was unclear where in the schedule it would sit; Fox does not program TV nationally in the 10pm slot.
ABC would not have that problem; with 9-1-1 expected to run in the 8pm slot on Mondays, a spin off would make perfect sense for the 9pm slot, allowing ABC to own a night of TV similar to how CBS airs three different FBI shows on a Tuesday, and NBC does on Wednesdays with the One Chicago franchise and Thursdays with Law & Order.
The ongoing Writer's Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes, however, also throw a wrench into any possible spin-off; the WGA strike has now lasted longer than the famed 2007/2008 strike, and the likelihood of TV shows being able to return in Spring 2024 for a shortened TV season looks less likely the further the strike foes into late 2023.
Although striking writers can be working on scripts for potential new projects – in theory one Hollywood writer out there could be creating a 9-1-1 pilot as you read this – studios may have to continue to put a pin in any new shows as they deal with the ramifications of their failure to negotiate in good faith with both unions.
In the meantime, it's clear a third show is not completely off the table. Showrunner Tim Minear had previously shared his thoughts on a new series, admitting to Variety in 2022 that he had given serious consideration to a show set in Florida, largely thanks to the stereotype of the Florida Man, which often influences a lot of the emergencies crafted by his writers room.
"Part of the thing that I think made 9-1-1 so successful in its first couple of years was the juxtaposition of the insane emergencies against a city like L.A. that has a whole bunch of different cohorts — but it’s also the blue sky and the palm tree of it all that makes it fun," he shared. "And I think you get that in Miami, too. And there’s all kinds of great communities there, plus, you have hurricanes and alligators."
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