"I was not looking to do a TV series at all," Samberg says
Unlike many of his "Saturday Night Live" predecessors who've focused on developing a big-screen career after leaving the late-night sketch show, Andy Samberg has thrown himself back into another series, the upcoming Fox police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
During Thursday's Television Critics Association press tour, Samberg explained why he decided to hitch up with another series. Samberg noted that it was the work that the series' creators, Michael Schur and Dan Goor, had done on "Parks and Recreation" — starring Samberg's fellow alum Amy Poehler — that drew him in.
"I was not looking to do a TV series at all but I was a huge fan of "Parks,' and I'd seen what these guys had done with Amy," Samberg recalled. "They came to me and said, 'How would you feel about doing a series? This is the idea.' And I was like, 'Give me a couple of days to think about it,' but i already knew i was going to say yes, because it was too good to pass up."
On "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" — which also stars Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Chelsea Peretti and Stephanie Beatriz, among others — Samberg plays hot-shot detective Jake Peralta, who's paired with a new captain (Braugher) who has a lot to prove.
Despite Samberg's comedic background — and the fact that the show is a comedy — Schur stressed during the panel that the producers and writers took pains to prevent the show from slipping into spoof territory.
"This is not like 'Police Squad.' As big a fan as I am of 'Police Squad,' this is not 'Police Squad.' It's a workplace comedy that happens to be set in a police precinct," Schur said. "The idea that they're real cops and that the crimes that they're investigating are real crimes and that they're real human beings doing real things … we want it to seem like its a real police precinct; that was the goal."
Even so, Schur admitted, the temptation to veer into parody is heavy.
"I think because of 'Police Squad' and 'Naked Gun' and how formative those are for 38-year old comedy writers, its hard not to write those jokes."