Known for shows such as Glee, American Horror Story and most recently, Ratched, Ryan Murphy has put his own spin on procedural dramas with FOX's 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star. The tone of both series, while still normal dramas, encompass the heart and storytelling of first responders. Rob Lowe, who portrays firefighter captain Owen Strand in the spin-off, revealed that the world of Ryan Murphy is one of the many reasons why he loves the series.
While there are plenty of procedurals out there, from ER to Grey’s Anatomy to the One Chicago series, the Parks and Rec actor told Variety that with Lone Star, there are surprising elements that always lead to the unexpected and it keeps it fresh for him. Not always doing the same thing every week, the ever-changing storylines and “out-there” calls keeps him on his toes. Lowe explained:
The Ryan Murphy World special sauce is what makes doing a semi-procedural interesting for me as an actor. We have all of the elements of the genre, but in this iteration there are elements of the unexpected. It can be authentic and honest and then become almost absurdist. We do wild tone swings. It keeps it fresh for me.
Rob Lowe also said that, especially during COVID, it's a good thing to spotlight real-life heroes and that even though they may not wear masks and capes, their stories are every bit as compelling. Both 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star have incorporated the pandemic into their storylines, much like a number of other shows are doing. While the virus doesn't play a big part in the seasons, it's very much part of the overall plot and it's a way to show first responders on the frontlines while not necessarily making it part of the bigger story.
9-1-1 spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star became the #1 new drama series last year and has so far been topping Monday night ratings for its second season, just below the parent series. The Rob Lowe-led series features calls involving a tornado, solar storm, military tank on the loose, a volcano, and a wildfire that brought together both Ryan Murphy first responder series in a crossover, which was most likely the first of many.
The freshness of 9-1-1: Lone Star is why Rob Lowe wanted to do the series and why he loves it so much, which also explains why so many people love the series so much -- among other reasons. One week you're scaling a cell tower and being hit at with a bow and arrow, and the next you're saving people during an active volcano. And the first season also including Liv Tyler and the second having both Gina Torres and Lisa Edelstein is a plus as well.
Since 9-1-1: Lone Star has already been deemed “Safe for renewal” by multiple outlets only a few episodes into the second season, fans won’t have to worry about not seeing Rob Lowe in action and fighting fires, something they strangely don’t do much of in the Texas capital on television.