Brooklyn Nine-Nine is coming to an end, and this time it’s for real. NBC has announced that the cult-favorite TV show will conclude with Season 8. The season will span just 10 episodes — the smallest number yet — and will air sometime during their 2021-2022 broadcast season, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
Season 8 was originally supposed to air last year, but the team behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine decided to hit pause when the George Floyd protests kicked off last summer. Creators Dan Goor and Mike Schur, as well as other writers on the show, said they wanted to rethink how they frame the police in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, in particular to balance their brand of comedy without ignoring blatant, systemic, and serious racial issues within the institution.
“They had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash,” said Terry Crews last year. “[The cast and crew] have 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. We have an opportunity and we plan to use it in the best way possible.”
In previous episodes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine let Andy Samberg and co. turn their police force into a tongue-in-cheek form of escapism for viewers, but they also centered episodes around difficult subjects that police officers actually encounter, such as racial profiling and sexual abuse allegations. The writing team’s ability to read the room showcased what makes the series stand out amongst other scripted comedies — and cemented its status as one of the best TV shows of the 2010s. By the sound of it, they’re working hard to make sure Season 8 upholds that standard.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine ran for five seasons on FOX before its initial cancelation in May 2018. NBC quickly picked up the series and has remained steadfast in its support — even as the show’s viewership declined below the levels of its early seasons. NBC reportedly wants to send Nine-Nine off the right way, which is why the network decided to push the premiere date back from the 2020-2021 broadcast season to the 2021-2022 broadcast season. It will now premiere following the Olympics, and NBC plans to promote the final season during the summer games — that is, assuming the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t delay those, too.