'Community' returns to TV 'war zone'! Yvette Nicole Brown promises more 'Jirley' -- EW VIDEO

The first few seconds of Yvette Nicole Brown’s interview with EW pretty much say it all: “Community‘s baccccckk!!! March 15!!!” Straight and to the point. But in case you’re the kind that appreciates elaboration:

Community returns tonight after a long and unexpected hiatus that started when NBC announced its midseason lineup in November, with one well-noted absence.

With all that unpleasantness behind them, Brown says the cast is looking ahead and simply glad to be back on the schedule. “Even though Thursday at 8 p.m. has become a war zone ratings-wise, with so many great shows in that one half-hour, I’m overjoyed that we got that timeslot back. It’s our battle-scarred [timeslot]. It’s our war zone,” she said.

So, to battle they go. (Against The Big Bang Theory and American Idol, no less.) The last original episode, which aired back in November, received a 7-percent uptick – garnering 3.6 million viewers — thanks most likely to legions of rallying fans.

Numbers aside, Brown is excited about what’s in store for the season’s remaining 12 episodes. As the cast teased at PaleyFest last week, there’s a wedding in the first episode back, an upcoming episode in which Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi) take to The Dreamatorium for most of the half-hour, and an epic battle in the finale. Brown also spoke highly of the episodes coming up that heavily feature Jeff and Shirley, an character combo the actress mistakenly called “Jirley.” (For the record, we support this…) “Shirley and Jeff are becoming friends. They became friends in the foosball episode, and their friendship is being deepened in these episodes,” she said.

Oh, and there’s the death. Yes, a death on Community. That’s about all we could get out of the spoiler-phobic Brown, but she hinted that we should leave every possibility open. “Everyone on our show is beloved…I mean, Annie’s Boobs. Maybe the monkey bites it!”

Read more:
‘Community’ returns: Check out the new trailer
‘Community’: Somebody’s getting married! First look at next week’s return — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘Community’ boss ‘confident’ about season 4 chances. Plus, more scoop from Paleyfest!

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