BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Despite a tough ratings road this past season with its Tuesday night comedies, Fox is sticking with its Tuesday two-hour comedy block that brings back "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" and adds two new series to the mix.
The most promising new comedy is "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (8:30 p.m. Sept. 17) from the producers of NBC's "Parks and Recreation."
Set in a Brooklyn police precinct, the show stars Andy Samberg ("Saturday Night Live") as a goofball detective with a knack for closing cases. Andre Braugher ("Last Resort") plays a by-the-book boss despite being better known for drama, including his early career role on "Homicide: Life on the Street."
"I wear my cuffs the same way, but this is a different environment," Mr. Braugher acknowledged. "This is a workplace comedy, and the stakes aren't nearly as high as they were 20 years ago."
Executive producer Michael Schur was quick to point out that "Brooklyn" is not a police parody like "Police Squad." Producers are taking more inspiration from "Barney Miller."
"We read a survey of actual police officers and detectives, and the question was, what's the most realistic depiction of police work on TV, and overwhelmingly they said 'Barney Miller' because I think the reality of being an officer or detective is not constantly running at top speed chasing criminals, it's life in a precinct house," Mr. Schur said. "That was very inspiring to us."
Some episodes will show the "Brooklyn" cops solving crimes; in others they may simply be on parade duty. Expect to see familiar comedy actors -- Fred Armisen of "SNL" has a cameo in the pilot -- in door knock scenes when the cops canvas a neighborhood as they investigate a crime.
Mr. Schur said it was important to show Mr. Samberg's character solving a crime up front in the pilot so viewers know that he's good at his job even if he's a brat.
"It's also important for the show to work," Mr. Samberg said, "because otherwise, why do you care to track the stories? If he's good at it, when he's being a jackass you can forgive him more and be on board more."
In other Fox news, the network announced it's remaking the British murder mystery drama "Broadchurch," which debuts on BBC America at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub will return to her role as computer geek Chloe on next summer's 12-episode "24: Live Another Day," which will have "an international setting," according to Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly.
Keith Urban will return to "American Idol" for next season, but there is no deal for any other judges.
Future of 'Glee'
The writers on "Glee" are working on a storyline that will write off Finn Hudson, the character played by Cory Monteith, who died last month from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose.
"The third episode [of the new season] will be the Finn Hudson character being written out of the show," Mr. Reilly said. "That episode will deal directly with the incident involved in Cory's passing and drug abuse in particular."
Although that sounds like Finn will also die of a drug overdose, Mr. Reilly would not confirm that is the plot.
He did say that executive producer Ryan Murphy and cast members will shoot public service announcements that will air with the episode, and music sales proceeds from the episode will go to a scholarship fund being established in Monteith's name.
"They will speak directly to the audience, and I think they will be very impactful," he said. "Everybody knows some people who are struggling with addiction, and they're easily put in categories. 'Oh, she's dark,' 'She's always a partier.' Cory was a big, open, wonderful life force. He didn't look like that. He looked straight as an arrow. He was very open about it in the past, not so open about it in the present. Nobody was shocked but everybody was shocked. It was an accident; it was an accident of someone struggling with addiction. We'll be illuminating that particular kind of addiction."
"Glee" will air three episodes and then take a three-week hiatus during Fox's World Series coverage, giving its writers time to re-plot the season.
Actor Mike O'Malley, who plays Kurt's father and Finn's stepfather on "Glee," is starring this fall in NBC's "Welcome to the Family," but he hopes to return to "Glee" for the Monteith memorial episode.
"I'm here doing 'Welcome to the Family,' and we shoot one episode five days a week," Mr. O'Malley said. "But, you know, Burt is a very, very important role to me. It's been a great, great part, and I've said to all those guys that I will work early in the morning, late at night, Saturdays, Sundays, whatever I need to do to participate in, not only continuing to be on that show, but honoring Cory and his passing and that character. He is -- on that show -- my stepson. So I certainly plan on being there, and I actually think they're going to be possibly shooting that episode on a time when we're on hiatus."
Mr. O'Malley said he was impressed with Monteith's performance and his on-set leadership.
"Many of my scenes on 'Glee' were usually with either Chris Colfer or Cory Monteith. And I think that I had what was probably the toughest scene I've ever acted in my career as an actor opposite him when I had to throw his character, Finn, out of the house -- because of a slur that he used," Mr. O'Malley said. "It was remarkable to me, when we were shooting that scene over and over again, the depth of emotion he was able to portray, the sorrow, the shame. He was the fictional quarterback on that show, and he was the very real quarterback on that set. And he was an incredibly warm guy, a guy who was welcoming to everyone who came on that show, from the beginning through the new folks who came onto the show this past year. And he was a very, very hardworking actor. And I just loved working with him. He was a great guy, and I miss him very much."
Hulu launches more shows
Hulu.com began as a service that allows viewers to catch up on TV series, but in 2011 it began the transition to a provider of original content ("Battleground," which has not been renewed for a second season) and acquisitions (a lot of British imports, including "Misfits").
Acting CEO Andy Forssell, a 1987 Carnegie Mellon University graduate and Titusville native, said Hulu will roll out 10 new or acquired series before the end of the year.
"We aren't a studio, we're a distributor at heart," Mr. Forssell said. "We love finding shows that we're shocked people haven't seen and maybe they don't fit in certain ways."
Hulu is happy to snap them up and suggest them to its viewers, particularly viewers whose past viewing suggests a new show may be of interest to them.
"We like things that don't fit," he said. "We like things that are genre busting."
Hulu's "The Awesomes," which debuted Thursday, is from "Saturday Night Live's" Seth Meyers, whose father grew up in East Liberty and later studied at Carnegie Mellon University. (Seth grew up in New Hampshire but has fond memories of annual trips to Pittsburgh to visit family members, and he's a huge Steelers fan.) Mr. Meyers was back in Pittsburgh earlier this summer to see a Pirates game with his dad, his first visit to PNC Park.
"The Awesomes" is Hulu's first animated series. Mr. Meyers gives voice to the leader of a team of "Bad News Bears"-like superheroes.
Comic book fan Mr. Meyers, who will become host of NBC's "Late Night" in February, said there are parallels between pulling together a team of superheroes and his experience with the cast of "SNL" pulling together to put on the show.
"There's like such a large appetite for any kind of superhero story, be it light or dark," Mr. Meyers said. "We're drawn to team dynamics, the sort of interpersonal relationships between people, and we wanted to join a team as it was getting put together and follow over a 10-episode arc as they learned."
On Sunday at 2 p.m. BBC America will air a live program that will announce the identity of the next actor to play the title role in "Doctor Who," replacing the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, who's leaving the series after the upcoming Christmas special.
MTV will air the TV premiere of the concert film "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" (8 p.m. Sunday). ... Actors Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will depart NBC's "Parks and Recreation" after the first 13 episodes of the upcoming season. ... ABC has ordered a 13-episode third season of "Celebrity Wife Swap" for 2013-14. ... WTAE will pre-empt ABC's Monday night lineup, including summer drama "Mistresses," next week for a Steelers pre-season game at 8 p.m. "Mistresses" will instead air at 1 a.m. Wednesday. ... Actor Harry Lennix, who starred in Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" and stars this fall in NBC's "The Blacklist," will be in Pittsburgh this weekend for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives youth leadership conference. ... Channel 4's first Sally Wiggin-hosted installment of "WTAE Chronicle," about the fountain at the Point, will air 8-9 p.m. Aug. 21 on WTAE with a re-airing at 8 p.m. Aug. 23 on WTAE's digital subchannel ThisTV.
Tuned In online
Today's TV Q&A column responds to questions about "Endeavour," "Leverage" reruns and "The Sing-Off." This week's Tuned In Journal includes posts from the TV critics press tour. Read online-only TV content at post-gazette.com/tv.
This week's podcast includes conversation about fall programming on cable. Subscribe or listen at http://old.post-gazette.com/podcast.
On the web
Read more coverage from the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Tuned In Journal at post-gazette.com/tv
A portion of this column originally appeared online in the Tuned In Journal blog. Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen is attending the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Follow RobOwenTV at Twitter or on Facebook. You can reach Rob at 412-263-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.