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Andy Samberg on Returning to NBC With ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: ‘It Feels Like Home’

Over the turbulent two-day period of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s” cancellation on Fox and it’s subsequent pickup for a sixth season on NBC, star Andy Samberg says that now that the dust has settled, he’s thrilled where the show ended up.

“I would’ve been happy almost anywhere because I love this show so much and I wanted to keep doing it, but for me personally having already spent time working at NBC, I really enjoyed that experience,” Samberg, who worked on “Saturday Night Live” for eight seasons, told Variety at “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” For Your Consideration event on Wednesday.

Immediately, the actor and comedian said that he felt at ease returning to the network where he got his start, remembering, “Literally when we flew out to New York for Upfronts, I was welcomed back to New York by all of the security guards at 30 Rock. They were like ‘Hey! Welcome back!’ and gave me big hugs and I was like ‘Oh, this feels like home in a way.’ It made a lot easier especially considering on that Friday we were talking about potentially flying to New York to go to the Fox Upfront, and then canceled, and then I was crushed. If it had been somewhere else it would’ve been even more surreal because we wouldn’t have known anyone and it would’ve been just kind of thrown into this new thing.”

Co-star Terry Crews, shared his excitement, acknowledging that NBC is the biggest network he’s ever worked on following his projects on The CW, TBS and Fox.

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“To be on NBC, the Bob Hope specials and I used to watch ‘Sanford and Son,’ all of the great shows that I grew up with, and to be a part of the history, I’m like ‘Oh my god,'” Crews said. “I go to Rockefeller Center now and I’m a part of that legacy. It feels so like this is gigantic. NBC is just bigger and I think it’s one of those things where our show can really grow like it’s supposed to.”

Crews, who revealed he found out about the cancellation minutes before he and “Nine-Nine’s” Andre Braugher had to go on camera to film an episode of “$100,000 Pyramid,” gives all credit for the show being saved to the fans, who rallied around the show online.

“I was running around that day, that 30 hours when the world was going crazy, and the big names and the people were just like ‘Hell no, hell no,'” he said. “It’s almost like if someone’s always taking you for granted and now they’re like, ‘Baby I love you! Don’t leave me baby!’ That’s what it felt like! It was so validating, it felt like ‘Oh my god, they like me.’ I literally was in tears. There were a lot of tears because we thought we weren’t coming back, but there were more tears because we were so appreciative of what the Internet did.”

As for what to expect for Season 6 in the show’s new home, creator Dan Goor joked that “One, we’re 13 episodes instead of 22; two, we can curse and bleep it; three, we can pixelate; four, one character will be animated, we will have one character be animated this year.”

During the panel, moderated by “Nine-Nine” guest star Marc Evan Jackson. Goor said that in the upcoming episodes, “We’re really excited to see what Jake’s [played by Samberg] married life is like. I think we’re really interested in the idea of having fewer episodes and are there arcs we can do, is there a crime we can explore across all of those episodes in a more detailed way?” He also said he wanted to dive deeper into addressing social issues, something the show tackled this season with an active shooter episode and Rosa coming out as bisexual.

Samberg told Variety that “the cast loves doing those episodes and we’ve loved the reaction and response we’ve gotten for doing them. For me personally, I got into doing this because I love comedy and I love making people laugh, so in a lot of ways that’s been a new experience for me. For people to be like ‘Hey that felt important and really interesting and serious.’ I’ve loved that feeling just as much as I love making people laugh.”

The FYC event, held at UCB Sunset Theater, also featured stars Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller, along with co-executive producer Lang Fisher and producers Phil Augusta Jackson and Carol Kolb.

(Pictured: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars Terry Crews, Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz, Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, and Andre Braugher at the 2018 NBCUniversal Upfront)

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