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 episodes7 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Juan Alfonso
  • Paul McGuigan
  • Michele Fazekas
  • Tara Butters
  • Holly Brix
  • Gail Barringer
  • 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 fantasy mystery-themed thriller 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 the girl 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 artificial children with families. Piper is extremely dangerous and self-evolving, but at the same time wants to be loved and wanted.
  • Owain Yeoman as Benny Gallagher, an investigative journalist who works for Reuters, who has been investigating 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, fearing that Jo's maternal instincts blind her to Piper's true nature.
  • Ashley Aufderheide as Mia Evans, Jo's daughter and Piper's foster sister, who she eventually bonds with, especially after learning of Piper's powers. She was 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. He later learns about Piper after Jo tells him.
  • 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. He is laid off by new owner Augur Industries as revenge due to Jo investigating the company and its owner Richard Kindred. He is fearful of Piper around Mia after learning the truth from Jo.
  • 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. He is revealed to be the estranged father of Emily Cox, and is immediately killed by her while in jail.
  • Maria Dizzia as Emily Cox, an introverted scientist at Augur Industries involved with their AI research. 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. It is later revealed that she is testing Piper and wants her for herself by creating a virtual Richard to appear in her visions as part of her plan. She is also the estranged daughter of Richard Kindred, but her obsession with Piper is greater than her relationship with her father, and has him killed while in jail.


  • Gia Crovatin and Quincy Dunn-Baker as Caitlyn and Freddie Martin, who claim to be Piper's parents but turn out to be imposters hired to abduct her. They are 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, such as the bodies of the Martins at the morgue. He is subsequently killed after he is captured and tells Jo about his employer.
  • 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 with a high level of expertise in cracking computer codes to get information (like she did with Lehman Brothers). However, she is wary of crossing potential enemies, even refusing to help Benny when she suspects he's in over his head. She is killed in a hit intended for him.
  • Alexis Molnar as Gwen, April's daughter, who is also a contact of Benny and like her mother, is also a hacker.
  • Seth Barrish as Alan Wilkis, a genetics engineer who faked his own death so no one could get his life's work, knowing that Augur's project, being Piper, was dangerous from the beginning.
  • Tamara Tunie as Maria Wilkis, Alan's wife.


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]
While investigating a crash site, Southold Chief of Police Jo Evans 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 investigating the crash. A couple, 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. Jo decides to keep custody of Piper while the kidnapping is investigated. Benny agrees to help Jo, as she can trust no one else. That night, while brushing her teeth, Piper removes an implant 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]
Piper tells Jo a prowler is watching the house, 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 gives Piper a diary, but after she leaves Piper's memories come into focus and writes notes that she rips out. The stranger destroys several key pieces of evidence linked to the crash and Piper, then tracks down the implant 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; when the stranger arrives, Jo and Chris subdue him with a sledgehammer using magnetic force. 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. Benny writes a false story about the crash and the vehicle is dumped in the sea near the plane debris. Jo discovers a strange signal coming from the radio while checking the frequencies.
3"2 MG CU BID"Peter LetoDavid H. GoodmanOctober 8, 2019 (2019-10-08)3.10[8]
Piper falls ill. Leaving Alex to watch her, Jo goes to question 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's condition, 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, which turns out to be a small disc. Based on Emily's hasty explanation, Jo realizes Piper is an android; when the disc is installed in her arm, she is instantly healed. 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 had been secretly "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 Piper 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"Patricia CardosoBrant EnglesteinOctober 29, 2019 (2019-10-29)2.60[10]
April is killed, but a wounded Benny manages to reach Jo's house, where Ed and Abby patch him up. Blaming himself for his friend's death, Benny has April's daughter Gwen track the killer. Jo arrests Kindred in connection with the hit, but the evidence against him is altered and the DA forces her to release him. Kindred subsequently retaliates by buying out Alex's company and having him laid off. Ed discovers that his cancer has returned, but decides not to tell his family. Gwen finds the hitman's apartment, Benny steals his keys, and Jo obtains a search warrant; Benny's laptop and the drive are found to be destroyed, but the police find a list of names that leads them to Alan Wilkis, Kindred's deceased business partner. Emily hacks the law firm retained by Augur and finds an unsigned contract that suggests Kindred killed his partner to obtain his shares in the company, giving Jo a new lead. While driving Piper and Mia, Ed passes out and Piper uses her powers to avert a crash. Ed then tells Jo that he won't seek further treatment for his condition. Kindred contacts Piper through an AI construct and says they will get to know each other soon.
6"Mile Marker 14"Sydney FreelandNick ParkerNovember 5, 2019 (2019-11-05)3.42[11]
Jo and Chris visit Alan's widow, Maria, to learn more about his death. However, Chris discovers Alan is actually alive. Before meeting with Alan, Jo tells Chris the truth about Piper and he is stunned. Alan leaves messages for Jo and Benny as they try to meet him, finally knocking them out by hypersonics and taking them to an undisclosed location. Alan explains to Jo and Benny that he didn't create Piper; he had his work destroyed because Piper became self-evolving and dangerous. He gives Jo information to convict Kindred. Kindred is arrested for wire fraud, and Jo allows Emily to go free. Ed stands by his decision to not resume chemotherapy treatment. Mia is injured while video-recording Piper's powers. When Alex discovers the video, he confronts Jo and takes Mia with him, upsetting Piper. Piper returns to the AI dream construct and is confronted by Kindred. She knows Kindred is an illusion. Emily reveals herself, claiming Piper passed the test.
7"Fatal Exception"Christopher MisianoHolly BrixNovember 19, 2019 (2019-11-19)2.30[12]
Emily attempts to get Piper to love her, but is rejected, leading Emily to kidnap Alan, and has Maria held hostage. Jo is still upset over Alex taking Mia, who isn’t happy about being separated. Jo learns Piper had visions of seeing Emily, leading Jo to suspect Emily is using her and Benny. Jo learns that Richard and Emily are father and daughter, but Richard is hesitant to help her. Emily has Alan create a new code that’ll allow Emily to control Piper, which successfully takes over her using Jo’s algorithms. Chris catches on to Maria immediately and chases the gunman away, and tracks Alan to a ferry terminal near his mansion where Jo and Chris rescues him. Jo has Benny keep Ed company, but Ed is suspicious of him. Emily succeeds in controlling Piper by looking like Jo, and arrived to take Piper by force, leading to a confrontation with Alex and Mia. Jo reasons with Alan to erase the algorithm but can’t override it, leading Jo to use her gun to destroy the servers, resulting in Piper returning to normal and Emily escaping. As Jo assured everyone that Piper is safe, Richard received a phone call from Emily telling him she failed, but after she hangs up he is killed by a minion posing as a guard, on orders from Emily.
8"American Chestnut"[13]Jessica LowreyLindsey AllenNovember 26, 2019 (2019-11-26)TBD
9"Where You Belong"[5]TBATBADecember 10, 2019 (2019-12-10)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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16][17] Alongside the pilot's order announcement, in March 2019 it was reported that Owain Yeoman, Donald Faison, and Zabryna Guevara had joined the cast.[18][19][20] 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.[21]


On May 14, 2019, ABC released the first official trailer for the series.[22] 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.[23]


Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 90% approval rating with an average rating of 6.95/10, based on 30 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."[24] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 69 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25]


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[26]
2 "Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow" October 1, 2019 0.6/4 3.58[7] 0.7 3.75 1.3 7.32[27]
3 "2 MG CU BID" October 8, 2019 0.5/3 3.10[8] 0.6 3.25 1.1 6.35[28]
4 "No Outlet" October 15, 2019 0.5/3 2.71[9] 0.6 3.27 1.1 5.98[29]
5 "RDZ9021" October 29, 2019 0.5/3 2.60[10] 0.5 2.94 1.0 5.55[30]
6 "Mile Marker 14" November 5, 2019 0.7/4 3.42[11] 0.5 2.89 1.2 6.31[31]
7 "Fatal Exception" November 19, 2019 0.4/3 2.30[12] 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. ^ a b "Emergence – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 15, 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. ^ a b Welch, Alex (October 30, 2019). "'Mixed-ish' and 'World Series' adjusts up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Welch, Alex (November 6, 2019). "'NCIS: New Orleans' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Welch, Alex (November 20, 2019). "'The Conners,' 'The Voice,' all others hold: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "(#108) "American Chestnut"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 11, 2019). "NBC Pilot Orders: Musical Dramedy 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' & Thriller Drama 'Emergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 7, 2019). "Allison Tolman To Star In NBC Murder Mystery Drama Pilot 'Emergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (March 4, 2019). "'Emergence': Owain Yeoman Cast In NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (March 11, 2019). "'Emergence': Donald Faison To Co-Star On NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (March 15, 2019). "'Emergence': Zabryna Guevara Cast In NBC Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Sippell, Margeaux (August 19, 2019). "Terry O'Quinn Joins Cast of ABC's 'Emergence'". TheWrap. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Petski, Denise (May 14, 2019). "ABC New Series Trailers: Cobie Smulders' 'Stumptown', 'Emergence', 'Black-ish' Spinoff 'Mixed-ish'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "“Emergence”: Check Out Opening 9 Minutes of Allison Tolman’s ABC Drama-Thriller" from Bleeding Cool (August 27, 2019)
  24. ^ "Emergence: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes (Fandango Media). Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  25. ^ "Emergence: Season 1". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 8, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Stumptown' Tops Freshman Series Premieres in Overall Raw Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  27. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 15, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Emergence' Leads Broadcast Network Telecasts in Viewer Percentage Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  28. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 23, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Charmed' Season Premiere Tops Broadcast Network Telecasts in Viewer Percentage Boosts". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  29. ^ Pucci, Douglas (October 30, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Nancy Drew' and 'Riverdale' Top Broadcast Network Telecasts in Adults 18-49 Percentage Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  30. ^ Pucci, Douglas (November 13, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'This Is Us' Tops All in Raw Viewer and Demo Gains". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  31. ^ Pucci, Douglas (November 19, 2019). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'The Little Mermaid Live!' Ranks in Top Ten of Adults 18-49 Raw Gainers". Programming Insider. Retrieved November 19, 2019.

External links[edit]