The 39-year-old actress is returning to TV this fall with a juicy role on Ryan Murphy’s first responder procedural, 9-1-1. Hewitt will be playing Maddie Buckley, a 911 operator who is the sister of firefighter Evan "Buck" Buckley, played by Oliver Stark. The actress, who starred on Fox teen drama Party of Five over 20 years ago, opened up to ET’s Leanne Aguilera at the network’s upfront presentation in New York City on Monday about what drew her to the sophomore series.
“I really love the show. I genuinely love it; it's just a beautiful show,” Hewitt gushed. “I love the idea of following the first responders, but I also love really knowing who they are as people, and not just sort of seeing the emergency situations.”
“And when Ryan Murphy calls, I mean, you pick up the phone and you say, 'Uh huh. Uh huh. OK.' And that's it!” she added. “That's pretty much the conversation. I adore him, as does the world, and they should. I've known him a long time and I was just really honored.”
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Hewitt said her character isn’t fully formed as of yet, but she has been pitched some exciting ideas about her backstory and can’t wait to tackle some of the show’s more bizarre cases.
“I basically play Buck's sister, and I come in with a very sort of dark, sordid story of my own. And I take sort of safety and solace in being a 911 operator,” she explained. “I am literally buckling my seat belt and waiting to read it all. I have no idea, but I'm excited.”
Hewitt’s call-center operator also has some big shoes to fill, as season one regular Connie Britton -- who played 911 responder Abby Clark -- will be headed over to Bravo to executive produce and star in Dirty John, a scripted series based on the true-crime podcast of the same name.
But don’t think that means Britton is gone for good! The Friday Night Lights star said she would “love” to return to 9-1-1 if her busy schedule permits.
“I think we're gonna try and figure it out; it's just scheduling and all the rest of it,” she said. “And that show is so ambitious. They have such a crazy schedule, too, so we're gonna try and figure it out.”
9-1-1 returns for its second season this fall on Fox. Dirty John, which Britton is also executive producing, will air on Bravo.