The Real Reason 9-1-1 Moved to ABC From FOX

The Real Reason 9-1-1 Moved to ABC From FOX
Image credit: ABC

Maybe one day we'll see a crossover between The Rookie and 9-1-1?


  • The seventh season of 9-1-1 was the first to air on ABC instead of Fox.
  • The reason for the move was Fox's new business model.
  • Despite the move, the series remains one of the most popular shows on television.

Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, 9-1-1 continues to delight with its balance of drama and action. Since 2018, we've followed with great interest the trials and tribulations that unfold in the professional and personal lives of Los Angeles' first responders. However, Season 7 became the first in the show's history to air on a new network.

While its spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star, set in Austin, Texas, continues to air on Fox, the flagship series has taken up residence on ABC.

And while the move has taken a bit of a bite out of the viewership, 9-1-1 is still a very popular show and has secured its future for at least one more season (there is little reason to doubt that the show will continue beyond that). But why did it switch networks in the first place? Let's get to the bottom of that and find out how it affected its ratings.

Reasons for Switching to a New TV Network

As with most TV decisions regarding the future of a project, the main reason 9-1-1 is no longer airing on its original network, Fox, is, needless to say, money.

The Real Reason 9-1-1 Moved to ABC From FOX - image 1

In May 2023, Fox gave Lone Star the green light for a fifth season while deciding to cancel the original 9-1-1, according to Fox Entertainment CEO Rob Wade. His statement can be read below:

'We look at shows in two different ways. First and foremost from a creative lens and how much we like the creative. And the second thing is really the economics of that. I think we felt moving forward into what is really a new era of television, the economics weren't going to pan out on this show for us. The decision was made there that the business model wasn't right for us and that 20th TV would take the show back.'

While 9-1-1 was one of Fox's most-watched scripted series, the network now puts much more emphasis on its reality shows like The Masked Singer, Hell's Kitchen, America's Most Wanted and others. Well, maybe that's for the best, as ABC is home to many great procedurals like Will Trent and The Rookie, as well as medical drama Grey's Anatomy — maybe we're in for some interesting crossovers!

In fact, Tim Minear himself has stated that the new channel is a great home for his series.

'FOX was great for us for many years. The thing that's exciting about ABC is it feels like the first year of the show in a lot of ways. Like the enthusiasm at the network is, you know, through the roof. The promotions are fantastic. The artwork is great, and they're just really engaged.'

9-1-1 Ratings After Moving to ABC

As we said, the show's move to a new network resulted in some audience loss - while Fox's Season 6 had 7.12 million viewers, ABC's Season 7 had 6.86 million.

Nonetheless, ABC audiences have been very receptive to the series, as it has surpassed not only other procedurals but all scripted series on the network in total viewers this year. By comparison, 9-1-1 had 6.86 million, Will Trent had 6.74 million and The Rookie had 5.93 million. Furthermore, it ranked eighth overall among the top 100 shows in the 18-49 demographic.

But while fans are clearly looking forward to next season as the 118 prepare for even bigger challenges, it remains to be seen how much viewers will stay engaged in the coming years. It is still difficult to draw conclusions as this is the first year on the new network. In other words, we will have to wait until Season 8 is released to understand how consistent 9-1-1's ratings are on ABC.

Source: Variety,