Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton is reportedly in talks to return to Fox's 9-1-1 after starring in the show's first season. Britton could be back to her role as 9-1-1 operator Abby in multiple episodes later in Season 3. The former Nashville star was only signed for the first season and was replaced by Jennifer Love Hewitt in Season 2.
TVLine confirmed Britton is now in talks with producers to come back.
9-1-1 co-creator Ryan Murphy left the door open for Britton's character to come back from the moment she left. In the show, Abby was not killed - she just decided to leave Los Angeles for a chance at a different life.
"We're in the process of renegotiating her deal so she can come in and do a couple of episodes to keep her character alive," Murphy previously told TVLine. "She really loves the cast and crew and she's very hopeful that that can happen."
In another interview with Deadline just after announcing Britton would not be returning, he said they were already talking about bringing her back.
"Connie had just come off Nashville, and she didn't want to do another show right away," Murphy said at the time. "I said, 'Well, why don't you just do a one year deal,' so Connie has a one-year deal, and we all knew that going in. But the show has become such a success, successes are good, and Connie and I both realize that, so we're talking about her coming back in some capacity to season two if we can make her deal work."
The stars of the show were also hopefully Britton would come back. In an October 2018 interview with PopCulture.com, Oliver Stark, whose character Evan "Buck" Buckley fell in love with Abby in Season 1, said he was keeping his "fingers crossed."
"I hope so, both professionally and personally," Stark said. "But, I understand that she's very busy, but she had a lot of fun on the show, I know that is also true, and obviously has a great relationship with our writers and everything, so yeah I have my fingers crossed."
Stark explained that Abby's influence on Buck left a "lasting impression" on the character.
"Whatever does happen between the two of them, and that relationship - however that plays out - I think the good influence that she had on him will continue to affect his life and be an indicator of who he is," Stark said.
Angela Bassett, who stars as Athena Grant, told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 the door was open for her return.
"It is absolutely possible," Bassett said at the time. "We love Connie — Connie is family. She's a phenomenal actress and a delightful person, and if she has a free Tuesday, come on over and give it to us! Anytime she wants to — anytime we need her — she's there."
9-1-1 returns on Fox in March. The spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star starring Rob Lowe, debuts on Sunday, Jan. 19, following the NFC Championship Game.
Photo credit: Fox