Emmy spotlight: Renewed love for ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ after cancellation scare could help awards chances

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? That brilliant Joni Mitchell lyric is exactly how “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” fans felt after Fox chose to cancel the beloved sitcom after five seasons. While the show’s ratings have always been low, mere minutes after the news broke we saw fans and celebrities come forward to profess their love for the show, from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Mark Hamill to Guillermo del Toro. Thirty-six hours later, NBC stepped in to save the day and revived the show it has technically always owned but never had the rights to air. With this renewed buzz for the film, could we expect a big embrace of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” at the upcoming Emmy Awards?

Ever since premiering on Fox in the fall of 2013, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has sustained critical acclaim and a passionate fanbase. Viewers immediately glommed onto the show’s stellar ensemble, led by Andy Samberg as childlike police detective Jake Peralta. While the show initially felt like a star vehicle for Samberg, who had recently left “Saturday Night Live,” its writers eventually fleshed out its masterful cast, including the hard-edged Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), the muscular but gentle Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), control freak Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), oddball Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), self-obsessed Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), and most of all, the hilariously blunt Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). Put them all in a room together and add in the bumbling Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) and you have an ensemble that bounces off each other so well no matter the combination of characters.

Through five seasons, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has not only made its audience laugh through wacky precinct hijinks but also commented on some of the biggest issues weighing on not only but law enforcement but society today. The show has tackled police brutality, homophobia (Capt. Holt is a gay Commanding Officer who worked his way up despite prejudice), racial profiling (Terry is frisked by a white policeman while out in his neighborhood), sexism (Holt calls out Commissioner selection committee for nominating a female officer to fulfill a quota with no intention of appointing her), and problems with dirty cops and internal affairs. Because it is set in the heart of Brooklyn, the comedy is also effortlessly diverse, accurately portraying the tapestry of America among both the police force and the criminals they hunt.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” had a promising start at award shows, winning for its first season at the Golden Globes for Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor for Samberg. The Emmys were not so kind, however, snubbing the series and Samberg, and only nominating it in two categories, Comedy Supporting Actor for Braugher and Comedy/Variety Stunt Ensemble. Braugher earned three consecutive nominations and never won, while the show won for its stunts for the first two seasons, with subsequent noms for Seasons 3 and 4. This is the extent of the police sitcom’s run at the Emmys, which has been disappointing for many of the show’s ardent fans.

After the cancellation scare and subsequent renewal, fans of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are now more outwardly appreciative of the show than ever before. This whiplash caused the show to receive a slew of positive headlines and comments, so much so that even some who weren’t fans of the Nine-Nine were probably curious to see what all the fuss was about. And if there are fans of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” within the Television Academy who felt defeated by the show’s lack of previous nominations and therefore decided not to “waste a vote” on a show that wasn’t getting in anyway, well, it’s clear now that there are many supporters out there who love what it brings to the table.

While another stunt ensemble nomination is probably a given, we could also see Braugher return to Best Comedy Supporting Actor after being snubbed last year. The Emmy-winning actor continues to add new shades to his character’s idiosyncrasies, and with at least two slots open thanks to “Veep” not being in contention this year, he could definitely get a comeback nod. There is another possibility for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in Comedy Guest Actor, where the very popular Sterling K. Brown is competing. Brown, who has now won back-to-back Emmys, was in an episode of “B99” called “The Box” in which he plays a dentist suspected of murdering his partner, with Holt and Jake interrogating him in a room for almost the entire episode. The Emmys clearly love Brown and would surely relish the chance of seeing such a compelling dramatic actor in a comedy.

Whether the Emmys embrace “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” further likely won’t be of interest to many of the sitcom’s fans, who are just happy to get the chance of seeing more Jake, Rosa, Terry, Amy, Charles, Gina, Hitchcock, Scully, and Holt on their TV screens next season. But to not honor the Nine-Nine with some major Emmy recognition would be a disservice to one of the most consistently great comedies on television, one that follows in the footsteps of great workplace comedies like “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” and even classics like “Taxi” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Considering how close we came to the Nine-Nine being 86ed, why not use this renewed love to show some respect to a series that not only tackles real issues plaguing our country but provides refreshingly funny, joyful moments in these troubled times?

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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