Why Did Connie Britton Leave 9-1-1?

Connie Britton’s character Abby Clark was a fixture in the first season of Fox procedural drama 9-1-1, but why did she leave and could she return?

Connie Britton’s Abby was a main character during the first season of 9-1-1, but why did she leave the show and is there any chance she could return? Fox procedural drama 9-1-1 was co-created by TV giant Ryan Murphy and his frequent collaborators Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear and premiered in early 2018. The series is set in Los Angeles and follows a group of first responders – including dispatchers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics – as they attend to a variety of emergencies across the city

Connie Britton (who previously worked with Murphy on American Horror Story and American Crime Story) had a starring role in the freshman season of 9-1-1 as Abby Clark – a 40-something emergency call dispatcher struggling to balance the pressures of her job with caring for a mother with late-stage Alzheimer’s. Abby struck up a friendship with much younger firefighter Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark) after assisting him on a call in the pilot of 9-1-1. Despite their age gap, Abby and Buck’s friendship soon blossomed into romance when Buck helped Abby find her mother after she had wandered off.

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Abby’s mother sadly died of a pulmonary embolism in the penultimate episode of 9-1-1’s first season which prompted her to grab life by the horns and book a ticket to travel to Ireland – a trip her mother had always wanted to take in her lifetime. Abby departed for the Emerald Isle in the season 1 finale of 9-1-1 following an emotional goodbye with Buck, which ended Britton’s time as a main cast member and left Abby and Buck’s relationship in limbo.

Connie Britton in 9-1-1

Connie Britton and her character Abby left 9-1-1 after Britton’s one-year deal with the series came to an end. However, Britton briefly reprised her role in the last two episodes of 9-1-1 season 3 when Abby returned to Los Angeles and gave her and Buck’s relationship closure with the reveal she was engaged to someone else. According to an interview with Deadline, it’s not likely that Britton will return to the show again as co-creator Tim Minear believes Abby’s story is now over.

Connie Britton’s departure seems cemented by the fact that Jennifer Love Hewitt joined the cast of 9-1-1 in season 2 as new call dispatcher Maddie Buckley (who just so happens to be Buck’s sister). The show is currently approaching the end of its fourth season which featured a crossover episode with its Texas-set spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star. While Fox has yet to renew 9-1-1 for a fifth season, the fact it’s one of the network’s top-rated dramas means the show will most likely get another outing.

Next: 9-1-1: Lone Star Cast & Character Guide

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