Fox Reteams With Dick Wolf, Picking Up Reality Series ‘First Responders Live’

Courtesy of FOX
Fox is pushing deeper into unscripted programming after the breakout of The Masked Singer, re-teaming with producer Dick Wolf on First Responders Live.
Hosted by Josh Elliott and co-produced by Red Arrow Studios’ 44 Blue Productions, the show will premiere June 12. It promises “an unprecedented look at fearless first responders as they answer emergency calls across the country.”
The territory explored by First Responders Live is already marked in the scripted realm by Wolf’s Chicago-set dramas centered around police and fire units (as well as hospital and legal personnel), but the new series takes the concept into real life. In basic cable, A&E’s Live PD has gotten significant traction with a similar approach, delivering the network its highest ratings of any of its current shows and some enviable stats in on-demand viewing as well.

For Wolf, the venture marks a return to Fox, which aired his show New York Undercover for four seasons in the mid-1990s.

Fox Corp., the parent of the Fox broadcast network that has recently slimmed down after most of the company was sold to Disney, is emphasizing live viewing, unscripted and sports in its new phase. It no longer has its longtime in-house production studio, which complicates the economics of licensing major shows and maximizing profits over the long term. But Fox has moved quickly to adjust course, signing a long-term deal to air NFL Thursday Night Football, WWE wrestling and a range of other draws, using its healthy portfolio of local stations to amplify promotion.

According to the official logline of First Responders Live, the show “will provide a raw, in-depth look at the brave American heroes, including firefighters, police officers, EMS technicians and first responders, who put their own lives on the line as they race into danger to save others. Each week, the show will embed cameras in multiple cities across the country, to document a night in the life of these units.” Elliott, joined by a team of experts, will provide live analysis and commentary.

“I am thrilled to work with the legendary Dick Wolf on a show that will give viewers a unique look at the bravest and most courageous among us, as they jump into the fray to rescue and save lives,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Entertainment. “With the success of our drama, 9-1-1, viewers have a strong appetite for stories based in this world. Watching real first responders spring into action as they answer these calls will be a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat journey for viewers each week.”

Wolf said he has “always been fascinated by the brave work of first responders, who face life-and-death decisions on a daily basis.” added Wolf, who promised viewers “a front row seat to paramedic, fire and police calls, and they will see the challenges of every type of emergency.

Elliott, who is repped by UTA, initially gained notice as a sportscaster on ESPN before moving to Good Morning America, Today and most recently CBS News.

First Responders Live is produced by Wolf Entertainment and Red Arrow Studios’ 44 Blue Productions. Along with Wolf, Rasha Drachkovitch and Tom Thayer are executive producers.

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