Brooklyn Nine-Nine hits a milestone on Tuesday — but it's a bit of a milestone that's unique to the show. While other series get all jazzed up about their 100th episodes, the Fox comedy is making its celebration all about its 99th episode, which is fitting, as it's right there in the title. (Don't worry, the 100th episode will air next week, and you're welcome to celebrate how you see fit.)
TV Guide got co-creator and showrunner Dan Goor on the phone to talk about the momentous episode, Jake and Amy's wedding and whether Brooklyn Nine-Nine is already preparing for the series finale.
Congratulations on reaching 99 episodes! What was your favorite and 99th favorite episode the show has done?
Dan Goor: They're all my children! (Laughs) It's very hard to choose a favorite. In some ways, the pilot is an episode that I really love. It was so exciting to do and you're more involved as a showrunner with the pilot almost more than any other episode. It was so fun to see these characters come to life for the first time, and to see Andy [Samberg] and Andre Braugher relate for the first time. All of the Halloween heist episodes have been fun and interesting. The episode where Jake proposes to Amy (Melissa Fumero). "Moo Moo," where we talked about racial profiling, was a real challenge and I felt really great about it. I enjoyed the Florida episodes, when they were [in witness protection], but I really like them all. It really does feel like children, it would be impossible to say — although I did just name six of them (laughs). And I can tell you which of my children I like more, too. And I'm certainly not going to say which ones I like least.
The 99th episode is a road trip episode in which the crew races to get Holt to an important meeting. But as is the case with road trips in comedies, things don't go well.
Goor: They are trying to get back to New York for a very important meeting and unfortunately weather conspires against them, as does the crappiest RV in the history of RVs, terrible food, Scully's colon doesn't do them any favors, and there are other pieces of bad luck along the way.
We meet some new Boyles in the episode. Are they similar to Charles or are these regional Boyles different?
Goor: One of the things we wanted to do when we wrote the episode was give every character a big comedy moment, and one of the things we love about Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) is his family. Every iteration of the Boyles is an exploration of his weird, beige family and their dynamic, and this one doesn't disappoint.
So you're celebrating the 99th episode with a big shebang. Are you guys just going to mail it in for the 100th episode?
Goor: (Laughs) Ninety-nine is the celebration. One hundred is a totally mailed-in episode, you can totally skip it. No, 100 is great, we're treating 99 tongue in cheek as our milestone episode. Actually, I think the 100th is a really excellent, interesting episode that is, in its own way, really press worthy. But it's not the milestone episode. We just thought it was fun because of the title, 99. And we knew that Terry [Crews] was going to go, "Nine-Nine!" at the end.
We're starting to see articles about bubble shows that may not make it back next season, and I hate the fact that I see Brooklyn Nine-Nine popping up on these. What has Fox told you?Goor: Fox has been very supportive and encouraging of us and continues to be so, and their official statement to us is they don't look at that kind of ratings data and I hope to god that is true. But also, our show does very well in the Live+7 setting, and we're one of the most-watched live-action shows on Hulu. I think that is of interest to Fox. But the truth is, in this era of television, it's tough, especially with our live ratings. I think there are a lot of families with kids who watch our show, and unfortunately at 9:30, that means they're often watching it in a time-shifted way because kids aren't staying up that late. I'm sure Fox has all that data and I'm sure we look great when you consider that.
You're setting up some big storylines this year with Jake and Amy's wedding and Holt's pursuit of being commissioner. I gotta say, these kind of sound like they could be final season type of stories. Is that something you're preparing for?
Goor: You're too insightful. You can see them that way, or you can see them as wonderful throws to a Season 6 that explores what Jake and Amy's married life looks like and if Holt gets the commissionership, what the career change would be. If you look at Parks and Recreation, Leslie became a city councilor, which is a major change in her job title, at the end of Season 4 and they went on for a few more years. And in The Office, Jim, at the start of Season 3, he went to the Stamford office. A more positive way to view these developments and arcs are as fun ways to set up an interesting, different sixth season as opposed to the tombstone on Season 5.
Jake and Amy's wedding date is May 15. I looked at a calendar, and that's a Tuesday right around finales week. Are you giving away that their wedding will take place in the season finale?
Goor: We are giving away that it's likely to be on or around the finale. At this point, I don't think we know the date of the finale. Our intention is for that arc to play out over the second half of the year and to culminate on or around the finale.
Looking forward, you mentioned "Moo Moo" earlier in this interview, and it's one of the transcendent episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Do you have any plans to go into that socially-aware territory again?
Goor: Yes. Actually the 100th episode is an issues episode, which, like "Moo Moo," we tried to make it an episode that feels like a Nine-Nine episode while addressing something. We're doing another episode down the road which we're breaking right now, which is stylistically and formally sort of different than anything we've done before, and in that way it's very exciting, although it's not an issues episode. But "Moo Moo" I think really opened us up to doing more experimental stuff and we'd love to keep doing it.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's 99th episode airs Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 9:30/8:30c.