It’s Not Where They Came From, It’s When – THE CROSSING on ABC TV

“It’s not where they came from, it’s when.” THE CROSSING is a new mystery on ABC Television that premieres Monday, April 2. After 47 refugees mysteriously wash up in a small fishing town, local sheriff Jude Ellis (Steve Zahn) teams with Homeland Security agent Emma Ren (Sandrine Holt) to assess their unusual claim… that they’re fleeing a war 180 years in the future. During a visit to ABC Television Studios in December, we met with Executive Producers and Showrunners Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie who discussed the power of WHOA…


ABC’s “The Crossing” stars Simone Kessell as Rebecca, Bailey Skodje as Leah, Marcuis Harris as Caleb, Luke Camilleri as Thomas, Kelley Missal as Hannah, Rob Campbell as Paul, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Steve Zahn as Jude Ellis, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Tommy Bastow as Marshall, Rick Gomez as Nestor, Luc Roderique as Bryce Foster, Georgina Haig as Dr. Sophie Forbin, and Grant Harvey as Roy. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie were inspired with all the refugee stories in the news. Dworkin said the idea started with a photograph, “specifically a photo of a dad who had come from Syria to Greece and had crossed the Mediterranean in a raft and barely made it by the looks of him. The look on the guy’s face, as a father, killed me. And that was kind of the spark initially.” They used that refugee story as their inspiration to weave in stories of fathers and daughters, parents, and fractured families, but Dworkin and Beattie are both sci-fi fans, so they wanted to put a different spin on the tale.

“We’re definitely fans of LOST,” Dworkin added, “I think in a greater sense another big inspiration for this idea was Ray Bradbury. There are a couple of stories he [Bradbury] wrote about time travel, that factored into the idea.”


The cast and executive producers of “The Crossing” addressed the press at Disney | ABC Television’s Winter Press Tour 2018. (ABC/Image Group LA) DAN DWORKIN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), JAY BEATTIE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), STEVE ZAHN, NATALIE MARTINEZ

Science, both fictional and real, play a big role in the show, and Dworkin and Beattie talked to biologists, scientists, and futurists to get an idea for what the world would look like 180 years from now. One particular technology that plays a big role in the show is genetic editing. Jay Beattie remarked, “you read about how we’re trying to make ourselves better down to the cellular level. When CRISPR/cas9 technology came out it seemed like genetic editing was right around the corner.” The genetic editing technology leads to a bifurcation in society, those who could make themselves better and those who could not. And once that happens, Beattie explains, “it was almost like Homo sapiens and Neanderthals where they were like well, we’ve evolved past you so now you got to go.”

THE CROSSING grabs you in the first five minutes of the show, and that’s the intentional level of “whoa.” Dworkin and Beattie look to replicate that “whoa moment” in every episode of THE CROSSING. The show has an epic scope and mystery as it dives deep into an exploration of characters and family over its 11-episode run.



THE CROSSING stars Steve Zahn as Jude Ellis, the sheriff of Port Canaan, a small fishing town on the Oregon coast. Having relocated from Oakland to escape a strained marriage and a dark past as a big city cop, his goal is to build a quiet new life for himself and for, eventually, his young son. But those plans for a quiet life change instantly when 47 refugees from a war-torn country wash up on his beach seeking asylum. But the country they’re from is America… and the war they’re fleeing is 180 years in the future. As the Feds set out to uncover the truth behind the mysterious migration, Jude will launch an investigation of his own with the help of his loyal sheriff’s deputy and Port Canaan native, Nestor Rosario (Rick Gomez). As the search for answers in this small town gets underway, the lives of the people here – both the townspeople and these newcomers – will never be the same.

The series premiere of THE CROSSING airs Monday, April 2 (10:00-11:00 pm ET), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. THE CROSSING stars Steve Zahn as Jude Ellis, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Georgina Haig as Dr. Sophie Forbin, Tommy Bastow as Marshall, Rob Campbell as Paul, Rick Gomez as Nestor Rosario, Marcuis W. Harris as Caleb, Grant Harvey as Roy Aronson, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Simone Kessell as Rebecca, Kelley Missal as Hannah, Luc Roderique as Bryce Foster and Bailey Skodje as Leah. Recurring guest star Luke Camilleri as Thomas. THE CROSSING was written by executive producers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie.


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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.