Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans, you did it: after being cancelled by Fox earlier this week, NBC has picked up the show for a 13-episode sixth season.
Taking to Twitter last night to announce the news, creator Dan Goor said this wouldn’t have been possible without the immediate and enthusiastic support from the Nine-Nine community. Executive producer Mike Schur (who NBC seems determined to keep in business for the foreseeable future) chimed in with his own celebratory Twitter thread, writing, “This happened because the fans of the show went berserk. We can't thank you — or @NBC — enough. #Brooklyn99.”
If you’re a B99 fan, the last 48 hours have been a complete rollercoaster. As part of an ongoing bloodbath of cancellations, Fox announced on Thursday that it was pulling the show. The Andy Samberg-led sitcom was a critical darling but never racked in a high viewership, and by season 5, ratings were reportedly lagging at a low for the show. But it’s been a beloved sitcom for years now — in large part because it’s such a refreshing antidote to the doom and gloom of our timelines and everyday news cycle. This show does something simple, yet brilliant: once a week, it gives us a half-hour of genuine optimism, joy, and humour. And that’s something we can all use more of nowadays.
The reaction to the show’s cancellation was both swift and loud, with the tags #Brooklyn99 and #RenewB99 trending within hours. Thoughtful and heartfelt odes to the show went viral. Celebrity endorsements running from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Mark Hamill to Guillermo Del Toro made the rounds. Even the Backstreet Boys chimed in, sharing a video of one of the show’s sharpest cold opens featuring their iconic single, “I Want It That Way.”
Networks and streaming services showed an almost immediate interest in picking up the show (especially considering the online conversation over its fate). NBC, in its quest to become the official home of the extended Mike Schur TV universe, made its successful bid just one day after Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s cancellation.
As evidenced by social media, B99 was — and now, to use the present tense, is — a dedicated fan favourite. And that’s because it’s good. Not just “good” in terms of quality — there’s a fundamental element of authentic goodness in Brooklyn Nine-Nine DNA. The sitcom makes no attempt to make these characters any less dorky, or thoughtful, or human; it’s a show that rejects cool apathy in favour of earnest empathy. One sees that in the way the show treats its diverse cast, not expecting a gold star for doing something that’s entirely natural and realistic (of course a Brooklyn police precinct has Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ cops, and so forth). You see it in the way the show lets its characters grow in arcs dealing with race and sexuality and systemic discrimination. And it doesn’t hurt that this is a grade-A cast, with a writers room that’s finally mastered the show’s tone and message.