'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' to Address Police Brutality in Season 8
Yes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy, but it's tackled such issues as harassment and racism—and it will add police brutality to that list in Season 8.
As part of a Variety profile on series star Andre Braugher (a.k.a. Capt. Raymond Holt), cocreator Dan Goor shared that the writers are working on incorporating the hot-button topic into the season, noting, "We want to make sure we get it right." In the wake of George Floyd's death and protests against racism and police brutality all across the country, the NBC sitcom was already one of several TV shows making changes moving forward.
In June, Terry Crews (Lt. Terry Jeffords) revealed the production team was starting over on the season, despite having four episodes written. A month later, Andy Samberg (Det. Jake Peralta) confirmed, "We're taking a step back, and the writers are all rethinking how we're going to move forward," explaining that the stars and writers were having conversations about "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 okay about."
In August, Stephanie Beatriz (Det. Rosa Diaz) weighed in, telling TV Insider: "I'm really looking forward to reentering the universe that we built and seeing how it shifts and changes to fit the world that we live in now."
For his part, Braugher wonders what this new focus will look like. "It might mean that Holt is a staunch defender of the NYPD, or that he tries to burn the whole thing down," the actor speculated. "I think we have a damn good chance to tell the kinds of stories that heretofore have only been seen on grittier shows."
Whatever the plot line, staying true to the genre is key, he said: Brooklyn Nine-Nine "has to commit itself, as a comedy, to telling the story of how these things happen, and what's possible to deal with them." While Braugher acknowledged the possibility of "[falling] flat on our face," he also said, "It could be a really groundbreaking season that we’re all going to be very, very proud of."
While NBC has announced its fall premiere dates, Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn't on the schedule. Instead, it's one of several returning shows (including Good Girls, Manifest, New Amsterdam, and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist) set to premiere in 2021.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 8, 2021, NBC