Emergence (TV series)

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Emergence (TV series) Title Card.jpg
Created by
  • Michele Fazekas
  • Tara Butters
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Juan Alfonso
  • Paul McGuigan
  • Michele Fazekas
  • Tara Butters
  • Holly Brix
  • Gail Barringer
Production location(s)New Jersey, U.S.
  • Shawn Maurer
  • Robert Humphreys
  • William Yeh
  • L. Schroeder
  • Maura Corey
  • Andy Morrish
  • Hallie Faben Comfort
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42–43 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkABC
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 24, 2019 (2019-09-24) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Emergence is an American mystery-themed thriller drama television series created by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas for ABC Studios. Originally intended to be produced as a potential series prospect for NBC after it had ordered a pilot, the hour-long program was picked up by ABC, which added it to its 2019–20 television schedule lineup, where it debuted on September 24, 2019 as a Tuesday night entry.[1][2]


A police chief on Long Island's Peconic Bay takes in a young child whom she finds near the site of a mysterious accident, but soon discovers that the girl has no memory of what has happened or who she is. The child's mystery becomes more intense than expected when the chief starts investigating the history that led up to the accident and the questions of how and why it happened. A series of bizarre electronic disruptions, unexplained forces and a strange cryptic symbol are also at play, all of which are related to the young girl.[3]



  • Allison Tolman as Jo Evans, a newly divorced police chief and mother to teenage daughter Mia, who takes in the mysterious young girl Piper and is determined to protect her from those who want the child. Out of concern for Piper, she covers up any details of her existence and events, eventually taking in Piper as her foster daughter.
  • Alexa Swinton[4] as Piper, a young girl with unique powers. She was the sole survivor of the plane crash, whom Jo takes in and is the center of the mystery that is tied to her. She is later revealed to be an artificially intelligent gynoid who was part of a project involving placing children with families, an experiment that has proved deadly, but at the same time wants to be loved and belonged.
  • Owain Yeoman as Benny Gallagher, an investigative journalist who works for Reuters, who has been tracking down Augur Industries, the company involved in the conspiracy centered around Piper’s existence, using his sources and contacts while acting as Jo's ally. He is concerned about Jo in regards to Piper.
  • Ashley Aufderheide as Mia Evans, Jo's daughter and Piper's foster sister (originally named Bree in the pilot).
  • Robert Bailey Jr. as Chris Minetto, a police officer under Jo, who conspires with her to keep the information about the events secret.
  • Zabryna Guevara as Dr. Abby Fraiser, a pediatrician (with psychology expertise) and Jo's best friend.
  • Donald Faison as Alex Evans, Jo's concerned ex-husband and Mia's father, who works as a civil engineer with a knowledge for deciphering and decoding information.
  • Clancy Brown as Ed Sawyer, an ex-firefighter, Jo's father, and Mia's grandfather, who is also battling cancer as a result of being a first responder involved in the September 11 attacks.


  • Terry O'Quinn as Richard Kindred, a charming but ruthless multi-billionaire and head of Augur Industries, a tech firm with a mysterious and very secret agenda.
  • Gia Crovatin and Quincy Dunn-Baker as Caitlyn and Freddie Martin, who claim to be Piper's parents but turn out to be imposters (Jo would that angle to discourage anyone from finding out about Piper). They're both killed during a car chase and their bodies deteriorated to blood in the morgue by Ken Lerner.
  • Ptolemy Slocum as Ken Lerner, a fixer employed by Augur Industries who was assigned to retrieve and destroy evidence connected to Piper, like the bodies of the Martins at the morgue. He has unexplained powers while defending himself, but is later killed after he tells Jo about Richard.
  • Maria Dizzia as Emily, an introverted scientist at Augur Industries. She is terrified over Augur’s experiments and revealed to Jo and Benny the truth about Piper. Jo keeps Emily "Off the grid" by offering protection in exchange for helping her.
  • Nikki Massoud as Lily Salgado, a social worker who helped Jo get approved to become Piper's foster mother
  • Ashlie Atkinson as April, a contact of Benny's, who can crack computer codes to get information (like she did with Lehman Brothers). Like Benny, she is very concerned about the information she downloaded as she sees it as dangerous with consequences.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [5]U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Paul McGuiganMichele Fazekas & Tara ButtersSeptember 24, 2019 (2019-09-24)4.12[6]
In the early hours of the morning, the sound of a plane crash wakes Southold Chief of Police Jo Evans from her sleep. At the crash scene, Jo finds a preteen girl, whom she takes to the hospital. Men claiming to be NTSB agents demand that the girl be turned over to them, but disappear when Jo informs them NTSB does not have arrest authority. Suspicious, she decides to take the girl to her home; as she cannot remember anything, she chooses "Piper" as her new name. The next day, Jo meets Benny Gallagher, a journalist who informs her the plane took off from an island supposedly owned by DHS, while at the home, Piper sees a strange symbol on the TV before Jo's father Ed interrupts. Two people, Caitlyn and Freddie Martin, arrive at the station claiming that Piper is their missing daughter Olivia. Jo realizes that they are lying, but they escape before she can detain them. Paranoid, she takes the family to their old beach home, where the Martins break in, grab Piper, and take off. Jo pursues them until their car flips over, killing them both but leaving Piper unharmed. After being informed that the couple had no prints or DNA, Jo decides to keep custody of Piper rather than put her into the system. Benny agrees to help Jo, as she can trust no one else. That night, while brushing her teeth, Piper takes a box cutter she stole from Ed and removes a strange device from under her ear, which she tosses down the sink drain.
2"Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow"J. Miller TobinChris Dingess & Lindsey AllenOctober 1, 2019 (2019-10-01)3.58[7]
A mysterious person is watching the house, and a scared Piper alerts Jo, prompting her to have Chris install a surveillance system. Jo and Benny visit a local salvage contractor who was paid to dump the plane debris, and obtain a radio he kept from the crash that gives out a strange frequency. Abby helps Piper remember by writing things down in a diary, but after she leaves Piper's memories come into focus and writes notes that she rips out. The stranger is quick to get rid of evidence involving the fake parents, Piper's medical records, and items from Benny's hotel, then tracks down the device that was found at the site to the Evans' home; he discovers Piper but flees when Jo arrives. Jo visits the yard where the Martins' vehicle is stored and discovers items floating inside; the stranger arrives to dispose of the vehicle using unique powers, but Jo and Chris subdue him with a sledgehammer that magnetically came to him. Piper later reveals her secret to Jo and she agrees to keep it between them. Alex decides to stay at the house, where Jo tells him she plans to shine a light on the unknown forces against her, then has Benny write a false story about the crash while having the vehicle dumped in the same general area of the ocean as the plane. Jo discovers a strange signal coming from the radio, while the symbol appears on the medical equipment connected to the wounded stranger at the hospital.
3"2 MG CU BID"Peter LetoDavid H. GoodmanOctober 8, 2019 (2019-10-08)3.10[8]
Piper falls ill with a mysterious illness, one for which there appears to be no cure. Jo asks Alex to leave, then reconsiders and asks him to stay and look after Piper. At the hospital, she questions the stranger, who identifies himself as Ken Lerner and informs her that the man who hired him is tech billionaire Richard Kindred. Through Benny, Jo tracks down Kindred at his company, Augur Industries, and tricks him into admitting that he made the technology recovered from the crash. While monitoring the signal, Alex notices Piper reciting a specific frequency and writes it down. Shortly thereafter, she collapses and is taken to the hospital. Lerner is killed when his morphine infuser is hacked. With Abby unable to treat Piper, Jo has her administer doses of copper based on texts sent by an unknown number. Benny helps her find the source, an Augur researcher named Emily, who agrees to help them break into an offsite facility to recover the cure. Evading the facility's elaborate security measures, Jo finds the cure, a small disc. Based on Emily's hasty explanation, Jo realizes Piper is an android; Emily angrily drives off when she refuses to accept her help. Back in her hospital room, Jo briefly contemplates letting Piper die, before installing the disc in her arm, which reverses her condition immediately. Alex gives Jo the frequency and returns to his own home as Jo looks at Piper with fear in her eyes.
4"No Outlet"Alex PillaiJerome SchwartzOctober 15, 2019 (2019-10-15)2.71[9]
Jo takes Benny to go question Emily, but she refuses her offers of protection and flees. Benny swipes a hard drive from her possessions and takes it to one of his contacts, April, to be decoded. Jo also agrees to meet with Kindred for answers, but leaves when he threatens her. A social worker visits the house to determine whether or not Jo should be allowed to foster Piper, who becomes fearful that Jo doesn't want her anymore. Emily turns herself in and Chris is assigned to put her in protective custody. Based on coordinates provided by Alex, Jo and Benny find a deserted neighborhood where Piper was secretly being "raised" by Augur Industries. April sends Benny a video of Piper using her powers to kill the two people assigned to care for her, which he interprets as proof that Jo should consider returning Piper to Kindred's custody. Piper runs away, but Mia finds her and takes her to Alex's apartment. Later that night, Jo takes Piper for a drive, during which she saves a turtle from being run over. Realizing that she can help Piper learn to be better, Jo decides to foster her. While meeting with April, Benny is shot at by an assassin.
5"RDZ9021"[10]Patricia CardosoBrant EnglesteinOctober 29, 2019 (2019-10-29)TBD
6"Mile Marker 14"TBATBANovember 5, 2019 (2019-11-05)TBD



On January 11, 2019, it was announced that NBC had given Emergence a pilot order. The pilot was written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, who executive produced alongside Paul McGuigan and Robert Atwood.[11] Production companies involved with the pilot included Fazekas & Butters and ABC Studios. After the pilot was completed, NBC declined to pick up the project; however, ABC ordered it to series on May 11, 2019.[3] A day after that, it was announced that the series would premiere in the fall of 2019 and air on Tuesdays at 10:00 P.M.[12] The series debuted on September 24, 2019.[2]


In February 2019, it was announced that Allison Tolman and Alexa Skye Swinton had been cast in the pilot's lead roles.[13][14] Alongside the pilot's order announcement, in March 2019 it was reported that Owain Yeoman, Donald Faison, and Zabryna Guevara had joined the cast.[15][16][17] On August 19, 2019, it was announced that Terry O'Quinn would join the cast in a recurring role as Richard Kindred, starting with the third episode.[18]


On May 14, 2019, ABC released the first official trailer for the series.[19] On August 27, 2019, a 10-minute preview was made available for viewing on its official website, YouTube, and Facebook accounts. The preview also gave viewers keys to a series of clues leading up to the storyline, as reflected in the names of the episode titles.[20]


Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 6.61/10, based on 23 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Led by an outstanding Allison Tolman, Emergence avoids becoming just another mystery-box mess with strongly-written characters that will keep viewers caring no matter the resolution."[21] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 69 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22]


No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Pilot" September 24, 2019 0.8/5 4.12[6] 0.8 4.31 1.6 8.44[23]
2 "Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow" October 1, 2019 0.6/4 3.58[7] 0.7 3.75 1.3 7.32[24]
3 "2 MG CU BID" October 8, 2019 0.5/3 3.10[8] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "No Outlet" October 15, 2019 0.5/3 2.71[9] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ Otterson, Joe (May 11, 2019). "Allison Tolman Pilot 'Emergence' Moves from NBC to ABC With Series Order". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Pedersen, Erik (July 2, 2019). "ABC Fall Premiere Dates: 'The Conners', 'Black-ish' & Spinoff, Cobie Smulders' 'Stumptown', Final 'Modern Family' Season & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 11, 2019). "'Emergence' NBC Drama Pilot Gets Series Order At ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "Alexa Swinton interviewed by BUILD NYC".
  5. ^ "Emergence – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Welch, Alex (September 25, 2019). "'Black-ish' and 'The Voice' adjust up, 'New Amsterdam' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Welch, Alex (October 2, 2019). "'The Conners' and 'The Voice' adjust up, 'New Amsterdam' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Welch, Alex (October 9, 2019). "'The Conners' adjusts up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Welch, Alex (October 16, 2019). "'Mixed-ish' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "(#105) "RDZ9021"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 11, 2019). "NBC Pilot Orders: Musical Dramedy 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' & Thriller Drama 'Emergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2019). "ABC Fall 2019-20 Schedule: Very Few Changes, 'The Rookie' Moves To Sunday, 'American Housewife' To Friday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 7, 2019). "Allison Tolman To Star In NBC Murder Mystery Drama Pilot 'Emergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 27, 2019). "'Emergence' NBC Murder Mystery Drama Pilot Cast Its Young Lead, Robert Bailey Jr. & Clancy Brown Among Cast Additions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (March 4, 2019). "'Emergence': Owain Yeoman Cast In NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (March 11, 2019). "'Emergence': Donald Faison To Co-Star On NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (March 15, 2019). "'Emergence': Zabryna Guevara Cast In NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  18. ^ Sippell, Margeaux (August 19, 2019). "Terry O'Quinn Joins Cast of ABC's 'Emergence'". TheWrap. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (May 14, 2019). "ABC New Series Trailers: Cobie Smulders' 'Stumptown', 'Emergence', 'Black-ish' Spinoff 'Mixed-ish'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "“Emergence”: Check Out Opening 9 Minutes of Allison Tolman’s ABC Drama-Thriller" from Bleeding Cool (August 27, 2019)
  21. ^ "Emergence: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes (Fandango Media). Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  22. ^ "Emergence: Season 1". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 8, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Stumptown' Tops Freshman Series Premieres in Overall Raw Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  24. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 15, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Emergence' Leads Broadcast Network Telecasts in Viewer Percentage Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 15, 2019.

External links[edit]