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The Story Behind How Jennifer Love Hewitt Helped Make The Bachelor’s Crossover With 9-1-1 Happen

 Jennifer Love Hewitt on 9-1-1.
Jennifer Love Hewitt on 9-1-1.

9-1-1 has made quite a splash since hopping over to ABC from Fox for its seventh season, treating fans to a “huge spectacle” of a cruise ship crisis in its premiere episodes for the alphabet network. Now the series prepares to celebrate its 100th episode, and it will do so with a crossover of sorts with The Bachelor. As for how the surprising pairing came about between the first responder drama and the long-running reality dating show, it turns out we have Jennifer Love Hewitt to thank.

When ABC announced it was saving 9-1-1 from cancellation by taking it off of Fox’s hands, further crossovers between that series and its spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star (which will remain on Fox) became unlikely. The firefighters of the 118, however, still found a show to team up with, though their appearance at the iconic Bachelor Mansion was far more unexpected. 9-1-1 showrunner Tim Minear said one specific Bachelor superfan helped to make that happen, explaining to EW:

The whole crossover episode came about because Jennifer Love Hewitt called me after she went to one of the finales of The Bachelor. She's a huge fan of The Bachelor and she said, 'Wouldn't it be great if the 118 responded to a call at the Bachelor mansion?'

Jennifer Love Hewitt was shown in the live studio audience during the finale of The Golden Bachelor, which saw Gerry Turner get engaged to Theresa Nist. She definitely seemed invested in the love story, reacting dramatically to the episode’s emotional turns. Her ties to the franchise actually go back way further than that, too, as she was rumored to have dated Ben Flajnik — one of many Bachelor contestants who remained famous after the show — before he became the lead in Season 16.

Tim Minear said after JLH’s suggestion, he reached out to The Bachelor, which was filming Season 28 with Joey Graziadei, and they loved the idea as well. The co-creator continued:

I reached out to ABC and they reached out to the Bachelor people and we got onto a Zoom. We just started talking about what the possibilities were. The Bachelor people were unbelievably supportive and helpful. They volunteered to show us the ropes about how they make the show, and then when we shot it. We actually brought in the Bachelor crew to shoot the first part of that case, so that it really was The Bachelor. And then we go into 9-1-1 world when they have to call 9-1-1. So that's how it came about. It just seemed like a great idea.

The episode, titled “Buck, Bothered and Bewildered” certainly looks like a lot of fun, not just for fans of both ABC series but for The Bachelor’s Joey Graziadei — whose season just ended with a proposal and historic Bachelorette announcement — and host Jesse Palmer, who are both seen in the preview (embedded below):

How very meta that even within the 9-1-1 world, The Bachelor is a thing, and it looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Maddie Buckley is a big fan too! If you want to see how it all goes down, 9-1-1’s 100th episode will air at  8 p.m. ET Thursday, April 4 on ABC and can be streamed the next day with a Hulu subscription.