Fall TV Preview

9-1-1 Season 2: Jennifer Love Hewitt Reveals First Details About Her 'Broken' Character — Plus, Watch a New Trailer

9-1-1 Season 2 Jennifer Love Hewitt Maddie

9-1-1 is adding a little Love in Season 2: Jennifer Love Hewitt joins the cast of the Fox’s hit drama this fall, and she offered the first details on her new character to reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday.

Hewitt’s character Maddie, the sister of Oliver Stark’s Buck, has “had a little bit of a tough time in her life,” she says, after getting out of an abusive relationship. “She comes to her brother pretty broken… and needing to start over.” With Buck’s help, the former nurse becomes a 911 call-center operator in an effort to “figure out who she really is, and then hopefully help other people.”

We get our first look at Maddie in action — along with some eye-popping action when a massive earthquake hits L.A. — in a new trailer for Season 2 (debuting Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c):

Hewitt’s career first took off at Fox with Party of Five, and the actress is “really excited to be back at Fox… it’s just nice to have longevity in something you love to do so much.” After starring in shows like Ghost Whisperer and The Client List, she’s happy to take a backseat this time as part of an ensemble cast. “I have two children, and I got married,” she explains, “and it’s really nice to not have it all on your shoulders.”

Her arrival coincides with the departure of series star Connie Britton, who played 911 operator Abby in Season 1. Britton won’t appear in Season 2, but “we are honoring the character of Abby,” executive producer Tim Minear assures fans. “We’re not forgetting the incredibly important role she played in the first season,” he says, adding that a “window” is “always open for her to return.”

Hewitt won’t be one-and-done with 9-1-1, though. She made “a pretty long commitment” to the series, she reveals: “As long as the show is here, hopefully I will be here… as long as I don’t screw it up.”

Drop your thoughts on the addition of Jennifer Love Hewitt — and that Season 2 trailer — in a comment below.