9-1-1 & Lone Star Crossover News & Update: Franchise Shake-up as Original Series Moves to ABC While Spinoff Stays at Fox

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Credit: TV Promos/YouTube Screenshot

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Credit: TV Promos/YouTube Screenshot

In a surprising turn of events, the popular first responder franchise, 9-1-1, has undergone a major upheaval. The original 9-1-1 series, beloved by fans, has been canceled by Fox and will soon find a new home on ABC.

Meanwhile, the spinoff series, 9-1-1: Lone Star, has been renewed for its fifth season and will continue airing on Fox. These decisions, driven by complicated rights fees, have cast a shadow of doubt over any potential future collaborations between the two gripping dramas.

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Unlikely Crossovers: Fox Entertainment President Shares Disappointing News

During Fox's pre-upfront press call on May 15, the prospects of crossovers between 9-1-1 and Lone Star were dealt a blow. Fox Entertainment President, Michael Thorn, expressed that the likelihood of such crossovers happening was "extremely unlikely."

Thorn acknowledged the inherent challenges of bringing the ambitious shows together and admitted that crossovers had always been infrequent, even before the ABC move.

Thorn shared his thoughts, stating, "Right now we're really focused on our own schedule and how we look forward with our own series. We're really proud of the 9-1-1 franchise and excited to announce another season of Lone Star."

"It's really a standout series… and rest assured, we're going to relaunch that show. It's an important show to our audience, and we're very excited to have it back.

"As far as crossovers go, crossovers have always been really hard on the 9-1-1 franchise because they're such ambitious shows. We weren't able to do it every year when they ran on the network."

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Ownership and Cost Concerns: The Driving Factors Behind the Cancellation

The cancellation of the original 9-1-1 series boils down to questions of ownership and cost. Disney's 20th Television owns both 9-1-1 and its Lone Star spinoff, which influenced Fox's decision to part ways with the flagship show.

Previously, Fox owned the series but sold its television studio, leading the network to seek ways to reduce expenses. Currently, Fox must pay a licensing fee to air both 9-1-1 and the spinoff.

Reportedly, Fox's choice to let go of 9-1-1 while retaining Lone Star is a response to declining broadcast ratings and the need to manage costs. Despite 9-1-1's position as the top broadcast drama in the coveted 18-49 demographic, Fox was shelling out over $9 million per episode for its airing.

In contrast, the spinoff came at a lower cost, estimated at $6-$7 million per episode. Network CEO Rob Wade acknowledged the economic aspect during the press call, stating, "The decision was made there that the business model wasn't right for us, and that 20th would take the show back."

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