12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' to End With Abbreviated, Delayed Season 8 on NBC
Here's some not so noice news: Brooklyn Nine-Nine is coming to an end.
The beloved cop comedy starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher will wrap with its previously announced eighth season. The final season will consist of 10 episodes — its lowest order ever. What's more, the series from creators Dan Goor and Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation) will not air during the 2020-21 broadcast season. The Universal Television entry will return at a date to be determined during the 2021-22 broadcast season.
Sources say NBC opted to delay Brooklyn's return in order to give the beloved and award-winning comedy a proper sendoff. NBC has already set its "midseason" slate as part of a crowded broadcast calendar in April and has, pandemic challenges notwithstanding, the Olympics in the summer. Rather than bury it in August, NBC will use the Olympics to market the final season and give the show a big promotional push for an expected 2021-22 premiere.
At the same time, Brooklyn is facing a significant challenge in the wake of George Floyd's killing by a police officer. "The writers are all rethinking how we’re going to move forward," Samberg, who also exec produces the series, told People in July. [Everyone is] discussing how you make a comedy show about police right now, and if we can find a way of doing that that we all feel morally OK about? I know that we’ll figure it out, but it’s definitely a challenge."
The writers room for season eight, which earned an early renewal more than a year ago, has been going since April as Goor and his team also planned to incorporate how the pandemic impacts first-responders like cops into its storyline. Co-star Terry Crews noted in June that the first four scripts of season eight were thrown in the trash after the summer of protests following Floyd's killing. "We’ve had a lot of somber talks about it and deep conversations, and we hope through this, we’re going to make something that will be truly groundbreaking this year," Crews told Access Daily. "We have an opportunity, and we plan to use it in the best way possible." (It's also worth noting that Goor and the B99 cast made a sizable donation to the National Bail Fund Network in June.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is NBC's longest-running comedy and will end after the broadcast network concludes its other signature comedy, Superstore, in March after six seasons. That would make Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist — should it be renewed for a third season — the network's longest-running scripted comedy. The order for 10 episodes is down from the 13-episode seventh season. That was off from the order of 18 in season six. (The series had 22 or 23 episodes per season for its first five on Fox.) In all, Brooklyn will have aired for three seasons on NBC after the network quickly revived the series following Fox's 2018 cancellation. Fox's surprising cancellation was based on a strategy shift and led to a public outcry. NBC's former head of scripted Tracey Pakosta was instrumental in leading the charge to revive the series. The show was "un-canceled" 24 hours later and brought home to the network whose studio counterpart produces the show.
"I’m so thankful to NBC and Universal Television for allowing us to give these characters and our fans the ending they deserve," Goor said. "When Mike Schur and I first pitched the pilot episode to Andy, he said, 'I'm in, but I think the only way to tell this story is over exactly 153 episodes,' which was crazy because that was exactly the number Mike and I had envisioned. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with this amazing cast and crew for eight seasons. They are not only among the most talented people in the business, they are all good human beings who have become a family. But most of all, I feel lucky that we have had the best fans in the world. Fans who literally saved us from cancellation. Fans who fill us with joy. Ending the show was a difficult decision, but ultimately, we felt it was the best way to honor the characters, the story and our viewers. I know some people will be disappointed it’s ending so soon, but honestly, I’m grateful it lasted this long. Title of my sex tape."
Starring Samberg, Braugher, Crews, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller, Brooklyn's seventh season averaged 9.5 million viewers and a 5.1 rating among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo, counting total audience measurement. The series earned a Golden Globe comedy series win in its first year, with Samberg also taking home the trophy for lead actor in a comedy. Braugher also picked up an Emmy nomination for his role as the stoic Captain Holt. Goor, Schur, David Miner, Luke Del Tredici and David Phillips exec produce the Universal TV, Dr. Goor Productions and 3 Arts comedy.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been one of the jewels in our comedy crown. It’s had an incredible run across not one but two networks, garnered widespread acclaim and captured the hearts of fans all over the world,” said Universal Studio Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe. “We extend our deepest gratitude to Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher and our entire wonderful ensemble, and our amazingly talented writers, producers and crew. And a special thanks to our brilliant showrunner Dan Goor, who could have rested on his laurels after season one but never took his foot off the hilarious gas pedal. B99, it’s been NOICE!”
The decision to end the series arrives as NBC is now part of a content group overseen by former Warner Bros. TV exec Susan Rovner. She is charged with leading the creative while Frances Berwick runs the business side for a collection of platforms that includes NBC, streamer Peacock and cable nets USA, Syfy and more. Under Rovner, NBC's onetine drama head and Pakosta's former co-head of scripted Lisa Katz extended her deal with NBCUniversal and was promoted to overseeing all scripted originals for the entire entertainment portfolio.
"I still remember the palpable excitement that night in 2018 when we announced Brooklyn Nine-Nine would be returning to its rightful home at NBC," Katz said. "We’ve always loved these characters and the way they make us laugh while also masterfully weaving in storylines that make us reflect as well. A big thank you to our wonderful partners — Dan Goor, the writers, producers and the incredibly talented cast and crew — for a comedy whose legacy will stand the test of time."
Goor, meanwhile, will remain in business at NBC with comedy Grand Crew. The series, one of Rovner's first pickups, will premiere next season. He has other projects in the works under his longtime deal with Universal TV.