Why isn’t Jennifer Love Hewitt getting more screen time on 9-1-1?

9-1-1 -- "Under Pressure" -- Cr: Michael Becker/FOX. -- Acquired via FOX Flash
9-1-1 -- "Under Pressure" -- Cr: Michael Becker/FOX. -- Acquired via FOX Flash /

9-1-1 fans might have noticed Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Maddie has been underused since the start of season 2. But we need more Maddie!

When it comes to 9-1-1, there are multiple factors in play that will draw new viewers to the hit drama series. There’s the Ryan Murphy connection, there’s the off-the-wall storytelling, and there’s also an incredible cast. Season 2 swapped Connie Britton’s 911 operator with a heart of gold Abby for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s similarly likable Maddie. But there’s one problem: Hewitt has barely appeared in the wake of the three-part earthquake storyline.

Sure, “barely” could register as hyperbole since 9-1-1 operates as an ensemble series with each cast member having their chance to shine, including Hewitt. However, for the viewers who tuned into especially to watch Jennifer Love Hewitt (myself included), the series has been giving us mere teases of Hewitt as Maddie without fully diving into her story or potential. Why isn’t Hewitt getting more screen time, and why haven’t we spent more time with Maddie?

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There’s no real answer to this question, as no one could really know for sure why a character’s appearance is limited. Hewitt could want to reduce her time on set to be available for her children, or the story could maybe just not warrant a ton of Maddie action. And that’s understandable for the first few episodes of season 2, which dealt with the tragic aftermath of a colossal earthquake in Los Angeles.

Aside from helping an expectant couple reach paramedics in time, Maddie wasn’t as hands on with the search and rescue aspects as Captain Nash and the team (at least, not yet). Likewise, there’s no telling whether Abby, a seasoned 911 operator, would be handling more emergency calls or take a step back from the narrative. Although, remember we’re dealing with a Ryan Murphy show after all, and that means there’s always a method to the madness.

9-1-1 Season 2, Episode 2, Jennifer Love Hewitt
9-1-1 — “7.1” — Cr: FOX. — Acquired via FOX Flash /

Lest you forget, Maddie washed up at her younger brother Buck’s apartment after leaving her abusive ex-husband. She sought a job where she could put her nursing skills to good use but remain out of the public eye of a bustling hospital. Naturally, Buck suggested Maddie man Abby’s headset while she’s off on her Eat, Pray, Love tour across Europe. It took Maddie a minute to settle in, but she found her bearings and (oops!) possibly slipped up on her anonymity.

Of course, it could amount to nothing, but during a call in the midst of the earthquake rush, Maddie gave a caller her full name. Since her ex-husband doesn’t know where she is or what she’s doing, having her name on a recorded phone call could come back to haunt her. Again, this could be a circumstantial, conspiratorial catch, but if Maddie’s personal story leads to her ex tracking her down, this could be the key to a blow up and, in turn, more screen time for Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Next. 5 reasons you should be watching 9-1-1. dark

Obviously, with a show as action-packed and well-paced as 9-1-1, it’s best to be patient. But it’s so tempting to jump the gun and beg for what we haven’t been given from the get go. So far, Hewitt has been an amazing addition to the cast, bringing aboard her trademark quiet charm and irreplaceable watchability. What else would you expect from a proven talent and longtime small screen favorite? Hewitt’s spotlight moment — or moments — will arrive when they’re ready. Well, we’re more than ready for more Maddie and more Jennifer Love Hewitt!

Are you itching for more JLH on 9-1-1? Share your thoughts in the comments!

9-1-1 airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.