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'Community' stars share their worst audition stories, and how to help save their show

If you’re a Community fan, you probably already know that show was unceremoniously yanked from NBC’s midseason lineup. I know, I know — and they were this close to regionals! Still, the harsh realities of our bleak, Community-less existence should be peppered with hope for a better tomorrow — the grim peacock hasn’t swung the ax just yet.

Ever optimists, the members of Greendale’s hottest study group (sans Chevy Chase and Donald Glover) gathered at the SAG Foundation Actors Center in Los Angeles last Sunday to give advice and tell behind-the-scenes tales to fellow actors, discussing everything from lame inside jokes (“We run around saying ‘kern kern’. No one knows what we’re talking about. The origin story of that was Chevy couldn’t say kettle corn.” — Joel McHale) to the unlikely beginnings of Troy and Abed (“Originally, [showrunner] Dan Harmon thought it would be a Troy and Pierce Beavis and Butthead thing.” — Gillian Jacobs).

And while the biggest shock of the night came when Danny Pudi admitted that he had never seen Cougar Town before shooting Critical Film Studies, the cast did manage to squeeze in some truly horrifying before-they-were-famous audition stories, as well as some foolproof tips on how to keep the struggling show alive. READ FULL STORY

'Community': Watch Jeff Winger as... Dean Pelton? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Soon, we will be living in the darkest timeline, as NBC’s Community has been temporarily pulled off the midseason schedule. (Don’t worry, it’s returning at some point.) But for the moment, let us bathe in the glow of tonight’s episode, “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux,” in which Dean Pelton makes a commercial for Greendale and taps our study group as his cast, while Abed films all of the Pelton-power-tripping action for another documentary. Yes, there will be an appearance by Magnitude. And Fat Neil. And Luis Guzman. But even better, you will bear witness to Jeff Winger doing his best/worst impression of the Dean. Press play and be transported to a magical place where “the students all look happy and you can’t smell that smell.” READ FULL STORY

NBC announces return of '30 Rock,' debut of 'The Firm' and 'Smash'

NBC revealed its midseason schedule today, which includes the return of 30 Rock and the debut of the new dramas Smash and The Firm.

It also revealed new day and time period changes for Whitney, Up All Night, Rock Center with Brian Williams and Harry’s Law. Community will be temporarily benched but is expected to return later this season. Prime Suspect tabled, too.

Here is the schedule: READ FULL STORY

'Community': Watch Jeff Winger turn The Gap into a hospital -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Jeff Winger is one slick dude. But can he fool Britta into thinking that he’s seriously ill and unable to help Annie move in with Troy and Abed when he’s actually just trying on some fresh threads at The Gap? Let’s watch Joel McHale work his magic in this one-minute clip from tonight’s episode of Community, titled “Studies in Modern Movement” (NBC, 8 p.m.), and hope that our doctor writes us a prescription for a khaki-counting machine. READ FULL STORY

'Community' scoop: Yvette Nicole Brown says Christmas episode will be 'musical'

Community‘s stop-motion episode last season was one of the series’ finest, but this year, the comedy is taking a more musical approach to their holiday episode.

“We really go all out,” says Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on the show. “We all sing, but I don’t know if it’s a musical. But there’s music. It’s not lines of dialogue that are sung, but we sing.” READ FULL STORY

Game 6 attacks Thursday: 'Community,' 'Parks,' 'Office' hit lows

At least Prime Suspect has an excuse this week.

Fox’s coverage of Game 6 of the World Series crushed most of the competition Thursday night, hitting NBC’s lineup particularly hard. Game 6 delivered an overnight household rating of 13.8 — the highest yet for this championship. Once again, female-skewing ABC not only didn’t drop, but managed a slight gain; plus there was good news for The CW’s Vampire Diaries.

CBS came in second with Big Bang Theory (14.3 million, 4.5), down 12 percent, and Rules of Engagement (10.8 million, 3.4), off 6 percent. Person of Interest (11.5 million, 2.6) only lost a tenth and The Mentalist (12.2 million, 2.5) was steady.

ABC’s annual repeat of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (7.4 million, 2.3) doubled the performance of the last weeks of Charlie’s Angels in the spot. Then Grey’s Anatomy (9.8 million, 3.7) and Private Practice (6.6 million, 2.4) were up slightly.

NBC, however, was hit hard: READ FULL STORY

'Community' pays tribute to 'Animal House' for EW's Comedy Issue -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

We here at EW were looking for a way to salute some classic school-set comedies from the late 70s and 80s for our Comedy Issue, which hits stands today. We could have done it with conventional weapons, but that would have taken years and cost millions of lives. We had to all go out, as this situation absolutely required a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part. The good news? We knew just the guys to do it: The students at Greendale Community College! The nine stars of the clever and refer-ential NBC comedy Community recreated some famous imagery from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky’s, and The Breakfast Club (which you can see in the magazine), as well as Animal House – which you can check out below in this online exclusive: READ FULL STORY

Favorite returning TV shows in trouble

After we analyzed which new fall shows were in ratings jeopardy, readers keep asking: What about the returning shows? Fringe? Community? House? Gossip Girl? Your wish for additional stress, granted: Here are some veteran series that returned weak in the ratings this fall and could be in danger when networks make their renewal decisions next year: READ FULL STORY

'Community': See Joel McHale transform into a vampire in next week's Halloween episode -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

You could argue that every week is Halloween Week on NBC’s Community, but next week is one of those weeks where you’re really right. On the evening of Oct. 27, things get a little scary when our study group meets up for a Halloween pre-party, at which everyone shares a horror story. (It’s all part of a perfectly logical plan by Britta to figure out who amongst them is a psycho.) Before you watch, let us warn you: Jeff Winger totally sucks in all the right ways. Proceed, you drained and tainted bitch-dogs. READ FULL STORY

'Community' scoop: '3rd Rock' star to visit cast

No, not 30 Rock3rd Rock, as in 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Former co-star of the NBC hit sitcom, French Stewart, is set to guest star on NBC’s Community this season. Stewart will play Vincent, the owner of a celebrity impersonator service. Vincent was once a celebrity impersonator himself — or he might be French Stewart incognito. Abed (Danny Pudi) wants to cast celebrity look-a-likes to reenact films and finds himself in heavy debt to the menacing Vincent.

The episode will air early next year. Stewart is also providing a voice for Fox’s upcoming new animated comedy Allen Gregory.

Read more:
‘Community’ recap: Of Trolls and Toilet Olives

'Community': Watch Michael K. Williams wax poetic about Legos -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

On tonight’s episode of Community (NBC, 8 p.m.), Michael K. Williams, a.k.a. Prof. Kane, gives his biology students their first assignment: Construct a terrarium, which is sort of like the D-word. (Diorama.) Will our study group be happy with this, or their assigned lab partners? They won’t. Will Prof. Kane take you on a figurative field trip to Legoland? He will. Check out this exclusive clip below, which is supplemented with a scene that provides relief for those who’d rather not leave their comfort zones. READ FULL STORY

'Charlie's Angels' loses flight; 'How to Be a Gentleman' struggles

The competition took a beating Thursday because of The X Factor, which gave FOX a win in adults 18-49 (3.9 rating/10 share) and another chance to boast about its domination (like, how its the first time ever that Fox has won the first two Thursdays of the season). The two-hour show averaged 11.9 million, according to early results.

Charlie’s Angels took a direct hit on ABC — earning a mere 1.5/4, which was down 29 percent versus last week. It averaged 7.1 million. Grey’s Anatomy suffered but not too terribly; it earned a 3.5/9 (10 million) but was still down 15 percent. Most of the damage was heaped upon Kate Walsh and the return of Private Practice, which earned a 2.8/8 (and 7.8 million) and logged its lowest-rated premiere ever. READ FULL STORY

Thursday ratings: 'Charlie's Angels' modest, 'X Factor' steady

Premiere explosion Thursday unveiled 10 season debuts, plus several crucial second episodes of the fall. Some initial first-glance key results: ABC’s Charlie’s Angels opened modestly with 8.7 million viewers and a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, the second night of Fox’s The X Factor held nearly steady with 12.5 million viewers and a 4.3 rating, and NBC’s Prime Suspect disappointed with 6 million and 1.8.

Let’s go network by network and break this down. Fox won the night with X Factor (the first time its won a premiere week Thursday in the network’s history, in fact), off by only a tenth of a point from Wednesday night rating. Showing this strong retention for the second episode is definitely good news for Fox and Simon Cowell.

On CBS, a one-hour Big Bang Theory (14.4 million, 4.9) was stable with last fall’s premiere and also won the night. The premiere of J.J. Abrams’ new thriller Person of Interest (13.2 million, 3.1) had a solid number, but was down 9 percent from the debut of CSI in the time period last year. At 10 p.m., the return of The Mentalist (13.3 million, 2.8) was off 18 percent from last fall, despite its Red John finale cliffhanger. READ FULL STORY

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