The Disney-owned network has announced a new unscripted series titled “Emergency Call,” which will be hosted and executive produced by Wilson, and will premiere Sept. 28 in the 10 p.m. time slot.
News of the pick up comes exactly a week after ABC unveiled a fall schedule packed with unscripted content. The network, like all its rivals, is having to hold the majority of its scripted regulars for midseason due to COVID-19 production difficulties. “Emergency Call” joins “Dancing With the Stars,” which just announced an eventful lineup for the new season, on Monday nights.
It follows the dramatic moments leading up to the arrival of help, rather than the events after the firefighters, police or emergency medical services teams arrive, focusing on the extreme, suspenseful and sometimes humorous stories that flood 911 call centers.
“Since I was a kid, I have always been interested in people who help. People who save people,” said Wilson. “When you’re younger, you might be drawn toward superheroes or fictional characters, but as you get older you come to realize that people who help, real-life heroes, are just regular people who do extraordinary things. 911 call takers don’t just save people; they calm and console people until they are safe. They are the first link in the chain of first responders. For that, I feel very lucky to be a part of this project.”
The show hails from 8Hours Television and is based on an original format by De Chinezen, licensed by Lineup Industries. Wilson will EP alongside Adeline Ramage Rooney and Jonny Slow for 8Hours, and Grant Kahler, who also serves as showrunner.
“An estimated 240 million calls are made every year to 911 call centers across the country,” added Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment in a statement. “While we often hear about some of these stories on the news, we rarely hear about the heroes that are the first point of contact and, at times, essential to saving a life. ‘Emergency Call’ shines a light on these mysterious and brave voices who are driven by their desire to help; and Luke Wilson is the consummate host, navigating us through these extraordinary situations which will have you on the edge of your seat.”