After eight seasons, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will bid farewell beginning Aug. 12. The 10-episode final run has already been fully shot and, according to producer and star Andy Samberg, “There were a lot of tears, a lot of hugs. Everybody had a hard time saying goodbye.”
Series star Terry Crews admits he was one who got emotional and is still feeling that way. “It was so sad,” he admits. “I mean, you spend more time with these guys than you do your own family. It’s so much work but it’s so fun. We laugh all day.”
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Crews’ “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” role of Lt. Terry Jeffords is also his longest-running acting gig (by a lot) to date. And even though the NBC cop comedy has been off the air since April 2020, it has not been far from the minds of its makers, nor its audience. Part of the reason the show has been delayed is the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused industry-wide production shutdowns and slowdowns. But the writers and producers also wanted to rework some storylines after protests against police brutality became front-page headlines.
“We had a lot of adjustments, a lot of somber talks,” Crews says. “But when I look at the scripts and look at what we did, people will not be disappointed.”
He adds that that has been one of the many joys of working on the show: “I’ve been blessed to work with such amazing showrunners and writers and people who know how to entertain, but also inform.”
Crews also has endless praise for the ensemble cast, who, he says, taught him to be a better actor.
“I’m working with these amazing actors and picking their brains, asking techniques, always trying to improve and get better,” he says.
As with so many actors on the show, the writers began to incorporate some of Crews’ own personality traits into his character. From his bodybuilding regimen to the fact that he loves delicate yogurt cups and drives a minivan, both Terrys share a lot of DNA. They’ve even been able to incorporate the fact that Crews is an accomplished painter and artist into the show.
With so many amazing moments to pull from, Crews is hard-pressed to pick a favorite. He loved dancing to Salt N’ Pepa with Andre Braugher in Season 7 (“You’re talking about an Emmy-award winning, Juilliard-trained actor, one of the best in the business!”), but he also loved the fourth season episode “Skyfire Cycle,” in which Terry and Jake (Samberg) bond over their favorite science-fiction writer.
“We were quoting lines from this made-up book ad infinitum to each other and I thought it was so funny because it shows how much of a nerd I really am,” Crews recalls. “I really am that fanboy nerd.”
Of course, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has thought it was saying good-bye before: Fox canceled the show after five seasons in 2018. But it was given a reprieve when NBC picked it up for Seasons 6 through 8. And Crews recognizes that goodbyes aren’t always final in television.
“Something I love about TV is it actually gets more popular over time,” he says. “So, in five years, we’ll be even more popular than we are now. And that will be just in time for that really fabulous reunion!”
And for the record, he’s completely serious about reuniting. “Everybody wants to bring it back,” he says. “And I’m ready. I’m already pitching ideas. Hey, let’s do a ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ movie; we could do one every year!”