Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the funniest shows on TV. That's just a fact. The hilarious comedy about a police precinct in New York is a lot of things other than "funny," though. It's diverse, sweet, good-natured, and the home of too many amazing one-liners. Plus, it has the best cold opens in the game. There are so many reasons to love this comedy that's full of heart!
No matter how big of a fan you are there are probably plenty of things you don't know about the hit sitcom. There are tons of behind-the-scenes secrets that every Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan should know! From what goes on on-set to the inspiration behind the show, these little tidbits make the show even better, if that's possible! Here are some crazy behind-the-scenes secrets all fans should know!
It's pretty par-for-the-course for many sitcoms to be shot on a soundstage in California. But you'd think a show set in New York, where that's part of its entire identity, would be shot there right? Nope! The show follows in the footsteps of the many comedies before it and is filmed in sunny California. It's part of the magic of TV that they manage to convince us that the show is actually being shot on the streets of NYC!
To more accurately depict cops, the actors got actual police and gun training. The cast got together with the Glendale Police Department for a "boot camp" of training which included a tactical shooting house. Show star Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Holt, said of the training:
We don’t want to get lazy and we want to play cops to the best of our ability because if we lose our credibility entirely, the comic foundations will fall apart. We want audiences to believe that we’re a bunch of goofball cops rather than comedians who decided to put on police uniforms.
They don't just prank each other on the show — they all prank each other behind the scenes too! The cast is always having fun when the cameras aren't rolling and that often leads to pulling pranks on each other. Melissa Fumero, who plays Amy, said in an interview that costar Chelsea Peretti will take stealth pictures of her on-set and text them to her mid-scene! She isn't the only jokester, though. They all take turns punking each other!
What started as a "Candy Crush"-esque fake game turned into a real one! When Brooklyn Nine-Nine started mentioning "Kwazy Cupcakes," it seemed like an innocent, faux phone game. There was even an episode where Holt got hopelessly addicted to playing it (been there). The game has become real, though, thanks to RED Games. The company created the game for fans of the show, making it just as addicting as you always knew it would be. Just try not to get as hooked on the game as Holt was!
The show may not be filmed in New York, but many of its exterior shots are true to Brooklyn. All of the exterior shots of the precinct are of the real 78th precinct! The 99th precinct doesn't actually exist, so this is as close as you'll get to a real-life police station on the show. These shots definitely add some realism to the series. And while it may be a comedy about goofy cops, it's still respectful to real BK life!
On the show, Rosa is a badass, tough, and pretty scary female cop. But in real life, Stephanie Beatriz is pretty smiley. When the show began, she often had to stop herself from smirking too much while filming since Rosa is rarely feeling too optimistic. But she does have one big thing in common with her on-screen persona: they're both bisexual! Unlike Rosa, Beatriz is loud and proud about her sexual orientation and has commented on it a few times in interviews.
Before it ultimately found a home on Fox, all four major networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox — were in a bidding war for the show. The crazy thing? The show was involved in this bidding war before there was a single episode written or a solidified cast! Oh, and it didn't even have a name yet! Just a premise that every network loved. Fox ended up winning the bidding war, but it wasn't the last bidding war the show would be a part of. And Fox wouldn't be the only home Brooklyn Nine-Nine would have...
Guess NBC won the bidding war, too! When Fox canceled the show, much to fans and the cast's chagrin, many wondered if another network or streaming service may pick it up since it's so beloved. NBC ended up coming through, and that's where NBC exec Bob Greenblatt has always said he'd like the have the show! He missed out on getting it years ago and now it's coming to the network and claiming it as its new home. Many of the cast members, crew members, and even the showrunner have had some sort of relationship with NBC in the past, making this move a perfect fit!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was initially pitched as "Parks and Rec but with cops!" Showrunner Dan Goor wrote for Parks and Recreation before branching out to create his own show. And who did he create Brooklyn Nine-Nine with? None other than Parks and Rec showrunner Mike Schur. Another heavy hitter from the show that has Parks and Rec roots? Chelsea Peretti a.k.a everyone's fave, Gina Linetti. She wrote a few episodes of the sitcom!
Chelsea made her way on the to the show not by chance or luck but because a role was made especially for her! The hilarious, sassy, and totally fab Gina Linetti was created with Peretti in mind. Maybe that's why their names are so similar! Like we said, she had written on Parks and Recreation, so she knew Schur and Goor and expressed interest in being on their new show. When they learned she was ready and willing to participate, they created the role just for her! Because let's be real, who wouldn't want Peretti's hilarious sass on their show?!
Braugher is by far the most serious character on the show, playing straight-laced Captain Holt. But behind-the-scenes, he's nothing like his stern character. Braugher is constantly making his co-stars laugh on-set as well as pulling pranks. It seems strange since Braugher built a career on hard, commanding characters, but comedy is a natural fit for him. Even though he plays the straight man to the rest of the characters, he often gets the most laughs with his monotone delivery and often unexpected one-liners!
Andy Samberg left SNL to pursue things outside of TV, like his music with The Lonely Island and film. But he ended up right back on TV! When they approached him about the show, he looked at the people behind it and couldn't resist. Samberg is a big Parks and Rec fan and loves Amy Poehler, so it seemed natural for him to partner with Goor and Schur to become a sitcom star like her. And thus, our small screens were blessed with more Samberg for the foreseeable future!
And they're both from Brooklyn! The two grew up together in the same Brooklyn neighborhood and attended the same elementary school. This was written into the show and Jake and Gina have also been friends since childhood! Can you imagine growing up and working on a hit TV show with the boy next door?! The two also have very personal roots in Brooklyn, and while the show isn't filmed there, it makes their devotion to the fake BK precinct that much more authentic!
It turns out Brooklyn Nine-Nine is super improv-heavy! While the show surely has great writers, sometimes the cast can't help but insert their own little lines and comedic moments. Andy Samberg is the most notorious for this and many of his scenes involve improvisation — he even brings it out of his scene partners! They all have the power to make the show that much more personal and hilarious and fans totally benefit in the end!
And it definitely affects her on-set a bit! She can't wear contacts because they bother her eyes so she wears glasses. But since her character Rosa doesn't, she sometimes finds herself missing her marks since she can't see them fully! Beatriz caused a stir at the 2014 Golden Globes when she wore glasses with her fancy dress. In a response, she shared that she's blind and that she worried about the decision to sport frames at such a formal event, but wanted to be able to see the show. And then she saw her idol, Meryl Streep wearing her glasses with her fancy dress and didn't feel so bad!
And in true TV fashion, they hid the hell out of that baby bump while Melissa played the not-pregnant Amy. Remember the episode where Jake and Amy go on a cruise? Well, now you know why she had that damn giant beach bag with her the entire time! The show even had Amy go undercover as a pregnant inmate for a case so she didn't have to hide her bump on screen. Yup, the bump in those episodes was the real deal! If you're wondering why they didn't just make her pregnant on the show, it's because her relationship with Jake was far too new for that. Samberg even jokes about it on the show!
Melissa Fumero revealed the origins of the "Nine-Nine!" chant in a tweet recently and credited it to Terry Crews, who plays Terry Jeffords on the show. It all began because Crews is the ultimate cheerleader for his squad, both on and off the screen! He would use the chant to pump the cast up on long days and rough shoots. They soon integrated it into the show as a sign of camaraderie between the 99th precinct squad. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's very own catchphrase was born. Nine-Nine!