'Emergence' Showrunner Promises 'Big' Answers 'Sooner Than You Think'

Kate Hahn
Fall Preview ABC

After a plane crashes in her small town, capable, coolheaded police chief Jo Evans (Fargo's Allison Tolman) takes in Piper (Alexa Swinton), a girl with amnesia discovered hiding near the site. While sheltering Piper, she also stumbles onto a conspiracy that is way above her pay grade.

ABC's suspenseful Emergence is "a thriller combined with a family drama, influenced by [Steven] Spielberg movies like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind," says Michele Fazekas, an executive producer along with Tara Butters.

The genre-mashing vibe is apparent early on. Soon after Piper is released from the hospital (where she takes to a Skittles-esque candy like E.T. took to Reese's Pieces), the dangerous folks pursuing the child threaten Jo's family. To protect her ex Alex (Donald Faison, Scrubs) and daughter Bree (Ashley Aufderheide), Jo aims to discover Piper's origin — with the help of an investigative reporter, Benny (Owain Yeoman, The Mentalist).

Watch the Strange Happenings of the First 9 Minutes of 'Emergence' (VIDEO)

Watch the Strange Happenings of the First 9 Minutes of 'Emergence' (VIDEO)

Something strange is going on in this small town.

Sci-fi fans frustrated by series that heap on mystery after mystery without tying up loose ends, fret not! The producers promise not to torment viewers with that same model.

"We know that can be annoying," says Butters. "So we're going to give answers, big ones — including revealing Piper's true identity — sooner than you think."

(ABC/Zach Dilgard)

Emergence, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 24, 10/9c, ABC