Just as the members of Ladder 126 are trained to face any number of life-threatening emergencies, so too are the 9-1-1: Lone Star writers willing to tackle any plot-related challenges that befall them. For John Owen Lowe, whose first episode airs tonight (Fox, 8/7c), those challenges include potentially having to write a love scene for his own father.
“I was willing to cross that bridge if it came up,” Lowe admits to TVLine about tonight’s installment. And considering last week’s hour introduced Natalie Zea as Owen’s new love interest, it was a very real possibility. “Fortunately, I was given the space to explore the characters’ relationships through their friendships more through their [romantic connections].”
Tonight’s friendship-focused episode also introduces Billy Burke as a frenemy of sorts for Owen. “When we were originally crafting the idea of Billy, we were looking for the Texas version of Owen,” Lowe explains. “When you meet someone who almost feels like your exact counterpart, it’s equal parts threatening and exciting.” (Let the games begin.)
As someone with close ties to the show’s star, Lowe says he provided his fellow writers with valuable insight early in the development process.
“When we were still getting a feel for the actors and their characters, there were moments when people would ask me things like, ‘Do you think your dad would be OK taking his shirt off in this scene?'” Lowe recalls. “And I was just like, ‘He’d be into it. Trust me.'”
According to Lowe, many of Lone Star‘s over-the-top emergencies come from the writing staff scouring the darkest corners of sites like Reddit and YouTube (“the kind of crazy disasters that just make you go, ‘What the f–k? That’s a real thing?”), but it’s also possible that Lowe could one day pull inspiration from something a little closer to home.
“If we’re going to do something based on The Lowe Files, it’s going to have to be some sort of Bigfoot-esque conspiracy theory,” Lowe says, referring back to the A&E reality series he appeared on with his father and brother. “And I can guarantee that would become my dad’s favorite case to do.”
Hit PLAY on the video above for a sneak peek of tonight’s episode, then drop a comment with your thoughts on 9-1-1: Lone Star below.