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Standoff (TV series)

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Created byCraig Silverstein
StarringRon Livingston
Rosemarie DeWitt
Gina Torres
Michael Cudlitz
Raquel Alessi
José Pablo Cantillo
Opening theme"Late Nights and Street Fights" by Dirty Vegas
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes18
Executive producersCraig Silverstein
Glen Mazzara
Running time43 minutes
Production companiesSesfonstein Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 5, 2006 (2006-09-05) –
July 20, 2007 (2007-07-20)

Standoff is an American drama television series that premiered on the Fox network on September 5, 2006. Created by Craig Silverstein, the series focused on an FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit whose members negotiated hostage situations and shared relationships. The show was produced by Sesfonstein Productions and 20th Century Fox Television and its executive producers were Craig Silverstein, Tim Story, and Glen Mazzara.[1] A total of 18 episodes were produced and the series completed its original run on July 20, 2007.



The premise of the show was set up in the opening scene of the series pilot. In an attempt to connect with the hostage-taker, Matt Flannery (Ron Livingston), a negotiator for the FBI, reveals to him and his colleagues who are listening to his conversation, that he has been sleeping with his partner, Emily Lehman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Their supervisor Cheryl Carrera (Gina Torres) is concerned about how their relationship will affect their jobs. Each episode revolves around the main plot of a hostage situation and the subplot of Matt and Emily's relationship. In the hostage situation, the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit is typically called upon to deal with the hostage-taker.

Cast and characters

Standoff cast (left to right): Cheryl Carrera (Gina Torres), Matt Flannery (Ron Livingston), Duff Gonzalez (Jose Pablo Cantillo), Emily Lehman (Rosemarie DeWitt), Lia Mathers (Raquel Alessi), and Frank Rogers (Michael Cudlitz)

Although the series has six main characters, Matt Flannery and Emily Lehman are considered to be the protagonists of the series as a subplot concerning their relationship is featured in each episode.

  • Matt Flannery (played by Ron Livingston) is a senior negotiator for the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit at the bureau's Los Angeles field office. He is partnered with Emily Lehman, who is also his lover. He was born in Van Nuys, California and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in General Studies. Prior to joining the FBI, he worked as a police detective in the Violent Crimes Section of the Simi Valley Police Department and as a crisis negotiator of the department.[2]
  • Emily Lehman (played by Rosemarie DeWitt) is a senior negotiator for the Crisis Negotiation Unit at the Los Angeles field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She is partnered with Matt Flannery, who is also her lover. She was born in Albany, New York and educated at Cornell University, where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She then attained her Master's degree in Psychology and her Ph.D in Criminal Psychology/Forensic Psychology from Princeton University. Prior to working at the Los Angeles field office of the FBI, Emily worked at the Phoenix field office in the Criminal Investigative Division.[3]
  • Cheryl Carrera (played by Gina Torres) is the Supervisory Special Agent in Charge of the Crisis Negotiation Unit at the Los Angeles field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She was Matt's partner in crisis negotiation before she was promoted. She was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Cuban father and attended the City University of New York, where she graduated with Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She later attended Columbia University, where she obtained her Master's degree in International Relations and a Ph.D degree in Juridical Science. Prior to working with the FBI, she was an Assistant District Attorney in New York City.[4]
  • Frank Rogers (played by Michael Cudlitz) is an FBI special agent and the head of the Special Weapons and Tactics team at the Los Angeles field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was born in Detroit, Michigan. Before entering the FBI, Rogers was trained at the U.S. Army Combat Training Center and the U.S. Army Ranger School. He served in the Gulf War with the 75th Ranger Regiment. After joining the FBI, he worked at the Dallas Field Office, where he was part of the field office's SWAT team.[5]
  • Lia Mathers (played by Raquel Alessi) is an FBI special agent and an intelligence analyst for the Crisis Negotiation Unit at the Los Angeles field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She was born in Seattle, Washington and educated at the California Institute of Technology, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Advanced Computer Studies. She then attended the FBI Academy and received Professional Support Training from the Investigative Computer Unit.[6]
  • Duff Gonzalez (played by José Pablo Cantillo) is an FBI special agent and a member of the SWAT team at the Los Angeles field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was born in East Los Angeles, California and obtained a Bachelor of Science in General Studies from California State University, Fullerton. Before joining the FBI, Duff was formerly a member of the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT Team.[7]



Broadcast history


Although the show lost more than half of its audience after its premiere, Fox ordered 6 more episodes in November 2006, bringing the total number of episodes to 18 for the season.[8] The show was put on hiatus in December 2006 and was scheduled to return on March 30, 2007 before being pushed back to April 6, 2007.[9] The return date was changed again to June 8, 2007 and was allocated to the 9:00 pm Friday night timeslot.[10] By May 2007, it was reported that Fox canceled the series.[11]

Between episodes 4 and 5, a minor change was made to the intro sequence, so that the silhouette of Ron Livingston's character, which appears back-to-back with that of Rosemarie DeWitt in the show's logo, is depicted with a less pronounced backside starting from the fifth episode onward.

The series aired in the coveted 8:30 PM (then 9:30 PM) Monday night timeslot on Australia's Seven Network over the 2006-07 summer 'non-ratings' period. When that period ended, the show was shelved until July–September 2007 when it finished its run in the 10:30 PM (then 11:30 PM) Tuesday timeslot.


# Title Directed by Written by Original air ate Prod. code
1"Pilot"Tim StoryCraig SilversteinSeptember 5, 2006 (2006-09-05)1AMH79

Matt Flannery and Emily Lehman, two FBI agents specialized in crisis negotiation, are negotiating with a television soap opera actor who is about to lose custody of his sons. After it is resolved, they are sent to negotiate with the son of a state senator who takes hostages inside of a coffee shop using a home-made suicide bomber vest.

On the night of its premiere in the Tuesday at 9:00 pm ET timeslot, the episode attracted 13.8 million viewers with 9.6% household rating and 14% household share.[12] It also obtained the largest audience from the key demographic of 18- to 49-year-old viewers with a 4.7% rating.[13]
2"Circling"Brad TurnerCraig SilversteinSeptember 12, 2006 (2006-09-12)1AMH01
After a recent airplane collision, an air traffic controller is held responsible. He loses his temper and takes control of the air traffic control station in an attempt to clear his name.
3"Shanghai'd"David StraitonDavid LevinsonSeptember 19, 2006 (2006-09-19)1AMH02
What seems to be a textbook child kidnapping becomes a tangled mess when it is revealed that the victim is the daughter of David Lau -an Asian crime lord who is currently under FBI investigation.
4"Partners in Crime"David StraitonJoy KeckenSeptember 26, 2006 (2006-09-26)1AMH04
Following a failed bank robbery which resulted in a hostage situation, Emily is taken hostage by the two bank robbers. Matt uses his people skills to negotiate with the robbers.[14]
5"Life Support"Glen MazzaraGlen Mazzara & Linda GaseOctober 3, 2006 (2006-10-03)1AMH05
A seventeen-year-old boy takes hostages in a hospital operating room, demanding Dr. Khoury be found so that he can operate on his terminally ill sister. Matt and Emily attempt to save the hostages and help the boy.
6"One Shot Stop"Terrence O'HaraJuan Carlos CotoNovember 7, 2006 (2006-11-07)1AMH07
After a sniper kills several people at random, the CNU seeks the suspect's hideout and believe they've caught him. When the suspect turns out to be a copycat and a police captain is shot, Matt and Emily work with Frank and Duff to find the real sniper before anyone else gets hurt.
7"Man of Steele"Steve GomerAdam TargumNovember 14, 2006 (2006-11-14)1AMH06
After learning that an illegal adoption agreement made between himself and a woman was a fraud, a man takes the woman's baby and the babysitter hostage at her home. When he makes contact with a radio personality, Matt and Emily are forced to negotiate live on the air.
8"Heroine"Jonathan GlassnerStacy RukeyserNovember 21, 2006 (2006-11-21)1AMH08
The victim of Matt and Emily's hostage negotiation case becomes the target of a stalker. Although Emily doubts the woman's claims due to her feelings for Matt, Matt is determined to protect the woman.
9"Peer Group"Robert Duncan McNeillDaniel KnaufNovember 28, 2006 (2006-11-28)1AMH09
A father turns to CNU to prevent a hostage situation after finding his teenage son's notebook full of violent images, but Matt and Emily arrive at the school after the hostage situation begins. The situation turns when one of the four gunmen shoots a hostage and takes his three comrades hostage as well.
10"Accidental Negotiator"Craig Ross, Jr.Daniel KnaufDecember 5, 2006 (2006-12-05)1AMH03
A woman, who is recently fired from a credit union, is wrangled into negotiating with a man who has taken her former co-workers hostage.
11"Borderline"Tim StoryJuan Carlos Coto & Linda GaseDecember 12, 2006 (2006-12-12)1AMH10
Matt and Emily's negotiation with a drug lord goes awry when he escapes. When they finally find him in an isolated location in Mexico, Matt and Emily are stranded with two DEA agents and the fugitive after his associates arrived to save him.
12"No Strings"Jonathan GlassnerChris Black & Daniel KnaufJune 8, 2007 (2007-06-08)1AMH13
Matt and Emily negotiate with a U.S. Customs Agent at San Pedro who takes his co-workers hostage after apparently trying to smuggle in a crate full of illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, Emily contemplates accepting a one-year special assignment that would mean being separated from Matt and is disturbed by his response.
13"Backfire"Jonathan GlassnerCraig SilversteinJune 15, 2007 (2007-06-15)1AMH11
Matt and Emily negotiate with two armed bank robbers who take a subway full of hostages. During the negotiation Matt is pulled away to deal with an hostage taker who Matt has met and successfully negotiated with, who has taken a therapist and the therapist's husband hostage. Matt talks the man who believes that an Evil Psychic Agent has taken the form of the therapist husband.
14"Road Trip"John BadhamAdam Targum & Juan Carlos CotoJune 22, 2007 (2007-06-22)1AMH12
As Darah, daughter of polygamous cult leader Warren Keegan, attempts to escape from her father and reunite with her sister, she is abducted by Warren and his three wives. Warren Keegan is wanted by the FBI after he assaulted a federal officer. By tracking the satellite dish Warren installed on his recreational vehicle, Matt and Emily are able to locate the hostage and her hostage takers. They find out from Darah's sister, who was Warren's wife before she escaped, that Warren believes that he could be saved from the apocalypse if he had four wives. However, Warren's actual reasons behind his marriages are unknown to Matt and Emily, and Warren's wives.
15"Lie to Me"Michael GrossmanCraig SilversteinJune 29, 2007 (2007-06-29)1AMH15
A young boy is kidnapped from his parents at a fair and used as a ploy to obtain the attention of Emily after the hostage-taker sends a videotape to the media, showing the boy with a sign "Emily Lehman did this". It becomes evident that the hostage-taker is looking for revenge as he uses the media to embarrass and humiliate Emily. He gives Emily and Matt a 24-hour deadline to find the boy. When the hostage-taker reveals more personal details about Emily's past, Emily decides to visit her sister, Allison, who is incarcerated at a federal prison. Allison refuses to help Emily, who had refused to use her FBI position to help her get out of her prison sentence.
16"Ex-Factor"Jonathan GlassnerJuan Carlos CotoJuly 6, 2007 (2007-07-06)1AMH16
The key witness in a federal money-laundering case and his wife are kidnapped and held hostage during the trial. Knowing the witness' value to the prosecution, the hostage-taker demands a $2 million ransom from the federal government. Matt and Emily, under Cheryl's leadership, join forces with Cheryl's ex-boyfriend, Sam, who is the FBI agent working on the case, to resolve the crisis.
17"Kids in the Hall"David StraitonSarah WatsonJuly 13, 2007 (2007-07-13)1AMH17
A hostage situation arises at Dunne Hill Juvenile Detention Center when its inmates take several of the guards hostage. However, the teenage inmates' intention is not to escape from prison but to obtain the attention of the Senator to request the prison to be remained open thereby avoiding transfer to a Supermax facility. After Matt risks his job to help the kids Matt and Emily decide its best if they see other people.
18"Severance"Jesse BochcoCraig SilversteinJuly 20, 2007 (2007-07-20)1AMH18
The CNU resolves a hostage situation when a corporate executive takes 16 hostages in the company's boardroom. A second crisis involves a domestic situation that results in Matt and Emily questioning a decision they had made during the standoff. The second crisis soon turns into another crisis when the wife of the second crisis' hostage taker holds her husbands mother hostage in exchange for her "lover" who she supposedly was having an affair with. Matt is assigned to one scene and Emily who is no longer on the same hostage negotionating team takes the other as they attempt to solve both conflicts.

International broadcasting

Country / Region Network(s) Aired Notes
 United States Fox September 5, 2006—
June 8, 2007
Tuesday 9:00pm (episodes 1-11)
Friday 9:00pm (episodes 12-18)
 Australia Seven Network
 Brazil Fox (Brazil) starting January 2007 Monday at 11/12
 Belgium RTL-TVI starting November 14, 2008[15] Sunday at 20:20
 France TF6
 Italy Italia 1 starting August 8, 2008 concluded January 9, 2009
 Mexico FOX Latin America starting November 2006 Saturday at 6:00/7:00 in Hispanic American Spanish version
 Netherlands RTL 4 Mondays at 23:30
 Germany VOX Mondays at 11/12
 Poland POLSAT starting May 19, 2011
 Portugal FOX Portugal starting July 2007
 Spain Telecinco starting November 2006
 Lithuania TV3, TV6 starting November 25, 2008[16] Tuesday at 22:00
 Slovakia JOJ 2009
 Sweden TV3
 Hungary RTL Klub starting February 3, 2009[17]
 Russia TV-3 (Russia) July 29, 2008
 United Kingdom Sky One


  1. ^ Standoff show info Fox Broadcasting Company. Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Matt Flannery, Standoff's official site. Archived May 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Emily Lehman, Standoff's official site. Archived June 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Cheryl Carrera, Standoff's official site. Archived August 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Frank Rogers, Standoff's official site. Archived July 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Lia Mathers, Standoff's official site. Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Fox Broadcasting Company, Character profile of Duff Gonzalez, Standoff's official site. Archived April 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Sullivan, B. F., "Fox extends 'Death', 'Standoff'; CBS keeps 'Class' in session". thefutoncritic.com. November 16, 2006. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (February 13, 2007). "Breaking News - FOX Delays 'Standoff' Until April, 'House' to Boost 'Bells'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "Breaking News - FOX Turns Up the Heat for Summer". www.thefutoncritic.com. March 28, 2007. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  11. ^ Kushman, Rick (May 2, 2007). "Networks still toying with viewers". The Sacramento Bee. pp. E2. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  12. ^ Marc Berman, "The Programming Insider - Primetime Tuesday Ratings: Fox's House Huge, Standoff Amply Sampled Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine", Media Week, September 6, 2006. Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
  13. ^ John Consoli, "Fox Off to Solid Start Archived 2007-10-10 at the Wayback Machine", Media Week, September 11, 2006. Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
  14. ^ David Straiton (director); Joy Lusco (writer) (2006-09-26). "Partners in Crime". Standoff. Season 1. Episode 4. FOX.
  15. ^ serieslive.com
  16. ^ vtv.lt news
  17. ^ "Csatorna címlap".