The ‘9-1-1’ Premiere Attack Is ‘Jumanji’ Meets ‘Jurassic Park’ on Hollywood Boulevard

Oliver Stark, Kenneth Choi, Ryan guzman, Aisha Hinds, Peter Krause in 9-1-1
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Jack Zeman /FOX

It’s the night the lights went out in L.A.! Season 5 of the first-responders drama opens with the City of Angels severely dimmed following a ransomware attack affecting the power grid. No electricity, no GPS, no cell service…all problems.

9-1-1 showrunner Tim Minear explains this bright idea.

Where do we pick up?

Instead of the disaster playing out chronologically, “you’re coming in about four or five days into the event,” explains Minear. He says the opening segment is “maybe my favorite two minutes we’ve ever done. It feels like Jumanji had a baby with Jurassic Park, and it’s all happening on Hollywood Boulevard.” Things then roll back to the hours before the outage.

What mayhem ensues?

Imagine the worst of what can occur when a city is plunged into darkness: cars crashing, criminals escaping, says Minear: “What happens when everyone’s GPS gets attacked at the same time and you’re just doing what your car tells you to do?”

Where is Athena in all of this?

After literally walking through fire to save firefighter husband Bobby (Peter Krause) from a sniper, the heroic police sergeant (Angela Bassett) revisits a darker part of her past as the serial rapist (Noah Bean) who attacked her in Season 3 heads to trial. “But when the city goes insane, he takes advantage of that,” Minear says. Uh-oh.

How is Maddie doing?

The 9-1-1 operator and new mom played by Jennifer Love Hewitt quit her job at the end of last season to deal with her mental health. “Poor Maddie is going through postpartum depression while the world is ending yet again,” Minear says. With firefighter beau Chimney (Kenneth Choi) busy during the blackout, “she’s very isolated and things take a slightly dangerous turn for her.”

Will there be another crossover with spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star?

“We have been talking about that,” hints Minear, who says he’s eyeing an event sometime midseason.

9-1-1, Season 5 Premiere, Monday, September 20, 8/7c, Fox

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2021 Returning Favorites issue. For more inside scoop on the new fall TV season, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.