Oliver Stark Teases ‘9-1-1’s’ Move to ABC and Hopes for Future Crossovers With Fox Spinoff ‘Lone Star’ (EXCLUSIVE)
The last-ever episode of “9-1-1” on Fox airs Monday, and it’s a bittersweet occasion for Oliver Stark, who has starred as Evan “Buck” Buckley on the Ryan Murphy-produced first-responder drama since its debut six seasons ago.
While the show is ending its run on one network, it will be alive and well next season on ABC — the broadcaster that is owned by Disney, the parent company of “9-1-1” studio 20th Television, which not too long ago was owned by Fox — so Stark isn’t saying goodbye to his character, so much as a family he and his co-stars have established behind-the-scenes.
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Here, Stark discusses with Variety his reaction to the move to ABC for Season 7, and if he thinks spinoff “9-1-1: Lone Star” (which also hails from 20th Television) remaining at Fox for its fifth season means the chance at another crossover episode between the two series is slim.
Check back with Variety this evening for our post-mortem conversation with Stark breaking down the “9-1-1” Season 6 finale.
It was a big deal when we found out that “9-1-1” will be moving from Fox to ABC, where it will be separated from “Lone Star.” Could you walk me through how you found out about it and what your feelings are and if you spoke with your co-stars about it?
We didn’t get official word until the day that it was announced. We found out a couple of hours before the press release came out, which isn’t really a big deal. I don’t think day-to-day it’s going to make much of a difference to production. So it’s not something that I feel like we needed much of a warning about. There have been rumors for a while swirling around that something like this might happen. So it’s not like we were completely in the dark or anything like that. And I think, in some senses, it’s exciting.
Fox has been a really great home for us and made us feel very welcome and really fostered a collaborative working environment for us over the past six years. But there’s also a possibility of now switching over to ABC opening up a new audience for us and exposing us to a new audience and possibly reinvigorating the show. So I think everybody’s very thankful for what Fox has done, but excited to see what the future holds for us on ABC.
Did executive producers/writers Kristen Reidel and Tim Minear make any kind of like speech to you all about the change?
Yeah, we got an email from Tim the morning of the press release, just to fill us in more than anything and just say, “9-1-1” is going to continue, but it’s going to continue over on ABC, they snatched it up, and this is only an exciting thing and a good thing for the show and we’re all very happy that it still has life and that we get to continue telling these stories.
And with “Lone Star” staying at Fox, I want to know if you still have hopes for future crossover episodes? (Editor’s note: Following this interview, Fox’s scripted chief Michael Thorn said during a May 15 press conference about the fall schedule that a “9-1-1” and “Lone Star” crossover is “extremely unlikely” now.)
I don’t know know if that would ever be a possibility or not. I don’t really quite understand the legalities of that. If it is an option, I think we’re always game for it. It’s a lovely thing to see those universes, those worlds collide. I don’t know, maybe it even opens us up to possible other crossover with ABC procedurals. Maybe we end up on “The Rookie.”
But I think everybody would always be on board for a “9-1-1”-“Lone Star” crossover. I think the crossover episode that we did do a couple of years ago was fantastic and you know really sticks out in my mind as one of our favorite episodes across the two shows that we’ve done. It’s certainly something that I think we would always be down for, if the possibility was there.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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