We've Got Hollywood Covered

‘9-1-1’ Star Jennifer Love Hewitt on Taking Over Connie Britton’s Headset

TCA 2018: Maddie joins Ryan Murphy series ”pretty broken and bothered“ and ”needing to start over,“ Hewitt says of her character

When “9-1-1” returns this fall, there’s going to be a new lady taking all the emergency calls Ryan Murphy can dream up, and her name is Jennifer Love Hewitt — err, Maddie.

During the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday, Hewitt joined her new co-stars to discuss joining the Fox drama for its second season, after leading lady Connie Britton’s made her series exit at the end of her one-year deal — and took 911 operator Abby with her.

Luckily, Hewitt will be picking up that headset to help keep things under control in Season 2, if that’s at all possible. Especially because it sounds like Maddie has some demons to deal with on her own.

“I play a woman named Maddie who is Buck’s [Oliver Stark] sister,” Hewitt said. “And she has had a little bit of a tough time in her life in sort of an abusive relationship. She comes to her brother pretty broken and bothered by what’s kind of happening in her life and needing to start over. Needing a place to maybe figure out who she really is and hopefully help other people. She was a nurse before and sort of through his guidance and brilliance becomes a 9-1-1 operator and is able to help people but stay in the same place, given her situation.”

Ryan Guzman, another addition for season 2, gave a few details about his new onscreen persona as well, who is “kind of an Army vet” and who has “been through a lot, but he also takes on a lot.”

“He doesn’t put it on anybody else. He’s all about the job itself,” Guzman said. “So he’s a very easy person to like and there is not too much of him trying to get people to like him. It’s just innately in there. And that’s all due to [co-creator] Tim [Minear]. He just sold me on it by when I met with him he just told me the description of the character and I said, ‘Let’s do this thing.'”

Hewitt and Guzman will star opposite Peter Krause, Angela Bassett and Oliver Stark. She steps in for Connie Britton, who is departing the Ryan Murphy-produced series at the conclusion of her one-year deal.

Co-created by Murphy, Tim Minear and Brad Falchuk, ‘9-1-1’ explores the high-pressure experiences of police officers, firefighters and emergency operators who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. In addition to Bassett, Krause, Britton and Stark, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi and Rockmond Dunbar also star.

The freshman series was a ratings success in the fall, scoring an early Season 2 renewal in January. The network announced on Monday that “9-1-1” would move to Monday nights in the fall.

Hewitt most recently had a one-season run on the CBS procedural “Criminal Minds.” She’s also starred in “The Client List” on Lifetime and “The Ghost Whisperer” on CBS. On Fox, Hewitt has starred in “Party of Five” and spinoff “Time of Your Life.”

“9-1-1” will return with a two-night Season 2 premiere Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8/7 c and Monday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c (its regular time slot) on Fox.