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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.


'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.

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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.

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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.


'Community': James Brolin on playing Jeff Winger's dad -- FIRST LOOK

Thanksgiving will double as Father’s Day on an episode of Community that airs on…. March 7. And what will this special holiday bring? The first sighting of James Brolin as Jeff Winger’s estranged father, William, who skipped out when Jeff (Joel McHale) was only 8 years old. In this installment of NBC’s community college-set comedy, most of the study group suffers through an unsavory T-Day at the home of Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), while Jeff and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) wind up at William’s place, where awkwardness and discomfort are also on the menu. “From the moment he opens the front door, whatever he says is just off,” notes Brolin of his character. “And when Jeff says something and he answers, it’s just not on the same track at all. There’s probably something very sad about this, but there’s something very funny and recognizable about it… Good comedy is about real stuff.” READ FULL STORY

'Community' dives during Valentine's ratings bloodbath


Valentine’s Day is a notoriously tough night for broadcast.

Yet the V-Day dip (with overall TV viewing levels down about 6 percent for the night) can’t fully explain what happened to NBC’s Community.

You’ll recall last week’s premiere posted impressively decent ratings given the comedy’s track record (and NBC’s recent track record, for that matter). But Thursday’s second episode fell through the floor —  2.7 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s down 42 percent from last week to post the show’s lowest-rating ever in the demo. Given your comments on the ratings post for the premiere, clearly many of you felt like the show wasn’t as funny now that showrunner Dan Harmon is no longer on board (or perhaps Community fans are just huge V-Day romantics?).

To be sure, Community is not the only show waking up to bad news this morning. But before we get into the returning favorites, there was a new series premiere last night — ABC’s adventure drama Zero Hour, starring Anthony Edwards as a man unraveling a vast Da Vinci Code-esque conspiracy to try and save his kidnapped wife. “Why would a network debut a new show on a night that’s typically one of the lowest rated of the season?” you ask. That’s a great question. I have no answer. Zero Hour had 6.3 million viewers and a 1.3 rating, down 41 percent from the premiere of Last Resort in the slot earlier this season and ranked as ABC’s lowest-rated in-season premiere ever for a scripted show. When told the ratings, my editor IM’d: “They should have called it The Frozen Clone Nazi Variety Hour.”

So now the returning shows. First, the good news: ABC’s Scandal and CBS’ Elementary were unchanged this week (they’re protected more from the V-Day dip since they air at 10 p.m.). Everything else was down, with Community falling the most and Person of Interest (down 3 percent) the least. Fox’s American Idol, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and The CW’s Vampire Diaries hit season lows (Fox’s Glee looks like a low, but I’m told an episode that was delayed due to baseball during the fall was actually lower).


'Community' surprise: Ratings up


NBC has been getting hammered in the press for its spiraling ratings the past several weeks. New shows Deception, Do No Harm and 1600 Penn have collapsed out of the gate, while the heavily hyped return of Smash bombed earlier this week.

Now here comes little Community, finally back on the air for its fourth season. And guess what? The comedy returned higher — just slightly, mind you, but still: In a season where most shows returned lower, Community bucked that trend. Oh, and the comedy was facing Fox’s American Idol – unlike its fourth season opener — and TV’s top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory.

Community delivered 4 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., up 6 percent from its previous debut in September, 2011. The show improved on NBC’s average in this slot this season by 38 percent and boosted 8:30 p.m.’s Parks and Recreation to a season high. Meaningless comparison: Community was 50 percent higher than Tuesday’s Smash premiere.

This is sure to be joyous news for the Community team, which has watched NBC heavily promote Smash while pushing their show from its original fall premiere date. And it will also help those renewal odds. As NBC chief Robert Greenblatt said last month, the show could “absolutely” get a fifth season. (Buzzkill disclaimer: Community‘s adult demo rating could be adjusted down to tie its previous premiere rating when Nielsen releases its more accurate numbers this afternoon, but one network analyst said the 1.8 should be sustained — at worst, the comedy managed to remain steady despite increased competition, a protracted hiatus and a showrunner shakeup). UPDATE: In the afternoon nationals, Community went UP to a 1.9.

Community wasn’t the only show with news last night. ABC’s Scandal, that wild political soap on Adderall, rose to match its series high. Check out Mark Harris’ spot-on essay where he calls it TV’s “most ridiculous, chaotic bat#@!*-crazy show.” Grey’s Anatomy was up 11 percent too.

The rest: The Office was flat. 1600 Penn dropped 15 percent. Do No Harm slid 22 percent from last week’s historic (in a bad way) debut. On CBS, Big Bang Theory was up 13 percent (that number may look like a season high, but it’s not, which speaks to how insanely well this comedy is performing this season). Men was up 5 percent, POI was steady and Elementary was up 5 percent. Fox’s American Idol was down 9 percent while Glee was up 5 percent. The CW’s Vampire Diaries fell 15 percent and Beauty was down 14 percent.



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