SDCC 2019: ABC’s ‘Emergence’ Could be a Sleeper Fall Hit for the Network

Credit: ABC Network

We were treated to the pilot episode of ABC’s new Sci-Fi drama ‘Emergence.’


Co-creator Michele Fazekas said the inspiration behind any project she works on is rooted in the “real world expect for one weird magic thing.” saying “Growing up I liked Speilberg and things like Close Encounters and ET” shapes her creative process.

Those kind of inspirations are somewhat seen in the pilot setting up what could be an intriguing show for ABC.


The series features Allison Tolman taking on the role of a cop named Jo. Something she is familiar with from her time on ‘Fargo.’


‘Emergence’ is a character-driven genre thriller, about a police chief  (Tolman) who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all. Something isn’t quite right and before the episode was over a big secret is revealed. We won’t share exactly what we find out here but let’s just say Piper has a little bit of an Eleven (Stranger Things) vibe to her – but with more personality.

“Piper is what you call a keep to herself kind of girl because she is afraid of what might happen if she doesn’t.” said Alexa Swinton who plays Piper.


Credit: ABC

Police Chief Jo (Tolman) is flanked by her ex husband Alex who is played by Donald Faison. While he is typically seen as a comedic actor he looked at this project as a welcome change. “I have done Comedy my whole career …and I really wanted to do something different. I am a huge Sci-Fi fan. This is something I really wanted to be a part of.” said Faison.

Even though he and Jo are divorced they seem to have a healthy relationship – one that has shared custody of their daughter – who takes a liking to her new found orphan friend Piper.

As excepted someone comes looking for Piper fairly soon which starts to raise some questions around how she went missing in the first place. Nothing is what it seems and the mystery starts to unfold – but my questions remain unanswered setting up season one quite nicely with a cliffhanger.

The sci-fi drama stars Allison Tolman as Jo, Alexa Swinton as Piper, Owain Yeoman as Benny, Ashley Aufderheide as Bree, Robert Bailey Jr. as Officer Chris, Zabryna Guevara as Abby with Donald Faison as Alex and Clancy Brown as Ed.

‘Emergence’ comes to ABC this Fall, September 24. Check our the trailer below!


'Emergence' Pilot
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