9-1-1 may have only just aired its season 3 finale this week, but showrunner Tim Minear is already looking ahead to season 4 – including whether or not the global coronavirus pandemic will play a part in the story.
Created by Minear and American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, 9-1-1 follows the lives of several emergency responders in Los Angeles, including police officers and paramedics, who are on the front line of the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking recently about whether or not the pandemic will feed into the storylines the show is going to tell in season 4 and beyond, showrunner Minear said that audiences can expect coronavirus to exist in the 9-1-1 universe – although there will likely be a time jump forward in order to tell those stories.
"I feel like you have to address it," Minear told TVLine. "I haven't broken a single episode, but my feeling – and I reserve the right to completely change my mind – is that on a first responder show like this, you can't really ignore it."
While he didn't specify how far into the future the show will jump, Minear did stress that by the time the show returns for its fourth season "the characters on the screen will have gone through what the audience has gone through".
"There may be flashbacks that will show what our people went through at the height of the [pandemic], but by the time we resume physical production, that means the world will have figured out how to start opening for business again," he added.
"Maybe our role is to demonstrate through our little fantasy show that life will go on. So, yes, it will exist in our universe — and life will continue."
9-1-1 aired its third season finale on Monday night (May 11) and it delivered an emotional reunion for firefighter Buck (Oliver Stark) and his ex, former 911 Operator Abby (Connie Britton).
"I felt like it was important for Abby and Buck to have a proper goodbye, a proper send-off, but more importantly, it was important for me that Buck understood that as much as Abby had influenced his growth, that he changed on his own and he needs to be able to move on to whatever's next for him," Minear said of the reunion scene.
"To have a proper send-off, a proper goodbye, one last reckoning with that person who really set his journey into motion was important. And for Abby as well."
9-1-1 airs on Fox in the US and Sky Witness in the UK.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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