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You can call it a comeback.
After five highly-lauded, Emmy-nominated seasons on Fox, the unflappable cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine was unceremoniously dumped by the network in 2018 — only to be resurrected within a day of what felt like its certain death when NBC swooped in and picked up the series.
The show's demise was short-lived, but that didn't make it any less agonizing for Terry Crews, who costars as the 99th Precinct's gentle giant Lt. Terry Jeffords.
"All of the sudden it was over," Crews told us in our latest episode of Totally Normal Happy Hour on Yahoo Entertainment's Instagram Live (watch above, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine chatter starting around the nine-minute mark) a day after Season 7's finale. "It was one of the saddest days of my entire life. Because you didn't really get to say goodbye. You know what I mean? We were like, 'What is happening?' I just said, 'This is a cold business, man.'
"Because you gotta understand this, too: Every show, every character that you make, is a living, breathing entity. It's truly alive. … Terry Jeffords is a human being. You know what I mean? And every character has lived. And then all of the sudden when it's gone, it's like the world has blown up. You literally realize, they're not coming back. So we were freaked out, we were hurt."
Created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also stars Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher and, now only occasionally, Chelsea Peretti — who all, as Crews points out, keep in regular contact via a WhatsApp group chat.
After launching in 2013, the sitcom shocked the entertainment industry when it beat out the likes of Modern Family, Girls and Parks and Recreation to win Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes for its freshman season. (Samberg also picked up a Best Actor trophy.)
"We are more popular than we've ever been," Crews says. "We won the Golden Globe our first season, and we are WAY more popular than we were back then." (While the ratings don't necessarily back up Crews's claim, the show certainly has a more fervent fanbase than ever.)
And it's the fans that Crews gives all the credit to for saving the series. "The internet brought that show back," says the actor, who currently stars in the Netflix animated film The Willoughbys and will kick off his second season hosting America's Got Talent on May 26 on NBC. "All the people out there, everyone that's commenting, everyone that had a click, had a pointer, could move their mouse or cursor, they had a part of bringing our show back. And it's their show now."
Check out our full Totally Normal Happy Hour interview at the top of the page to see Crews talk about The Willoughbys, reenact his "A Thousand Miles" performance from White Chicks and avoid comparisons between his Idiocracy character and President Donald Trump.
Watch the trailer for The Willoughbys:
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