"I hope so, both professionally and personally," Stark said in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com when asked about a potential return for Britton. "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."
During the show's first season, Britton starred as 911 dispatcher Abby Clark. Stark's firefighter Evan "Buck" Buckley fell in love with her before meeting her face-to-face. Once they finally did, Abby helped make Buck a better man and even saved his life with an emergency tracheotomy on their Valentine's Day date.
However, after Abby's mother died, she decided to go on a journey of rediscovery in Europe, leaving Buck behind in Los Angeles.
While Abby is gone, Stark said her influence on Buck is not going anywhere.
"I think the relationship between them has certainly had a lasting impression on him," Stark said. "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 effect his life and be an indicator of who he is."
Britton only signed on to appear in the first season, which gave her another chance to work with American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy following her five seasons on Nashville. Murphy and Britton reunited again this year, since Britton is starring on American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
When asked how the set has been without Britton around, Stark said it feels like there is a void left, but they hope to fill it with their new additions.
"It's Connie Britton, so obviously there is a void that is left," Stark explained. "She's an incredibly talented actress, and lovely person to have around, but that's the nature of the job. So as much as we all miss her... we get on with [her]. Obviously we've got some new additions to the show which do help fill that void... We just have to keep on going and continue to make the show the best we can."
Those new additions are Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Guzman. Hewitt plays Maddie, Buck's sister, who is escaping an abusive relationship. In the season premiere, Buck helped her get a job as a new 911 dispatcher. Guzman also has a major impact on Buck's life as firefighter Eddie Diaz.
New episodes of 9-1-1 air on Fox Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Britton can be seen on American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which airs on FX Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: Fox