2:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Ryan Murphy's '911' Scores Early Season 2 Renewal at Fox
Fox is showing confidence in 911.
The network has handed out an early season-two renewal for its Ryan Murphy-produced procedural. The drama, which stars Peter Krause, Connie Britton and Angela Bassett and explores the work and home lives of emergency responders from the 9-1-1 call center to paramedics, has aired only two episodes. An episode count for season two has yet to be determined.
Produced in-house at 20th Century Fox Television, where Murphy and co-creator Brad Falchuk are under overall deals, 911 has been a standout performer when factoring in delayed viewing. The series, co-created by frequent Murphy collaborator Tim Minear, premiered Jan. 3 with a 1.8 rating among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 6.8 million total viewers, topping the return of The X-Files, which served as its lead-in. The heavily promoted 911 ranked as the highest-rated Big Four premiere in three months. Factoring in DVR returns, the show has grown to more than 15 million total viewers when adding seven days of multiplatform viewing (including its encore broadcast on FX). That qualifies 911 as Fox's largest debut since Lee Daniels' hip-hop drama Empire in 2015 (excluding post-Super Bowl premieres). Factoring just seven days of DVR returns, the numbers come in at 10.7 million total viewers — up 57 percent.
The numbers also held strong in its second episode, with a 2.5 in the demo and 11.6 million total viewers watching with three days of DVR (and its encore broadcast), both up significantly. It again was the No. 1 program on Wednesday for the second week in a row.
The renewal for 911 comes at a busy time for Murphy, who will launch the second season of FX anthology American Crime Story on Wednesday. His current roster of scripted originals also include FX's Pose, American Horror Story and Feud and Netflix's Ratched, the latter of which was picked up with a two-season order.
911 joins a 2018-19 roster at Fox that also includes the previously renewed The Simpsons, The Gifted and The Orville. The network's 2017-18 freshman class has now returned three of six, with verdicts still to be determined on comedies Ghosted and L.A. to Vegas and drama The Resident. The latter duo are part of the network's midseason lineup, with L.A. to Vegas already scoring an order for three additional episodes.
“With a bold concept, award-winning stars and a flawless execution, Ryan, Brad and Tim have done it again,” said Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “They have tapped into the cultural zeitgeist and reimagined the procedural as only they could, bringing it to life with a dream team of actors led by Angela, Peter and Connie. This is storytelling at its best and we’re so pleased that it’s resonated with our audience. We’d like to thank everyone involved with this production for their stellar work, and we look forward to another thrilling season of 911.”
The renewal comes as Murphy's future with longtime home 20th Century Fox Television remains in question as the prolific producer's overall deal expires this year. Murphy has said that he is taking a wait-and-see approach as the studio appears poised to become a Disney property as part of Fox's larger sale to the Mouse House. (Regulatory approval on that deal is expected to take between 12-18 months.)