‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Saved by NBC with Shorter Season 6

     May 12, 2018


Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief—the show has officially been picked up for Season 6, albeit on a different network. On Thursday, FOX cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine along with two other comedies, The Last Man on Earth and The Mick, but the outcry from B-99 fans was deafening. Almost immediately, other outlets started calling producer Universal Television to discuss continuing Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 elsewhere, but while options seemed far and wide, yesterday hope began to dwindle.

Hulu appeared to be an easy fit given that it has the streaming rights to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but after some discussions, that streaming service opted to pass. Ditto Netflix. NBC was reportedly in the mix, but surely a broadcast network wasn’t interested in reviving another network’s show right? Wrong. Variety reports that NBC has indeed saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine and picked the show up for a 13-episode sixth season.


Image via FOX

So why did FOX cancel Brooklyn Nine-Nine in the first place, and why did streaming services Hulu and Netflix pass? We’ll likely know more about the former on Monday, when FOX execs will unveil their new Fall 2018-19 slate and explain their plans for the network going forward, but speculation has run rampant that this could have something to do with the impending Disney acquisition and what that means for the FOX network—and especially the executives still left there once things change. Disney won’t be acquiring the FOX network (it already owns ABC), but they will be acquiring the FOX production studio, so that significantly changes how this broadcast network will continue to do business—again, if and when this acquisition actually happens.

As for why Hulu and Netflix passed, both streaming services certainly showed interest, but it’s possible that once they looked under the hood, they realized just how expensive Brooklyn Nine-Nine is. The ratings for the show aren’t terrible, and they show a devoted fanbase that tunes in week after week, but five seasons in the large cast has no doubt seen their salaries rise, and thus B-99 was something of a pricey gamble. Moreover, it’s a show that neither Netflix nor Hulu would own outright, and they’d have to pay a licensing fee to producer Universal Television, which owns Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In the age of streaming, owning your own TV shows has become a very, very big deal.


Image via Fox

Which is where NBC comes in. NBC is not only owned by Universal, but it has a fruitful relationship with Brooklyn Nine-Nine executive producer Michael Schur. The EP started his career on Saturday Night Live, was a writer/producer on The Office , and eventually went on to create Parks and Recreation and the currently running gem The Good Place. He also has a new series debuting this fall, Abby’s, so that existing relationship with NBC no doubt played a factor into their decision to pick up Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The only thing that’s a bit of a bummer about this news is the shorter episode season. Unlike pretty much every show on TV, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has absolutely no problem filling out 22 episodes of story a year. That said, this is a show that’s no stranger to story evolution, and crafting 13 tight episodes (just like The Good Place) may be a fun exercise for showrunner Dan Goor that could lead to some exciting twists.

So rejoice, fans—you did it! But seriously, you did it. Schur took to Twitter to announce the pickup, but to also point out that Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s uncancellation was only a result of how severely (and loudly) fans of the show freaked out.

For a full list of TV renewals and cancellations, check out our TV Lifeline.