The ongoing Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests have made a massive impact in the month since they started nationwide — including in the entertainment industry. Part of that includes questioning the popular trend of police-centered TV shows, which often paint cops in a heroic light without addressing the harsh realities of police brutality and the failings of law enforcement. At least one series appears to be making changes in response to these conversations, as Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 8 is reportedly being rewritten.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine might not be the first show that comes to mind when listing shows that glorifies police work. Unlike the many Law & Order and CSI shows, it's not a drama, nor is it a reality show like the canceled Cops or Live PD. The series' premise is to spoof the many law enforcement-based TV series that have multiplied across the landscape in the last two decades.
Because Brooklyn Nine-Nine is usually lighthearted, it feels even more serious when the show does focus on heavy, real-life subjects. Recently, those topics have included #MeToo, illegal immigration, gun violence, and racial profiling. Now, the show will reportedly retool its next season to reflect current events such as the death of George Floyd, the anti-police brutality protests, and the ongoing social change created in the wake of them.
According to actor Terry Crews, who plays Lieutenant Terry Jeffords on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the show is tossing the plans that were already laid out for the upcoming Season 8 in the wake of current events. According to Access Daily, Crews said:
Our showrunner 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.
Moreover, cast members have been talking seriously about their role in representing the realities of law enforcement. (In early June, the cast and Goor banded together to donate $100,000 to the National Bail Fund Network during the height of the protests.)
"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 Daily. "We have an opportunity, and we plan to use it in the best way possible."
NBC has not commented on the direction of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's forthcoming season. The show is slated to return in the fall of 2020 on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET.