Pierce: Fox's 'Breaking In' rises from the dead
As the second season of the Fox sitcom "Breaking In" begins, Oz (Christian Slater) looks directly into the camera and says, "So happy to see you finally came to your senses and gave us another shot."
Oz is talking to a former client of his security firm who went somewhere else and ended up getting robbed.
Slater and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg are talking directly to Fox. The network canceled "Breaking In" last spring, left it hanging in limbo for several months, and then finally picked it up for a second season.
"I was super grateful, super thrilled," Slater said. "I was incredibly surprised."
As was Goldberg to see his show come "back from the dead."
The saga of "Breaking In" off the screen is more entertaining than most TV shows. Fox announced May 10 that the show was canceled. Just two days later, word leaked that the network's chief programmer, Kevin Reilly, might have had a change of heart.
"Breaking In" was nowhere to be seen when Fox announced its schedule on May 16, but six weeks later we learned that the network had picked up the actors' options through mid-November, keeping the possibility of a second season alive.
"Basically, what Kevin Reilly said was, 'Look, I want to build a whole comedy night,' " Goldberg said. "So he picked up the actors' option. I was just in a holding pattern and hoping."
Building a comedy night depended on the success of Fox's new fall sitcoms.
"No one wanted 'New Girl' to work more than me, because if that worked, then that meant we could come back," Goldberg said.
Added Slater: "Yay, 'New Girl!' "
While "Glee" takes a midseason break, Fox will air four consecutive sitcoms on Tuesdays beginning March 6 "Raising Hope" (7 p.m.), "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" (7:30 p.m.), "New Girl" (8 p.m.) and "Breaking In."
"Breaking In" isn't exactly the same show that ran for seven episodes a year ago. It's still about the team at Contra Security, but it's less a show about high-tech capers and more of a workplace comedy.
In Tuesday's episode, Oz sells the company to a conglomerate, and Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace") comes aboard as the new boss. "My character comes in and kind of takes over and upsets the apple cart, so it does create a conflict," Mullally said. Which is a good thing.
Bret Harrison and Alphonso McAuley are still regulars, but the other cast members will turn up only as guest stars.
"We just want to focus on the office a little bit more," said Goldberg, who promised more " 'A-Team'-style missions" to go with the "office shenanigans."
At first glance, it looks like an improvement.
Scott D. Pierce's column appears Mondays and Fridays in The Mix. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.