Emergence: New ABC Thriller Set on Long Island Debuts Tuesday


Fans of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things won’t have to wait for season four to get their Long Island-linked paranormal conspiracy thriller fix with the Tuesday premier of Emergence on ABC.

Emergence follows a Southold Town Police Chief who takes in a mysterious young girl with otherworldly powers who’s on the run from nefarious federal agents following a freak accident that causes a power outage in a small town — a plot not unlike the Montauk Project-inspired Stranger Things.

“The investigation draws [the police chief] into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all,” ABC said in its show notes hyping the 10 p.m. Sept. 24 premier of Emergence.

The show is written and executive produced by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. It stars Allison Tolman as Jo, the police chief, and Alexa Swinton as Piper, the little girl who has amnesia and strange abilities. It’s partly shot on the North Fork, although much of the filming reportedly takes place in New Jersey.

For the uninitiated, Stranger Things similarly follows the story of the telekinetically gifted Elle — short for 11 — who’s been taken under the wing of Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper while she’s on the run from evil federal agents following some freaky major mishaps at a local lab. 

As the Press has reported, Stranger Things was originally going to be titled Montauk, its original setting, but the name and setting was changed before it launched. It’s now set in a fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The plot has sparked a lawsuit over the creative rights to the work, which is loosely based on the Montauk Project conspiracy theories about government experiments with aliens, time travel, and other oddities out of Camp Hero.

Of course, Montauk doesn’t have a monopoly on East End strangeness. Newsday‘s preview of Emergence suggests that the new series’ mystery has something to do with Plum Island, which is similarly the focus of endless speculation. 

Will Emergence set itself apart from Stranger Things or simply be ABC’s and the North Fork’s answer to the Netflix series? Tune in and find out.