We already knew that FOX would air episodes of “New Girl” & “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” after the Super Bowl this year. Now we have a better idea of what those episodes will look like, with Prince playing himself on “New Girl” while “Brooklyn” will welcome back Fred Armisen and Dean Winters while also guest-starring Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann.(*)
(*) And my current travails with a broken leg make it even harder than before to watch the infamous footage of Lawrence Taylor ending Theismann’s career. OUCH.
In the “New Girl” episode, “Party Time,” Jess and Cece have a chance encounter with the artist currently known as Prince and get invited to a party at his place, which in turn inspires the guys to try to crash it. Meanwhile, “Brooklyn,” which won a pair of Golden Globes last night – in the process inspiring this comment about renewal from Kevin Reilly – will do an episode bringing back Dean Winters as “the Vulture” from Major Crimes, and Armisen as a weird resident of the precinct. It’s not clear yet what Theismann will be doing, but hopefully he’ll remain upright throughout.
Because “New Girl” likely won’t air before 10:30, and “Brooklyn” before 11, nobody’s expecting a major ratings boost for either. At this point, the post-Super Bowl slot is less about trying to bring a new audience to a show and more about stating what shows are priorities going forward for a network.