LOS ANGELES — Terry Crews had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He had gone to bed early because he was depressed after having heard nothing about the fate of his Fox comedy series, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
“I got up and I go back to the bed and my phone is glowing. It’s like this eerie glow, and you’re like, ‘Oh, man. Not more bad news.’ And I pick up the phone and I’m like, ‘Holy (expletive),’” Crews says. “I don’t know how to really describe. It felt like you’re alive again. Like, it’s almost like you were on life support and you wake up and you’re actually totally fine. In fact, you’re better than you were. And it was truly amazing.”
The eerie glow was to tell the actor and former NFL linebacker that after Fox had opted not to produce a fifth season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the cop comedy had been given new life by NBC. Crews would get to continue to play Sgt. Terry Jeffords, who works in the same precinct as Det. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and the other oddball law enforcement personnel under the command of Capt. Holt (Andre Braugher).
Changing networks is nothing new in the television world. Other shows that went from one network to another include “Get Smart,” “Family Matters,” “Scrubs,” “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Community,” “Wonder Woman,” “Supergirl” and “Nashville.” Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” went from ABC to Fox after a year hiatus.
Executive producer Dan Goor promises when the series returns Thursday, the only difference fans will notice is the show is on a different network. After NBC opted to keep airing the series, Goor was told by network executives to keep making the same show.
That makes sense as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” won the 2014 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Samberg). Emmy winner Braugher earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from 2014 to 2016.
The working relationship with NBC has been going well for the cast and crew. Goor describes working with NBC as a fantastic experience. Part of that comes from the history he has with the network, having been a writer for years on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” He was also a writer and producer on the network hit comedy “Parks and Recreation.”
“NBC is a place that Andy and I have been for a tremendously long time. And the studio is the same. It’s the same execs covering us the whole time,” Goor says. “The lines of communication are great. It feels we’re seeing old faces that we’ve seen, that I’m seeing people that I saw when I was working at ‘Conan’ as a writer 15, 10 years ago. So, in that way, I think it’s nice.
“But it’s not like there was a hardship by being elsewhere that has now been rectified. It’s just there is so much goodwill in general, and it’s nice to feel we’ve been picked up again or chosen again. And so, in that way, I think there’s a really good feeling.”
NBC’s decision keep the series going is both a financial and creative gift for the cast. In Crews’ case, that late-night phone call has also meant he gets to remain in the public eye where he can continue his work in the battle against sexual assault. Crews, who accused Hollywood talent agent Adam Venit of assaulting him at a party in 2016, testified before Congress regarding the issue.
“This is all about freedom. It’s about being able to tell your story. And one thing that influenced me was being here and feeling safe and having friends and family on this show that I felt secure enough that I could actually tell my truth and still go to work,” Crews says. “And it made a difference.
“It’s funny, because I was actually talking about this stuff with the cast members the day before I went public with my tweets. And, again, I was always supported. I’ve always been supported. This is just the beginning. And I feel like this is going to be a new day. And now the town will be safer for my wife, for my son and for my daughter.”
9 p.m./8 p.m. Central Thursday, NBC