How do you fight a flagging American Idol franchise and ratings that dipped 20% last season? Hopefully, by luring your viewers back with some big names. That’s the latest strategy for Fox, which came out of the upfronts on Tuesday with a lineup that included Andy Samberg, Greg Kinnear, Seth MacFarlane, J.J. Abrams, and Kiefer Sutherland, the latter of whom will return for the miniseries 24: Live Another Day. (Midseason picks include the Chris Meloni comedy Surviving Jack, the Terry O’Quinn drama Gang Related, and M. Night Shyamalan’s miniseries Wayward Pines, which will star Matt Dillon, but trailers for those shows are not yet available yet for review.) Still, fame doesn’t always equal quality. For every promising buddy-cop comedy, there’s a not-so-promising sitcom from a certain Oscar host who prides himself on being “edgy.” Sorry, Seth MacFarlane, but the only boobs I saw today were the two guys in your new show.
Imagine The Office, except set in a police precinct. Now imagine Andy Samberg as its resident dimwit, a detective who wiles away the hours playing fire extinguisher roller-chair derby and doing very bad, meep-morp-I-am-a-robot impressions of his humorless boss (Andre Braugher). If you’re not laughing yet — and I was, right from the moment that Samberg rocks out to a terrible preset keyboard demo at the beginning of the trailer — consider that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was created by Dan Goor and Michael Shur, who mastered the art of the workplace comedy with Parks and Recreation. Judging by the teaser, which also features a cameo from Fred Armisen as a wide-eyed creeper, Brooklyn Nine-Nine could actually be funny. Still not convinced? If you don’t at least smile at Samberg’s very special cop “uniform” (shirt and tie on top, multi-colored Speedo on the bottom), then you either have no heart or no pants.