While police television shows seem not all that important at the moment, a major question for next season’s shows is how police series, which often glorify policing, will function after the Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, NBC’s comedy that follows the detectives of the 99th precinct in Brooklyn, is taking measures to address the new perceptions of policing and rewriting the scripts for all of its completed season 8 episodes.
Terry Crews, one of the stars of the ensemble show, has confirmed that the writers had written four of the season 8 episodes before the murder but have scrapped them and are in the process of rewriting all scripts.
“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 Hollywood (via Slash Film). “We have an opportunity and we plan to use it in the best way possible. Our show-runner Dan Goor, they had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash. We have to start over. Right now we don’t know which direction it’s going to go in.”
Crews didn’t dive into how the episodes or overall Brooklyn Nine-Nine series will change, but obviously the show is going to address police violence in some way or at least work it into the background of the series.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is no stranger to delicate and socially important topics despite being a comedy. The series has tackled subjects such as terrorism, active shooters, LGBTQ issues, police corruption, and racial profiling with more tact and grace than many dramas do. On the whole, however, the show is a comedy with sight gags, punchlines, and a laissez-faire attitude to policing that sometimes feels more keystone cop than modern crime show. Maybe that will help it adjust better than procedural police shows, which may find it hard to adapt to a world where police aren’t always the heroes.