CBS is devoting an entire night to a “FBI” crossover event, and in order to really spotlight the power of that franchise, the three episodes are pulling inspiration from recent news headlines.
“The crossover embodies what these shows are supposed to be. All the shows are fiction, I start with that, but there are certain elements that will remind the audience of Jeffrey Epstein [and] other people who have been in the papers over the past year [such as] Ghislaine Maxwell. It’s really exciting. It’s not the same story, but it’s a story that, in its scale, not only justifies but thrives on three hours in a row,” executive producer Dick Wolf said during a Television Critics Assn. press tour panel for the franchise.
Things kick off when a young woman is killed on her way home from a yacht party in “FBI’s” fourth season premiere on Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. As the team investigates who she was and why she was at that event, they learn it was one attended by some of the most influential people in the world. “FBI: Most Wanted” stars Kellan Lutz and Julian McMahon guest star in this episode when they learn the murder suspect is a veteran who previously served with Lutz’ character, Crosby.
The story then follows the “FBI: Most Wanted” team into their third season premiere at 9 p.m. as the case turns into a manhunt for a dangerous leader of a criminal enterprise so far-reaching the story can expand globally on the series premiere of “FBI: International” at 10 p.m.
This new series follows operatives of the FBI’s International Fly Team, which travels the world to neutralize threats against American citizens. Notably, they are not allowed to carry guns — but they do have a very special canine member of the team Wolf said will become a fan favorite.
Wolf noted that television viewing habits have changed a lot in the four decades he has been making procedural television for broadcast networks, but “the average is three hours — that seems to be where people are most comfortable if they’re going to sit down and watch something.” So, he considers this crossover event a way for the audience to “get a complete fix,” as well as a “training” event to prepare the audience to devote their Tuesday nights from 8 to 11 p.m. to this block of programming even when the stories do not bleed into each other hour-to-hour.
“The proof is in the first two [episodes],” Wolf said. “We’re just adding on dessert.”
Watch a new trailer for the “FBI” crossover event below: