The Harrowing Real Life 911 Call That Inspired Ryan Murphy To Create His New Series

Bobby Nash Peter Krause 9-1-1 Fox

There are no witches or crazy cult members (at least yet anyway) in Ryan Murphy's new series 9-1-1, but that doesn't mean its origins aren't absolutely terrifying. Murphy recently shared a harrowing 911 call he had to make, which eventually inspired him to create a series based around first responders:

My son Ford was 11 months old [at the time], and in the middle of the night, stopped breathing. We called 9-1-1, and obviously, we were in a panic and doing CPR. They showed up and at two in the morning, there were four responders. They were incredibly calm and nurturing, and they brought him back to life.

In what is surely every parent's worst nightmare, the responders kept a level head and even forced 9-1-1 creator Ryan Murphy out of the room to keep the scene as calm as possible. When his son was revived only his husband David Miller was allowed to go to the hospital, as Murphy was instructed to stay behind and give a report to the responders who stayed behind. Murphy told those at the TCA press tour (via ET) that those people helped bring him out of a dark place and ultimately saved the life of his son, who is now 3.

As for what was wrong with his son Ford, Ryan Murphy said doctors later discovered he had a genetic blockage that they were able to fix. That's typically not something a first responder will know about, which made it all the more impressive they were able to keep a level head and do their job. It was a situation that amazed Murphy and ultimately led to what would become 9-1-1:

My interest in this show came from a very life-or-death situation for my son. I'd really been interested in the lives of [first responders] and how they are forced to show up to be the balance in stressful situations.

So while 9-1-1 may focus on some of the more rare emergency calls a team might get called out to (such as getting strangled by a snake), it's hard to dispute the series over the top situations as unrealistic after hearing what Ryan Murphy personally experienced. The stakes are often high, as Murphy reiterated that had the first responders not been there that night, his son would have died. Luckily 9-1-1 has a super talented cast at the wheel, so there should likely never be a moment where the situation seems any less intense than what it is.

9-1-1 returns to Fox with a new episode Wednesday, January 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what shows will be returning or premiering during that time, be sure to head on over to our midseason premiere guide. Those who are still stuck on 2017 should check out our cancellation guide to see what all shows didn't escape the year. For a look at some of television's wilder live moments in 2017, check out our list of the craziest live television moments!

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.