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Luke Wilson to front U.S. adaptation of “Emergency Call” format on ABC

Disney-backed commercial broadcaster ABC is set to debut an American adaptation of a European format that documents the dramatic moments of an emergency as told through emergency call operators. Produced by ...
September 4, 2020

Disney-backed commercial broadcaster ABC is set to debut an American adaptation of a European format that documents the dramatic moments of an emergency as told through emergency call operators.

Produced by 8Hours Television and hosted by actor Luke Wilson, Emergency Call will chart the crucial first minutes of a crisis as told through the perspective of emergency phone operators. Rather than documenting rescue efforts from first responders, the series will follow the events leading up to the arrival of help, capturing the alarming and sometimes humorous stories that flood 911 call centers.

“When you’re younger, you might be drawn toward superheroes or fictional characters, but as you get older you come to realize that people who help, real-life heroes, are just regular people who do extraordinary things,” said Luke Wilson in a statement. “911 call takers don’t just save people; they calm and console people until they are safe. They are the first link in the chain of first responders. For that, I feel very lucky to be a part of this project.”

The ABC series is based on an original format by Belgium’s De Chinezen for Flemish pubcaster VRT. Amsterdam-based Lineup Industries handles international distribution. The format was chosen as a Realscreen MIPCOM Pick in 2016.

8Hours Television’s Adeline Ramage Rooney (MasterChef) and Jonny Slow serve as executive producers alongside showrunner Grant Kahler and Wilson (Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums).

Emergency Call premieres Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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