About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly


9-1-1 shot in the same water tanks as Titanic for its season 3 tsunami

Jack Zeman/FOX

Posted on

Show Details
TV Show

Even a day at the beach is a cause for drama on this Fox hit. For its third-season premiere, 9-1-1 is wiping out the Santa Monica Pier with a massive tsunami — and firefighter Buck (Oliver Stark) is among those dropping the funnel cake and running for dear life. “I thought we had gone as big as you could possibly go, but no, there’s more,” jokes star Angela Bassett, referencing season 2’s multi-episode earthquake premiere.

The effects and scale of this latest natural disaster are so huge that production used the Mexico-based water tanks James Cameron employed to film 1997’s Titanic. “We re-created Santa Monica streets in this tank, along with a piece of the Santa Monica Pier,” says showrunner and co-creator Tim Minear (American Horror Story). “The tsunami hits, and what’s left is the sign that says ‘Santa Monica Pier’ and the top 30 percent of the Ferris wheel sticking out of the ocean.”

9-1-1’s tsunami event will be structured much like last year’s opener. “Not unlike the earthquake episodes last year, the big event will happen at the end of the premiere,” reveals Minear. “Then the thrill ride of the flooding and people trapped at the top of the Ferris wheel sticking out of the ocean will happen in part two. Part three is the aftermath of that once the water recedes and people are displaced and separated. We don’t know who’s lived and who’s died. Buck has lost [Eddie’s son] Christopher (Gavin McHugh) and it’s very harrowing. And then there are other rescues to be had and the clean-up period and Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is instrumental in discovering a real crisis in a building that’s not calling for help.”

Once that crisis is averted, though, things are hardly calm for the newly married Bobby (Peter Krause) and Athena (Bassett). The seventh episode of the season will finally give viewers Athena’s origin story and reveal what drove her to join the police force. “We’re all getting along well with this new family, this new dynamic, and then, of course in this 9-1-1 world, something happens,” teases Bassett. “This whole discovery that just brings up her past and what has made her who she is.” Adds Minear: “We see a very young Athena and an event that took place in the ’90s which has come back to haunt her a little bit in the present day. She unravels a mystery from her youth as we tell that story in parallel timelines.”

One of 9-1-1’s other couples, Maddie and Chim (Kenneth Choi), also find themselves struggling to overcome the past. “They’re definitely back on,” says Minear of the couple. But, “Maddie is not done dealing with the turmoil and the destruction that [her dead abusive ex-husband] Doug has left in his wake. I think that she’s probably far more damaged by Doug than she knows yet.”

Brace for impact.

Want more Fall TV Preview scoop? Get EW’s October issue for FREE on Apple News, or buy a copy now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Related content: 

TV Show
run date
Tim Minear
Oliver Stark
Complete Coverage