Were you as surprised as I was to see Andre Braugher in a half-hour comedy Tuesday on Foxs Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30 p.m.)?
Its certainly a departure for the actor, who first made his mark in the NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street.
Theres a different spirit with a comedy, the actor said at a Fox news conference this summer. So theres a little bit of a learning curve from the pilot to the first couple of episodes. But Im watching these guys like hawks. So I feel like Im getting on board with the right spirit of the comedy and learning a lot and exploring a new way that works. So spiritually these comedies are just – theyre just so much more uplifting than the dramas Ive done. I was here last year with something that wasnt uplifting, and Im loving this.
He was referring, of course, to ABCs submarine drama, Last Resort, which was canceled after a single season.
In a one-on-one interview, Braugher said he wasnt necessarily looking for a comedy but he was pleased to have someone ask him to join the cast of this sitcom as Capt. Holt, the straight-laced gay boss to goofball Jake Peralta, played by Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg.
Hes on the top of his game right now, and he has an extensive body of comic lore, Braugher said of Samberg. Hes been studying comedy his entire life and Ive been studying drama my entire life, so we have two different frames of reference and I have to go back to school and catch up very quickly with what hes talking about and whats current. So Im training, studying so I can catch up with him. Hes very quick, has a terrific sense of humor and hes very sharp. I have to step up my game if Im going to work well with him.
Braugher said the prospect of starring in a TV comedy was scary, but hes got faith in the shows leaders.
Leadership is by far the most important quality when it comes to making a show thats going to last and of superb quality, something classy and fun, Braugher said. Leadership was a more important (factor) than the script. Ive been involved with great scripts and so-so leadership, and its clear to me that leadership is the most compelling factor.