‘9-1-1’ Creator Resists Calling it a ‘Procedural’ Show: Here’s Why

by Quentin Blount

The next time you refer to the hit FOX show 9-1-1, you better not call it a “procedural” show. If you do, the show’s creator Tim Minear might have a few choice words for you.

9-1-1, of course, follows the lives of first responders in the city of Los Angeles. That group consists of police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and 9-1-1 dispatchers. As a result, there are plenty of people out there who call the show a “procedural” television series. By definition, the show fits that description. TV shows in the procedural drama category are often focused on law enforcement agencies and how crimes are solved. But it is that little distinction that the show’s creator says is the difference with 9-1-1 versus other shows that focus on law enforcement.

He explained as much to Assignment X back in 2018 when he was asked what he would most like people to know about the show.

“That we love this arena, we love a great network drama,” Minear explained. “And I resist calling it a ‘procedural,’ because it’s not a procedural, in terms of, there’s a body and we have to discover how that body got dead. It’s a first responder show.”

That’s actually a great point from Tim Minear. After all, he didn’t want to create just another procedural police show. The television lineup is already flooded with several of those. It was his goal to create something new, something different. That’s why he says his show doesn’t focus on the solving of crimes per se but instead is centered on the urgent situations that various law enforcement members can find themselves in.

“So, it’s more like a series of viral videos, much more in the moment, much more urgent, much more WTF, and then you’re onto the next thing.”

‘9-1-1’ is a Tribute to All First Responders According to One of the Show’s Stars

We can sit here all day and debate whether or not FOX’s 9-1-1 is a procedural drama. But there comes a certain point in time where all of that is just semantics. At the show’s very core, it is a tribute to all of our nation’s first responders. We don’t often think about how stressful the situations can be for them. And that doesn’t just go for police officers.

9-1-1 is a great example of showing how all agencies work together in times of need. But on the other hand, that means that they all also bear the brunt of the job.

Actress Aisha Hinds plays Henriette “Hen” Wilson in the show. She told Assignment X exactly that in a previous interview.

“It’s an amazing show, and it’s a tribute to our first responders,” she said. “I think it celebrates them, their lives, and the work that they do. We sort of take them for granted, but we want them to know that we do not take them for granted. And so hopefully audiences will join us in celebrating the work that they do.”