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NBC defends 'Community' changes, claims fans will still 'get the same show'

The upcoming fourth season of Community may have a short order (13 episodes), may be on Fridays (with a Whitney lead in) and may have seen the exit of creator Dan Harmon. But that doesn’t mean it’s the final season, NBC brass says.

“We’re in a transition with our comedy programming and trying to broaden the audience and broaden what network does,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told critics at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. “Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love and we love, tend to be a bit more narrow than we’d ultimately like as we go forward.”

Community has been a show that’s always on the bubble [to return] and we decided to bring it back again and see what a fourth season would do for us,” Greenblatt continued. “The reason we did 13 episodes [of Community and other shows] is we wanted to get more comedies on the schedule … which isn’t to say we couldn’t decide at some point to extend those seasons longer.”

As for Harmon’s exit, Greenblatt said: READ FULL STORY

'Community' season 4: Find out what class the gang is taking! (Not really!) -- VIDEO

BREAKING: The Community cast spilled some major scoop during a stop at the EW studio at San Diego Comic-Con: For season 4 of the NBC comedy, the study gang will be taking classes in…Homoerotic Asphyxiation.

(Yeah, they were probably kidding.)

What we did learn: This cast can sing! We also heard their thoughts on the show’s new Friday night timeslot.

Check out our chat with Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Joel McHale, and an elephant in the room below: READ FULL STORY

'Community' creator Dan Harmon: 'Maybe I am just a jerk'

Community creator Dan Harmon just gave a self-deprecating, literate and fun interview to G4’s Attack of the Show. The conversation (video below) covered his exit from his NBC comedy and his thoughts on television in general (including seemingly taking a couple shots at Community’s Thursday night time-period rival Big Bang Theory).

“If 20 people call you a horse’s ass, you buy a saddle,” Harmon told G4 interviewer Marc Maron. “I feel like I’m a good person and a professional, a very able leader of men. I also feel like I’m 25 … Maybe I am just a jerk. To people who work above me I am a liability that isn’t worth the benefit. It’s a low-rated show that’s not generating much revenue.”

Harmon acknowledged that he started creatively “farting around” on Community, such in the much-loved paintball episode, once he started to believe the show was going to get cancelled by NBC. “In the third season you can see me start to go, ‘Never mind, just give me a good review in the Times.'” Harmon said NBC respected the idea of Community being a critical darling, but also noted the comedy was getting clobbered in the ratings — especially by CBS’ Big Bang Theory. “Why does the robot get to eat the people?” he joked about Big Bang‘s popularity. READ FULL STORY

'Community' cast will return next season -- even Chevy Chase


When Greendale is back in session, the entire study group will be back around the table.

EW has confirmed that the entire cast — including Chevy Chase, who months ago engaged in a bitter word battle with former showrunner Dan Harmon — will be returning for the show’s fourth season.

Last month, Harmon was removed from his post at the NBC comedy and replaced by David Guarascio and Moses Portand (Aliens in America, Just Shoot Me).

The entire cast, who released a series of sweet tweets of support after Harmon’s departure, is set to appear at Comic-Con next month, and the show will air on Fridays this fall.

Emmy Watch: Alison Brie enters the Dreamatorium on ‘Community’
Emmy preview: Becky on ‘Glee’ goes for the gold

Emmy Watch: Joel McHale on the 'Community' season finale


Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

As disgraced former lawyer-turned-community college student Jeff Winger, Joel McHale has delivered a few speeches in his time on Community. The show even poked fun at Jeff’s frequent soliloquizing in an episode last season. But few scenes were a better showcase for actor and character than the courtroom drama which closed out the show’s third season finale. Jeff was serving (somewhat against his will) as an attorney in the trial to decide whether Pierce or Shirley get to own the college’s new sandwich shop. Jeff is working for Shirley; Pierce hires Jeff’s old co-worker, Alan, played by guest star Rob Corddry. Alan offers Jeff an ultimatum: Throw the case, or never get his old job back. In his closing arguments, Jeff initially seems to be throwing the case…but then he takes a left turn, demonstrating just how he’s evolved over three seasons. Watch the speech below, and then learn more about how the speech came together. (Hint: Prep time was at a minimum.)


Emmy Watch: Alison Brie enters the Dreamatorium on 'Community'


Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

Community is a show unafraid to engage its viewers in a game of brinksmanship, pushing the boundaries of the sitcom form. In “Virtual Systems Analysis,” Annie (Alison Brie) enters the Dreamatorium with Abed (Danny Pudi) and sets off a rabbit-hole journey through each other’s mind and through the character’s relationships with the rest of the ensemble. “It was a controversial episode,” says Brie, “Even among our fans, who are usually willing to go out on any limb with us.” Brie notes that the episode was a good showcase for how Annie’s character arc evolved in season 3. “I thought it was really refreshing that this season we delved into what makes Annie tick,” she says. READ FULL STORY

'Homeland,' 'Community,' Christina Hendricks among Critics' Choice Award winners

The second annual Critics’ Choice Television Award winners were announced last night, and Homeland was named Best Drama Series, following up its Golden Globe win in January. Claire Danes was named Best Actress for her role in the series (Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito snagged Drama Actor awards). Other big winners included Community for Best Comedy, The Voice for Best Reality Series — Competition, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon for Best Talk Show.

In what is sure to foreshadow an Emmy showdown, funny ladies Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel were both named Best Actress in a Comedy Series, with Louis C.K. honored as Best Actor in a Comedy. Emmy winners Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen won for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series for their work on Modern Family. The only repeat winner from last year, Christina Hendricks won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Mad Men.

Take a look at the full list of winners below: READ FULL STORY

Dan Harmon on 'Community' exit: 'I got fired'

One day after NBC confirmed it has replaced Dan Harmon as showrunner on its low-rated but much-loved sitcom Community, Harmon has responded via his Tumblr to the network’s claims that he’ll serve as consultant on the show:

“The important one is this quote from [NBC Entertainment President] Bob Greenblatt in which he says he’s sure I’m going to be involved somehow, something like that.  That’s a misquote. I think he meant to say he’s sure cookies are yummy, because he’s never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC. He didn’t call me to say he was starting to work there, he didn’t call me to say I was no longer working there and he definitely didn’t call to ask if I was going to be involved.  I’m not saying it’s wrong for him to have bigger fish to fry, I’m just saying, NBC is not a credible source of All News Dan Harmon.”

He goes on to say that while his contract allows him to keep a title like “executive consultant something or other,” he’s nonetheless been rendered powerless, and he has no interest in filling a consulting role: “I’m not saying you can’t make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you can’t make my version of it unless I have the option of saying ‘it has to be like this or I quit’ roughly 8 times a day.”

Harmon ends his open letter by wishing his mom a happy Mother’s Day, and then breaking the bad news: “I got fired. Yes Mom. AGAIN.”

NBC did not respond to a request for comment.

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal' ratings rise for finales


Three Thursday night dramas were greeted with larger audiences for their final episodes of the season, but one NBC comedy tied its all-time low.

ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy delivered 11.1 million viewers and a 3.9 rating, up 11 percent from last week and marking its best rating in three months. Check out’s interview with Grey’s showrunner Shonda Rhimes about last night’s two shocking exits here.

Bigger news: Rhimes’ Scandal (7.5 million, 2.4) was up too, and not just a little. The political soap was up 26 percent, which is expected to mark a series high for the show (even after its rating is adjusted later today to account for some Grey’s overrun). Scandal started its brief midseason run modestly but, as we’ve noted before, seemed like it had the potential to grow.   READ FULL STORY

'Community' moving to Fridays this fall


Brace yourselves, Community fans.

The series is moving to Friday nights this fall.

The upside: Community will now have the perfect hit comedy lead in: Whitney!

“I know that most people in our industry think Friday is a graveyard but we don’t really believe that,” NBC’s entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told on Sunday about the move. “If you don’t build it they won’t come. We got some traction with Grimm, it’s the No. 1 18-49 on Fridays. We thought if we have a base there, let’s see if we can give Grimm a lead-in with these shows that actually have fan bases — including Whitney.” READ FULL STORY

EW's season finale calendar

Each year, the month of May brings the promise of warmer weather, the start of big summer movies…and the torturous, agonizing time when we have to bid farewell to our favorite primetime characters. TV addicts that we are, we feel your pain. So to curb the stress, we’ve put together a master list of when your beloved shows will be signing off.  Grab your remotes and ready those DVRs as we present this year’s finales: READ FULL STORY

'Community': Find out why [SPOILER] died in last night's 'Law & Order' episode! -- EXCLUSIVE

If you look up in the sky tonight and notice a star shining oddly — like there was something just a little off about it — you can nod poignantly and know that he has gone to a better place. Alex Osbourne, or “Star-Burns” to those who knew him least, is no longer with us.

Last night, at the tail end of “Basic Lupine Urology,” Community’s shrewd Law & Order homage, that quirky, shady, lizard-toting, top-hatted, leather-vested student with funky facial hair seemed to have met his end when his car was rear-ended, causing the makeshift meth lab in his trunk to explode. We were spared the grisly visuals, instead watching Professor Kane (Michael K. Williams) receive a phone call with the tragic news. Next week’s episode allows proper space to mourn, as it picks up with his funeral.

Why was Star-Burns taken from Planet Greendale so soon? He had so many more reptiles to station on his body and drug deals to attempt to make! The reason is simple: He asked for it — literally. READ FULL STORY

'Community': Troy, Abed, Annie and Jeff law down the 'Law & Order' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

On tonight’s episode of Community (NBC, 8 p.m. ET), Jeff Winger and his study buddies are hungry like the wolf — the Dick Wolf, that is. When someone at Greendale sabotages the group’s science project — call it premeditated yamicide — the episode blossoms into an homage to Wolf’s Law & Order. Yes, when it comes to ambitious, unpredictable TV comedy, Community is the real McCoy — the real Jack McCoy, that is… Okay, I’ll stop. In the clip below, you can see detective team Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) discuss a break in the case with ace attorneys Jeff (Joel McHale) and Annie (Alison Brie). After you watch, tell us who you think has turned into a yam murderer and ask yourself: Would you eat one of Garrett’s hot dogs?

(For all the behind-the-scenes scoop on this special episode, pick up a copy of this week’s EW.)



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