FOX is debuting a spinoff to its popular action drama 911 on Sunday, January 19, when 911: Lone Star premieres following the NFC title game on FOX. Viewers have been wondering if the show actually films in Austin, Texas, which is where the spinoff is set.
The answer is — mostly no.
The Production Splits Time Between Los Angeles and Austin
Back when the show was announced, a FOX publicist told Austin 360 that the show would be filmed in Los Angeles. However, the show has gone on location to Austin to film at least a few scenes. At the 2020 Television Critics Association winter press tour, executive producer Tim Minear told the audience that they “split the production.”
“We have shot in Austin. We sort of split the production, but we’re based primarily here,” says Minear, adding that they thought Austin was the perfect city for a spinoff because it represents so much of America as a whole.
“The thing that I think works so well on 911 is that kind of combination of blue sky and urban, like LA gives you everything, and Austin does as well,” says Minear. “You have sort of the hipster culture. You have sort of Blue America in the middle of Red America. You have Red America around Blue America.”
“It sort of has it all, and we just thought we would do a barbecued flavor version of the show. It’s A Taste of 911,” Minear cracks.
They Wanted the Spinoff to Happen Organically
Minear also tells the TCA audience that they didn’t want to jump into a new 911 until they had a show with “something else to say.”
“The idea is to have the brand grow in a way that feels organic and natural. We didn’t want to jump into a new iteration of 911 until we felt like we had something that was part of the universe but unique and had something else to say,” says Minear. “And Lone Star was sort of built differently than 911 was built because … we sort of started with a spectacle with 911. With Lone Star we felt like we’d earned the good graces of our audience, and we build from character and we build to the cases. Whereas on 911, we sort of started with the cases and built to the characters. So we’re sort of doing the inverse here, and it feels different, but it still feels like it’s part of the same brand.”
He also reiterated something he has said about the original 911, which is that if something seems too farfetched to be real, it’s actually probably based on a real 911 call.
“What we usually say is if you can’t believe it, it’s probably based on a real thing,” says Minear. “That’s been the case on 911. A lot of our cases are based on real things.”
In the 911: Lone Star premiere, for example, there’s a daring rescue of a baby who is thrown from a car — still in his car seat — into a tree. And that really did happen.
“The real particular case was a driving storm and the car rolled, and it was just as we played it,” says executive producer Rashad Raisani. “The hypothermia was the thing, and they were scrambling to find this kid. And fortunately for us, we got to play what they really did, was somebody had the idea, ‘Don’t look down. Look up.’ And they found the kid up in a tree.”
911: Lone Star aired a special premiere on Sunday, January 20 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. It moves to its regular time slot of Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on January 20 on FOX.
READ NEXT: How to Watch ‘911: Lone Star’ Online