ABC premieres unscripted Emergency Call Sept. 28. Luke Wilson hosts the show, about the people who take 911 phone calls. Wilson is an executive producer as well. Speaking with B+C, he referred to 911 responders as “regular people who do extraordinary things.”
Emergency Call follows 911 responders in cities such as New Orleans, Wasilla, Alaska and Austin, Texas. “Emergency Call 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, and focuses on the extreme, suspenseful and sometimes humorous stories that flood 911 call centers,” said ABC.
Wilson said he voraciously consumed crime stories as a child growing up in Dallas, sparking his interest in the people taking emergency calls. “911 call takers don’t just save people; they calm and console people until they are safe,” he said. “They are the first link in the chain of first responders. For that, I feel very lucky to be a part of this project.”
Wilson’s films include Old School, Bottle Rocket and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. His TV work includes DC’s Stargirl and Enlightened.
“An estimated 240 million calls are made every year to 911 call centers across the country,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “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.”
Besides Wilson, Emergency Call is executive produced by Adeline Ramage Rooney and Jonny Slow of 8Hours Television and Grant Kahler, who is showrunner. The show is produced by 8Hours Television.
Wilson called 911 responders “unsung heroes in every town they’re in.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.