BEVERLY HILLS -- This fall, former "Saturday Night Live" standout Andy Samberg takes to the crime beat in Fox's "Brooklyn Nine Nine." He's a wisecracking, rule-breaking cop who struggles to adapt to a gruff, by-the-book boss played by Andre Braugher.
It's the first regular sitcom gig for Samberg, who spent seven years doing comedic sketches and video shorts for "SNL," and so far he's having a blast.
"It's liberating and freeing," the Berkeley native told journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour. "I had people write for me on 'SNL,' but generally I wrote with my buddies on a tight deadline. To show up and be handed 25 great jokes is awesome."
It's also new territory for Braugher, whose resume is mostly dominated by serious-minded dramas.
"It's a little bit of a learning curve. I'm watching these guys like hawks," he said, referring to Samberg and a diverse cast that features other funny folk, including Terry Crews. "I'm getting on board with the right spirit and learning a lot ... This so much more uplifting more than the dramas I've done (recently)."
Samberg said he wasn't looking to do a TV show, but was attracted to the project partly because it was created and written by Dan Goor and Michael Schur, both of whom worked on "Parks & Recreation" with former "SNL" star Amy Poehler.
"I'm a huge fan of 'Parks' and what they did with Amy, who is my absolute hero," Samberg said.
In setting the tone for the show, the producers say they're channeling the 1970s cop comedy, "Barney's Miller." Meanwhile, Samberg, had "The Wire" on his mind.
"I kind of thought of (the character) like McNulty," he said, "except instead of drinking problems and gambling he was being a jackass."