Community Showrunners and Cast Discuss Season 4: Will Jeff Leave the Study Group?
Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown | Photo Credits: Jordin Althaus/NBC
October 19 is here — again!
Four months after Community's fourth season was initially supposed to air, the comedy is finally re-opening the doors to Greendale Community College on Thursday at 8/7c on NBC. But how will the delay affect this season? With creator Dan Harmon out, will the cult hit maintain the same niche voice? Should we get our hopes up for a Season 5? And what the frak happened with Chevy Chase? New showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port and stars Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs talked to TVGuide.com to help answer all our Community burning questions.
Maintaining the Series' Signature (Surreal) Tone
When NBC pushed back Community's premiere, fans weren't the only ones upset, but the delay isn't without a silver lining. Instead of its originally scheduled Friday timeslot, Community will be returning to Thursday nights, "which is ultimately what we wanted," Guarascio noted. "I think the only other regret was that we didn't air while we were in production," Port added.
Since the entire season has been shot, that means the executive producers will be unable to tweak anything throughout the season. "I think we're all a little anxious," Guarascio said about hearing the reactions of the notoriously passionate fanbase. "But I think it's easier to be anxious as it's looming far away. Now that it's here, it's almost like a relief."
Guarascio and Port might have a small case of the nerves, but fans have no reason to. Not only is the show as delightfully weird as ever, but despite the delay, Community's fourth season will air exactly as planned, holiday episodes and all. "We did get some pressure, just for example, to make our Christmas episode not our Christmas episode because we hadn't shot that yet," Guarascio told TVGuide.com. "We just sort of felt like we're already doing a Halloween and a Thanksgiving episode; we're not fooling anyone by not doing it."
That's not the only time the showrunners stood their ground to maintain Community's signature (and often surreal) tone. The had to fight to do the anticipated Inspector Spacetime episode, as well. And for those who feared they wouldn't defend Community with the same passion as Harmon, both of these anecdotes come as a great relief.
In addition to InspecTiCon and the holiday episodes, Season 4 will begin with a Hunger Games parody. The series will also spoof The Shawshank Redemption and the original Freaky Friday later this year. Sadly, neither Guarascio nor Port would confirm whether that meant actual body-swapping would be involved.
Emotional Times for The Greendale Seven (Plus One!)
As a whole, Guarascio called Season 4 "a year of change," both in the show and behind the scenes. With graduation for some of The Greendale Seven fast approaching, the study group is at a crossroads. "I think Jeff (Joel McHale) kind of has his eyes on the prize of getting out of Greendale and resuming his career as a lawyer. And others don't want to leave and are just sort of finding out what we want to do in life," said Jacobs, who plays Britta.
Does that mean our favorite Ryan Seacrest impersonator could really be leaving Greendale behind him? Not only is he one credit shy of graduating, but in Season 1 Jeff did mention an "unmovable appointment" on May 23, 2013 (which is a Thursday, we might add) to celebrate becoming a lawyer again. If that does happen, would the study group be able to continue on without him?