"So happy to see you finally came to your senses and gave us another shot," Contra Security head Oz (Christian Slater) says in the Season 2 premiere of Breaking In. He may be talking to a new client, Mr. Fox, but the sentiment clearly has a deeper meaning.
"I don't even know if Fox noticed that his name was Mr. Fox," co-creator and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg tells TVGuide.com with a laugh.
Breaking In returns on Tuesday (9:30/8:30c, Fox) after what Goldberg calls a "rollercoaster ride" back from the dead. After the network ordered six episodes very late into midseason, it axed the comedy in May. However, network chief Kevin Reilly remained optimistic about finding a way to revive it. In July, those chances dimmed when the show's female lead, Odette Annable, joined House. But Fox wound up renewing the options for the rest of the cast and renewing it for a 13-episode second season anyway.
Goldberg thanked actors Slater, Bret Harrison and Alphonso McAuley for sticking with the show, even when its future looked grim. "We are forever indebted to them for keeping the show alive," he said. "They were at a crossroads where they could have moved on. We went to them and said, 'You owe nothing to us, but we would love for you to renew,' and they just jumped right on board."
However, there were still a few office shake-ups. Recurring guest star Michael Rosenbaum left to direct a film, and Annable will only appear in five episodes. "I'll miss them both," Goldberg says. Enter new series regulars Megan Mullally and Erin Richards. "Fox felt like the one element missing from the show was a comic foil for Christian's character," he says. "Bringing in Megan, who is a big comic force, to play off of Christian and everyone in the office was just a great puzzle piece that we were missing."
Mullally, an Emmy winner for Will & Grace, joins the workforce as Contra Security's crazy new leader, Veronica. "We knew there was going to be a boss, but we didn't know what kind of boss until we had an actress to define the role," Goldberg says. "Basically, Megan was the one who shaped the entire character. Once we heard she was interested, I wrote some sample scenes for her, and she saw that we could write for her and her voice."
The two new female team members will move the series' focus towards inter-office romances and away from the out-of-office capers. (Although still expect nods to the show's geeky roots including references to Back to the Future, Terminator 2 and Indiana Jones). "It's less about what they do and more about who they are as people. The big thing that I took away from talking to people last year was that the show was a little too fast," Goldberg says. "This year, we're really exploring a lot of the different romantic pairings. Especially coming after New Girl, I think that is something I really wanted to focus on because when you're in an office, office romances happen."
Goldberg says he didn't mind the change in tone. He credits New Girl for helping to save Breaking In. "I think Kevin Reilly always planned on bringing the show back, it was really just seeing if New Girl would work," Goldberg says. "No one wanted New Girl to work more than me because otherwise, I know we wouldn't be on the air. They wouldn't have the confidence to do a whole comedy night."
So does Goldberg feel the pressure returning behind Fox's biggest comedy? He's just happy to be on the air. "Everything this year has just been gravy because I was canceled twice," he says. "Hopefully this time it will stick."