Former Saturday Night Live funnyman Andy Samberg and Parks and Recreation helmers Mike Schur and Dan Goor have teamed up for Fox’s new cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is already drawing comparisons to an infamous cop-show parody.
However, Schur explained Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, “This is not Police Squad! — as big of a fan [of that] as I am. It’s a workplace comedy that happens to be set in a police precinct.”
Brooklyn centers on “the idea that they’re real cops… doing real things,” the EP continued. “That was the goal.”
Another aspect of the sitcom that differentiates it from other law-enforcement laugh-fests is that Samberg’s leading man is actually “a really good detective.
“The thing that we knew from the very beginning is that he was going to solve a crime in the cold open,” Schur shared. “That was a key component in making this a real place that wasn’t a parody. We wanted make sure that these are very skilled detectives.” (For reference, Samberg joked: “My [character is] like McNulty from The Wire, but instead of drinking problems and philandering, he does stupid gags in the office.”)
Other takeaways from the Brooklyn Nine-Nine panel:
• Expect to see several familiar funny faces from SNL, Parks and more, especially when the officers have to go door-to-door to question people about crimes. (That’s when we see Fred Armisen make a cameo in the pilot.) “We were looking for a comedy set-up to put in the pilot that could be repeated multiple times. Doing door duty… is a real and common aspect of [these detectives'] job, and it seemed like a really good way to grab some funny people that we’re friends with and just have them show up.” He adds: “Every time the door opens, you just never know what kind of weirdo is going to be behind that door.”
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• This series was never intended to revolve around “a case of the week,” Goor noted. “There are a lot of different aspects of being with the police… So, there will be some high-stakes, murdery stories, and there will be more silly stories.”
• There will be life outside the show’s New York precinct. “We hope to grow their world,” Goor teased. “There’s the potential for defense attorneys, prosecutors, perps, criminal informants, and it would be great to have people we could come back to.”