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'Community' panel at Comic-Con: Season 5 will go back to basics

The Project
Community

The Panel
Dan Harmon, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley), Alison Brie (Annie), Ken Jeong (Chang), Danny Pudi (Abed), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), and writer Chris McKenna

Footage Screened
A fan appreciation comparing the constant renewal of the beloved show to the Twinkie, the McRib and the triumph of putting a man on the moon. Big cheers erupted when Joel McHale said he wished he could french kiss all the rabid fans. Ending with the popular and now familiar “six seasons and a movie” slogan, the clip set the tone for the rest of the panel.

A great gag reel of Brie rapping, everyone dancing, and of course lots of laughing.

Snap Judgment
Dan Harmon came out in an Iron Man costume that said “streets ahead” on the back, with loud rock music paying. “It is good to be back,” he said. “I am millionaire playboy and creator Dan Harmon.”

Harmon does not consider these episodes the final 13, but the most important 13 in the history of the show — so he feels a lot of pressure but is excited to start moving. His return as showrunner is giving the creator and mastermind behind Community a lot of ideas for season 5. He wants to get back to the formula for seasons 1 and 2, when each episode was stellar in itself. “Get ready for grounded story work! Who likes their characters dimensionalized?” Harmon shouted.

A video featuring McHale encouraged fans to continue to use their power to make sure the show stays safe — and introduced moderator Chris Hardwick.

Community is the nerdiest show on television,” Hardwick declared. “Philosophically the show is nerdy because it’s this big underdog in the system and you keep fighting through.”

The entire cast was extremely grateful to the fans, and happily surprised they filled Hall H — especially Yvette Nicole Brown. “It’s like a wall of love,” she told fans. She saw her first Shirley cosplay at Comic-Con this year — a costume complete with a huge bag and a bottle of booze.

Harmon compared the giant crowd to his “own LeVar Burton” and said he could only let them down. Hall H erupted with shouts of “never!” and “we love you, Dan!”

The Big Revelations
An animated episode is on the docket.

The show will be syndicated on Comedy Central starting September 20 and on local stations September 16 so everyone can catch up before season 5!

Most incisive audience question
Where do the actors want to see their characters go in the future season?

Rash would love to continue to unravel the Dean’s craziness.

Brown wants to meet Shirley’s sister.

Brie would like to see Annie become empowered, and find her ambition again.

Jeong said he trusted Harmon’s vision and can’t wait to get started.

Pudi said he was looking forward to working with the cast because they’re all weird and wonderful.

Dino Stamatopoulos (“Starburns”) even surprised the audience by showing up at the mic as a belligerent un-fan who asked a lot of questions and teased the panelists. The general sentiment was one of optimism and enthusiasm for the future of Community — with a return to the original formula. There was a Human Being in the audience, Brie gave Pudi a wet willy, and it was generally just a Greendale-filled event. Six seasons and a movie!

'Community': Dan Harmon officially returning for season 5

The ultimate goal is six seasons and a movie, but Community fans are getting something else on their wish list: Dan Harmon. READ FULL STORY

John Oliver talks about hosting 'The Daily Show,' and Dan Harmon's possible return to 'Community'

John Oliver thinks it would be “fantastic” if Community creator Dan Harmon returns to oversee the sitcom’s fifth season. On May 25, Harmon tweeted “Yes yes yes! I’m back I’m back I’m back. You can thank @joelmchale” in response to a fan requesting a “straight answer” as to his much rumored return. Oliver, who played recurring character Dr. Ian Duncan during Harmon’s original tenure at the show, said he hadn’t heard anything on the Community grapevine about the showrunner returning “but that would be fantastic.”

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'Community' creator Dan Harmon: 'I'm back' for season 5 -- UPDATE

Just a few weeks after learning that Community had been renewed for a fifth season, fans are getting more news to brighten their timeline: The return of creator Dan Harmon.

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'Community': The darkest timeline returns in the season (series?) finale -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

It’s time to shine a light on the darkest timeline once again (or… once and for all?). In Community‘s season finale (or… series finale?), which airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC, the study group faces down their evil alter egos. Plus, Jeff (or… Joel McHale?) is thinking about graduating now that he has earned enough credits. Press play for your first look at “Introduction to Finality,” which offers up a paintball nod, the return of a villain, and more (or… much more?).  READ FULL STORY

'Community': See the study group as puppets -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

When it came to this week’s episode of Community, the study group really felt it. Yes, viewers will get to see Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) and his Greendale pals as puppets in an episode that features the gang taking a balloon ride that crashes in the woods, where they happen upon a nice mountain man played by Jason Alexander.

Does the episode contain some Dean Pelton-led group therapy involving hand puppets? It does. Are there songs as well? Several. (Guest-star Sara Bareilles sings one, and Adam Levine co-wrote another.) Are you about to click on the video below to see the gang (as larger puppets) meet the possibly psychic, questionably coiffed mountain man? I think you know the answer to that. READ FULL STORY

'Community', 'Shark Tank' stars to guest on 'American Dad' -- EXCLUSIVE

Mr. Burns may have blocked the sun on The Simpsons, but Mark Cuban is taking it one step further on American Dad: He’s planning to blow the thing up. The Shark Tank star/Dallas Mavericks owner will lend his voice to the animated Fox comedy, playing an evil genius named Mark Cuban who’s hell-bent on being the No. 1 force in the universe. The only people that can stop him are Stan, Francine, and four sexy flight attendants with a Charlie’s Angels vibe that are played by Gillian Jacobs (Community), Becki Newton (Ugly Betty), Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II), and Megalyn Echikunwoke (CSI: Miami). READ FULL STORY

'Community': Dean Pelton has a whale of a plan to help Greendale -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Tonight on Community (NBC, 8 p.m.), the gang is going whaling. But not in a boat. On dry land. Trying to pad Greendale Community College’s coffers by recruiting an affluent prospective student, a.k.a. a whale, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) taps Jeff (Joel McHale) and the study group to help him in his quest to land his Moby Rich. Not happy about this: Incumbent whale Pierce (Chevy Chase).

Also in this episode, you will see Troy (Donald Glover) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) in a class called Physical Education Education. This isn’t a typo.

Press play on the video below to see the Dean sharpen his harpoon. Plus, potato chips! READ FULL STORY

'Community': Jeff Winger does not believe in Changnesia -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Don’t forget: A new episode of Community airs tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC, and it delves into the mysterious neurological/psychological condition known as “Changnesia,” which Chang, er, Kevin (Ken Jeong) claims has robbed him of his memory, including all the horrific things that Kevin, er, Chang has done to our study group. Seeking a grant for Greendale from the MacGuffin Neurological Institute to fight this “terrible disease,” Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) commissions Abed (Danny Pudi) to make a propaganda film about the issue to help secure the funds. Abed, however, is determined to create a documentary that represents all viewpoints on the issue, including the one held by Jeff (Joel McHale), which is that Kevin’s pants are currently engulfed in flames.

Check out the following clip from “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking”, in which Jeff  — flabbergasted that everyone seems to be buying Kevin’s tragic story — tries to persuade Shirley to help him stop the feigned madness. READ FULL STORY

'Community' scene-stealer to guest star on 'Sullivan & Son'

TBS comedy Sullivan & Son is about to get Chang-ed!

EW has learned exclusively that Community fan-fave Ken Jeong is set to appear in a second-season episode of S&S, set to air in the summer.

He will play Jason, Steve’s (Steve Byrne) doctor brother-in-law whose workaholic ways are putting strain on his marriage to Steve’s sister, Susan (Vivan Bang). So Susan enlists Steve’s help in getting Jason to unwind, but the plan backfires when Jason begins to reject his old life entirely.

Jeong currently appears on NBC’s Community as former professor/security guard Ben Chang, and is well known for his appearances in the Hangover films.

Related:
Vince Vaughn to host ‘Saturday Night Live’
‘New Girl’: Dylan O’Brien of ‘Teen Wolf’ to guest as Jess’ prom date

Marc Maron's IFC comedy to debut May 3; guests include Adam Scott, Ken Jeong, Gina Gershon

The comedy series starring podcasting comedian Marc Maron as himself will finally see the light of your television on May 3 at 10 p.m. ET, IFC announced today. READ FULL STORY

PaleyFest 2013: 'Community' cast talks paintball, puppets, and graduation

The cast and crew of Community threw us some tantalizing scraps at their PaleyFest panel Tuesday night. The all-important ratings issue prompted panel moderator Mike Schneider to lead the audience in a “Pledge of Allegiance to Community,” and pitch a #WatchCommunityLive hashtag — the keyword being live. They want people to experience the season in real time.

Here are (Greendale) Seven things the Community cast and crew shared:

1. Adam DeVine will be playing Jeff Winger’s simple-minded half brother, as Jeff embarks on a quest to get to know his family

“He has a brother, a half brother that he didn’t know about — and he’s like a four-foot grouper fish, which is weird because he’s in a tank,” Joel McHale said. “Doesn’t talk … It’s weird.”

2. Don’t put a label on what Dean Pelton has with Jeff

“The Dean’s sort of mysterious because I think he goes wherever his body tells him is interesting,” said Jim Rash, who plays the Dean. “Whether it’s dalmatians or choo-choo trains or Jeff. So I don’t think I’d like to decide to label it … But I think he definitely wants to be him — if not with him — but I think he would want a friendship at the core.”

3. There might be a little paintball yet to come

“But don’t yell at us if it isn’t an entire episode of paintball,” executive producer David Guarascio said. “Twitter just groaned,” Gillian Jacobs responded. (I groaned too. Paintball is my favorite.)

4. We will get to see Shirley’s house and meet her in-laws, who have had a major influence on the person she is today. Also, warns Yvette Nicole Brown, expect a lot of gingham and some pretty terrible wallpaper. Apparently Shirley has poor interior design skills.

5. The cast has faith in the show even without creator Dan Harmon

“I mean the good news is that some of the writers from Dan’s time stayed, and that was really important to help guide scripts,” McHale told EW. “Megan Ganz has written some that are just, I think, awesome. And Dan said in a couple interviews, ‘If you listen to Megan things will be okay.’ So I was really happy with some of it. We’ll see what the public thinks.”

6. Jim Rash wrote an episode where Troy and Abed switch bodies, and everybody loves it. Because of Danny Pudi and Donald Glover “knocking it out of the park,” according to McHale. And because it was lovingly crafted by Rash, who said of the experience: “It was stressful only because you want to do right by the cast and by Dan’s creation and all that stuff.”

7. Community is about to go all Avenue Q on us

And to the question, “Is the gang going to graduate this season?” the ambiguous answer was: stay tuned.

But what they lacked in spoiler sharing, the cast made up for in major laughs and lots of sarcasm. There was so much genuine gratitude on the part of the cast and crew, who thanked the rabid fan base that has kept them afloat for four seasons.

Other moments up for discussion included: Alison Brie’s recurring alter-ego, Jim Rash and Joel McHale going head to head in a “who does Malcom MacDowell like better, anyway” contest — but only after bumblingly re-creating their tango from the season opener, and the truth about Yvette Nicole Brown’s giant purse. Also: the entire cast did Britta’s pizza dance. It doesn’t get better than that.

Follow @amandataylor88

Read more:
PaleyFest 2013: 10 things we learned from ‘The Walking Dead’ panel
PaleyFest 2013: 10 ‘Revolution’ revelations
‘The Newsroom’ at PaleyFest: Olivia Munn vs. Piers Morgan and other highlights
‘Once Upon a Time’ post-mortem: Snow’s dark path and seven other scoops from PaleyFest

Puppet-themed episode of 'Community' to air this spring

The study group is about to become felt and foam.

NBC will air an episode of Community this spring in which the Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) and his friends are reimagined as puppets, it was announced at a PaleyFest panel for the show on Tuesday night.  In the installment, the gang embark on a balloon ride, crash in the woods, and encounter an amiable mountain man (guest star Jason Alexander). Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) winds up getting the gang to discuss their adventures in the wild and work through their issues through the use of hand puppets; and in flashbacks, we see larger versions of the puppets.

READ FULL STORY

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