Jesus Fox what were you thinking?
By now I’m sure you know the powers that be over at Fox cancelled what I believe is their best half hour sitcom, Brooklyn 99. Then, per Vox.com, not even twenty four hours later, NBC comes along and picks up the show for another season. Yes the mighty peacock beat out television juggernauts such as TBS, Netflix, even Hulu in a TV rights showdown of epic proportions. It was like LeBron James during free agency.
The Hollywood Reporter published an article on May 11 detailing the reasoning behind Fox’s Thursday Afternoon massacre which saw the cancellation of The Mick, Lucifer, The Last Man On Earth, and Brooklyn 99. Basically it comes down the network having to make room for Thursday night football, a new addition to the fall slate. Throw in a couple financial constraints, then it’s house cleaning time. Unfortunately some real pieces of genius met their maker last week, minus Lucifer. Tom Ellis is the man but I don’t know how the hell that would up on TV, for multiple seasons too.
I feel this will end up being a very stupid decision for Fox. Granted they’re going to swim in NFL dollars but when it comes to programming, especially sitcoms, what else do they have? You know the Simpsons is like a Twinkie and will survive nuclear winter. Fox loves animation. If you’re ever pitching a show there, finish your speech by mentioning it’s a cartoon. You’ll leave with a blank check.
On top of their supposed “Animation Domination” Fox has decided to rest on the shoulders of Seth McFarlane by bringing back The Orville and Family Guy (again). When it comes to dramas, who the hell cares? I’ve heard Lethal Weapon is okay. Gotham might satisfy your Batman cravings until the DCEU figure out what they’re doing. Fox even thought it was a better idea to revive Tim Allen’s Republican dream theater Last Man Standing and Brooklyn 99 gets the axe? So stupid.
Now is Brooklyn 99 the best show ever? That’s a matter of opinion but it lasted five years, got nominated for Emmys, made me like Andy Samberg, and in no way displayed signs of slowing down. After all this time I swear the writers are still cranking out quality episodes. Which makes the surprise cancellations even more surprising, but what’s done is done.
Now NBC owns one of the best comedies on television and if history repeats itself, they could turn Brooklyn 99 into one of the best comedies ever. When it comes to quality programming, does the network have any? Sure millions of people watch This Is Us for their weekly shot of tears, but what else do they really have to offer? With the dramas, I figure NBC is just going through every Chicago professional until people want stories set in a different city. The sitcoms? Superstore is the most tenured product currently airing and believe me, I’m shocked it’s been on this long.
Acquiring Brooklyn 99 gives a station known for over thirty years of classic sitcoms, another potential classic sitcom. Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, The Office, Parks And Recreation, to name a couple. How many references or quotes from these have you done today? I’m guessing at least one. NBC may not hit on everything they put on television but when they do, it’s big!
Lastly, the move puts Michael Shur back in the NBC stable of talent. You probably know him as Dwight’s cousin Mose on The Office, however Shur went on to create Parks And Recreation then Brooklyn 99. Two shows that ran for multiple seasons. I’m not going to speak too soon but that screams a man who knows how to be successful in the industry. If you’re thinking about the future, you’d want as many of those as possible. Seems like all networks at some point become the network of (insert producer here) and why shouldn’t NBC become the house the Schur built. ABC has Steve Levitan, CBS owes Chuck Lorre free steak for life, Fox can’t break up with Seth McFarlane, so why not let Michael Schur be NBC’s go to for comedy. In this case, the shoe fits.
Schur also owns the rights to Infinite Jest if he wants to make a show that goes for the rest of his life.
Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe network executives who make and know more than I ever will made a good decision. I don’t think so but I’ve been wrong before. Only history and ratings will be the judge of Brooklyn 99’s fate so until the fall or next year, just know our time with the NYPD’s most entertaining batch of officers is not over yet.
By Adam Chmielewski
Photo Credits- Fox/NBC
Do you think Fox blew it on this one? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!