Liv Tyler Leaving ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’: What Does This Mean for the Show?

Liv Tyler in 9-1-1: Lone Star
Jack Zeman/FOX

Like the original series, 9-1-1: Lone Star is losing a key cast member heading into its second season.

Liv Tyler, who starred as paramedic captain Michelle Blake, is not returning, for pandemic-related reasons involving her family and travel (from London to Los Angeles), Deadline reports. The Fox drama will not be recasting her role, so it is possible she could return in the future (like Connie Britton’s Abby did on 9-1-1).

“What a thrill it was having a movie star of Liv Tyler’s stature to help us launch the first season of 9-1-1: Lone Star,” co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner Tim Minear said in a statement. “We loved working with Liv and will be forever indebted to her for her haunting, powerful portrayal of Michelle Blake.

“While we were able to tell a complete chapter in Michelle’s story, as with Connie Britton on our mothership, we also feel like there are more stories to be told. The door here will always be open for a return.”

Season 1 of 9-1-1: Lone Star ended with Michelle reuniting with the sister she had previously thought to be dead. Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca), had been living under a bridge, and Michelle and her mother weren’t able to convince her to come home instead of continuing to listen to the voices wanting her to stay where she is. The plan had been to see how that changed Michelle going forward.

Liv Tyler 9-1-1: Lone Star

Kevin Estrada/FOX

“Finding Iris and finding Iris in the state in which she was found is going to fundamentally change who Michelle is, and it will alter the course of her life and what is now an occupation will probably become a kind of vocation,” Minear told TV Insider after the finale. “She’s going to find a deeper purpose and a new meaning for her life and it’s going to happen because of how she’s going to have to deal with her mentally ill sister, who is still living on the streets.”

With the series incorporating the coronavirus pandemic into Season 2, might that also play a role in Michelle’s exit? Perhaps she’s able to convince her sister to live with her and takes a step back from work as a result. Maybe she moves (with her family) elsewhere, potentially out of Texas.

We already know of another paramedic captain coming in to fill the hole left: new series regular Gina Torres’ Tommy Vega. The Suits and Pearson star’s character “was at the top of her game when she hung up her uniform to raise her twin daughters,” the description reads. But due to COVID-19, her husband’s restaurant went under and Tommy has to return to work to support her family. “Though it breaks her heart to be apart from her little girls, Tommy will show the world that no matter how much time has passed, when she puts on that uniform, she’s still a boss.”

How will Tommy fit in with the rest of the first responders, especially since she’ll be coming in in the middle of the pandemic? We’ll have to wait and see, but it should also be interesting to see how Captain Owen Strand (Rob Lowe) reacts to her, especially in the wake of Michelle’s exit. (We did, after all, see Owen and Michelle bonding in the first season.)

Liv Tyler Rob Lowe 9-1-1: Lone Star

Kevin Estrada/FOX.

Like the rest of Fox’s scripted lineup, 9-1-1: Lone Star is expected to return in early 2021. A tentative filming date has been set for October 12.

9-1-1: Lone Star, Season 2, 2021, Fox