Big news for Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans: Star Chelsea Peretti won’t be returning as a series regular for season 6. This isn’t the first hurdle the upcoming season of the comedy, which is centered around a team of police officers working in a New York City precinct, has had to deal with. In fact, the series almost ended abruptly with five seasons, after it was shockingly canceled by Fox back in May, a decision that was met with a lightning-fast rally cry from the internet (even Mark Hamill chimed in).
However, in possibly the quickest turnaround in TV history, NBC saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine the very next day, picking it up with a midseason premiere. The cast and crew, including creators Michael Schur and Dan Goor, took to Twitter to celebrate. Even NBC Entertainment chairman Roger Greenblatt was excited, remarking that NBC had previously owned the show before selling it to Fox, and that “it’s high time it came back to its rightful home.” The enthusiasm continued to grow, and the episode order was increased from 13 to 18 episodes. Now, however, some sad news dampers the excitement just a bit.
Peretti took to Twitter to share the news of her departure. The comedian and actress specifically noted that she “won’t be doing a full season” this year, but was quick to explain that she isn’t leaving for good. Peretti talked about her character, Gina, thanking fans for watching her, and calling her “confident, idiotic-but-smart, pithy, and infused with rhythm and cell-phone radiation.” She also cited the “goodbye” letter Emmy Rossum wrote when she recently announced that she is leaving Shameless at the end of the current season. Peretti jokingly bolded a couple of sentences that couldn’t possibly apply to her, such as “I taught Emma to shave her legs,” (referring to Rossum’s co-star Emma Kenney), but also highlighted passages that echoed her true feelings such as “I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block.”
In response to Peretti’s announcement, Goor wrote his own statement on Twitter. He praised her “amazing, hilarious, unique portrayal” of the character, calling the actress “one of the funniest people in history.” He also teased how difficult it was to write an appropriate storyline to send off the character.
Though Peretti won’t be appearing in every episode of season 6, there was evidence prior to Goor’s statement that she’ll at least show up at the beginning of the season: When filming on Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 began in August, she could be seen alongside co-stars Andy Samberg and Stephanie Beatriz in a photo shared on The Lonely Island (Samberg’s comedy-musical act with former Saturday Night Live cohorts Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) Twitter account. This also isn’t the first time that Peretti has stepped back from her role on the show. Though she’s been billed as part of the main cast for all five seasons, she was absent for much for the fifth season while she was on maternity leave. Her pregnancy was written into the show.