Community (TV series)
|Created by||Dan Harmon|
Yvette Nicole Brown
|Opening theme||"At Least It Was Here" by The 88|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||97 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Gary Foster
|Location(s)||Los Angeles City College, California
Los Angeles, California
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment
Dan Harmon Productions
Russo Brothers Films
Sony Pictures Television
Open 4 Business Productions
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution (Non-USA)
Sony Pictures Television (USA)
|Original run||September 17, 2009– present|
Community is an American television sitcom created by Dan Harmon that premiered on September 17, 2009 on NBC. The series follows a group of students at a community college in the fictional locale of Greendale, Colorado. The series heavily uses meta-humor and pop culture references, often parodying film and television clichés and tropes. Community has received acclaim from critics, being ranked in several critics' lists of the best television series of 2010 and 2011, and has gained a cult following.
In May 2013, NBC renewed the series for a fifth season of 13 episodes, with Harmon returning as showrunner after a season-long absence. The fifth season debuted on January 2, 2014, with a one-hour premiere.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Production
- 5 Reception
- 6 Broadcast
- 7 Syndication
- 8 Media
- 9 References
- 10 External links
When his law firm discovers Jeff Winger lied about having a bachelor's degree, he's suspended and has no choice but to enroll at Greendale Community College to get one. Jeff quickly becomes attracted to Britta, a former political activist from his Spanish class, and pretends he runs a study group in order to spend time with her. But his plans go awry when other classmates are invited along: Abed, Shirley, Annie, Troy, and Pierce.
Despite being seven very different people, the group quickly become close friends. They're often roped into helping the flamboyant Dean Pelton in his schemes to make the school seem more reputable, as well as having to deal with the antics of their unhinged teacher/classmate Ben Chang.
Cast and characters
The show features an ensemble cast of characters, focusing on the members of a study group and a recurring group of faculty of Greendale Community College, including the dean.
- Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, a lawyer who enrolls at Greendale after being suspended when the law firm he worked for discovers that he falsely claimed to have a bachelor's degree from Columbia University, when in reality his degree was from Colombia. Jeff is a silver-tongued, womanizing narcissist who'll go to great lengths to avoid doing work. However, throughout the series, becoming closer to the group changes some of Jeff's habits and attitudes to the point that he is willing to make personal sacrifices for his friends.
- Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, a former anarchist and activist who traveled around the world after dropping out of high school. Britta puts forth a strong effort to come off as proactive, intelligent, and mature to others, but she usually just comes off as overbearing and out-of-her-depth in her views. Despite not being as worldly or well-informed an activist as she thinks she is, Britta does have a genuine and powerful desire to help others.
- Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, a Palestinian-Polish film student with an encyclopedic knowledge of TV shows and movies. Abed has trouble interacting with others, and his friends speculate that he may have Asperger's. Abed is the source of much of the show's meta-humor as he very frequently interprets the group's everyday adventures by comparing them to film and TV tropes and clichés. Despite being out-of-touch with reality at times, Abed is a keen observer of human behavior and often the wisest member of the group.
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett, a single mother and vocal Christian going to school to start a brownie business. Shirley is seen as the "mother" of the group and often uses this to manipulate them by being passive-aggressive and appealing to their sense of guilt. Despite having a vicious temper and starting the series off as being very bigoted towards different religious views or lack thereof, Shirley is a very kind person with a strong set of morals.
- Alison Brie as Annie Edison, the youngest of the group, a compulsive over-achiever, relentlessly organized and comparatively innocent. Annie was extremely unpopular in high-school, which has caused her to be very insecure and desperate to prove herself despite already being considered naturally intelligent and attractive by others. She is normally kind and docile, but can quickly turn obsessed or throw a tantrum when she fails to achieve or is denied something she strongly cares about, even if it's about something as simple as a pen.
- Donald Glover as Troy Barnes (seasons 1–5), a former high school star quarterback who lost his scholarship to a top-tier university when he separated both shoulders doing a keg flip, which he actually messed up on purpose in order to escape the pressures of his stardom and popularity. Troy starts the series trying to appear cool and tough like a typical football player, but because of the influence of Abed (who quickly becomes his best friend), he eventually feels comfortable in embracing his geeky, goofy, and childish side.
- Jim Rash as Craig Pelton (seasons 1–2 recurring, season 3–present main cast), the dean of Greendale, who desperately wants his school to be more like a real university, and goes to excessive lengths to try to make it exciting and politically correct. Although he never admits to his sexual orientation, he is an avid cross-dresser who makes constant and obvious attempts to flirt with and touch Jeff. The study group is by far the Dean's favorite group of students, and he is constantly making up excuses to dress up and come talk to them.
- Ken Jeong as Ben Chang, an extremely unhinged teacher at Greendale. Chang's insanity and loose grip on reality often lead him to take extreme action for no apparent reason.
- Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne (seasons 1–4 main cast, season 5 guest), a millionaire who enrolls at Greendale out of boredom and an aimless attempt at self-discovery. Pierce is often at odds with the rest of the study group because of his self-importance, lack of empathy and casual bigotry. Despite his often hostile and ignorant nature, Pierce desperately wants to fit in with the group and occasionally offers great insight and advice.
Most episodes feature titles designed to sound like the names of college courses such as "Introduction to Film", "Anthropology 101" and "Cooperative Calligraphy". Aside from the pilot, only five episodes have non-course names: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", "A Fistful of Paintballs", "For a Few Paintballs More", "Repilot", and "G.I. Jeff".
The first season premiered on September 17, 2009 in the 9:30 pm ET Thursday timeslot. After three episodes, the show was moved to the 8:00 pm ET timeslot. In October 2009, it was announced that the show had been picked up for a full twenty-two episode season.
In January 2010, NBC ordered an additional three episodes for the first season, extending it to 25 episodes. On March 5, 2010, Community was renewed for a second season and premiered on September 23, 2010. On March 17, 2011, NBC renewed Community for a third season. On May 10, 2012, Community was renewed for a fourth season consisting of 13 episodes. On May 10, 2013, the show was renewed for a fifth season.
In addition to the regular episodes, NBC produced a series of webisodes. Some focus on the daily life of Dean Pelton and others include a Spanish project, study breaks, and Abed copying his friends' lives and turning them into student films. These webisodes are featured on the front page of the Greendale Community College website on the AV Department page.
On March 2, 2012, it was announced that three animated webisodes would air exclusively on Hulu in lead up to the return of the series on March 15, 2012. Titled Abed's Master Key, the shorts were written by Dave Seger and Tom Kauffman of Channel 101 and animated by Animax Entertainment. In the webisodes, Abed becomes Dean Pelton's assistant and is given a master key to Greendale.
Dan Harmon emphasized the importance of the cast to making the premise of the comedy work. "Casting was 95 percent of putting the show together," he said in an interview. He had worked with several of the cast members earlier; Joel McHale, John Oliver, and Chevy Chase all had cameo roles in episode 9 of Water and Power, a short film series produced by Harmon for Channel 101. Actor Chevy Chase had long been a favorite of Harmon. Though initially not very partial to sitcoms, Chase was persuaded to take the job by the quality of the show's writing. Harmon saw similarities between Chase and the character he plays on the show. Though Chase has often been ridiculed for his career choices, Harmon believed this role could be redeeming: "What makes Chevy and Pierce heroic is this refusal to stop." Harmon had to warn Chase against playing a "wise-ass" the way he often does in his roles, since the character of Pierce is a rather pathetic figure who is normally the butt of the joke himself.
McHale, known from the E! comedy talk show The Soup, was also (like Chase) impressed by Harmon's writing. He commented that "Dan's script was so head and shoulders above everything else that I was reading." McHale appealed to Harmon because of his likeable quality, which allowed the character to possess certain unsympathetic traits without turning the viewer against him. For the role of Annie, Harmon wanted someone who would resemble Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon's character from the 1999 movie Election. Originally the producers were looking for a Latina or Asian Tracy Flick, but could not find any. Instead they ended up casting Alison Brie, known for her role as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men.
Harmon based the premise of Community on his own real-life experiences. In an attempt to save his relationship with his then-girlfriend, he enrolled in Glendale Community College northeast of Los Angeles, where they would take Spanish together. Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became closely connected to the group of people with whom he had very little in common. "I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them," he explains, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them." With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been self-centered and independent to the extreme before he realized the value of connecting with other people.
About the creative process behind the writing, Harmon says that he had to write the show as if it were a movie, not a sitcom. Essentially, the process was no different from the earlier work he had done, except for the length and the target demographic.
Filming the show involved a lot of improvisation, particularly from Chevy Chase. About Chase, Harmon said that he "tends to come up with lines that you can actually end scenes with sometimes." He also mentioned Joel McHale and Donald Glover, the actors who portray Jeff and Troy respectively, as adept improvisers.
Series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon was replaced as showrunner for the series in the fourth season, as writers David Guarascio and Moses Port (co-creators of the short-lived Aliens in America) took over as showrunners and executive producers. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series with Universal Television, initially said that Harmon would serve as a consulting producer, but Harmon asserted that he was not informed of the deal and would not return in a position without any executive prerogatives. The end of the third season also marked several other departures including executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer/producer Chris McKenna and actor/writer Dino Stamatopoulos. Frequent episode directors and executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo also left the show in order to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In early October 2012, NBC delayed the premiere of the fourth season, which had been scheduled for October 19, 2012, without announcing a new date. On October 30, 2012, NBC announced that the fourth season would premiere on February 7, 2013, returning to its original time slot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.
On November 21, 2012, it was announced that Chevy Chase left the show by mutual agreement between the actor and network. As a result of timing and the agreement made, Chase's character Pierce is absent for two episodes—he did not appear in the tenth episode (produced as ninth), "Intro to Knots", and the twelfth episode, "Heroic Origins". He also appeared in a voice-only role in the episode "Intro to Felt Surrogacy", which was the final episode produced for the season, and as part of his agreement to leave the show, Chase was required to record all audio for the scenes where his character, alongside the other characters, appeared as a puppet. The season finale, which was filmed out-of-sequence, as it was the eleventh episode produced, marked the final on-screen appearance of Chase as a regular cast member. Chase would appear in a cameo in the premiere of season 5.
On May 10, 2013, the series was renewed for a fifth season. On June 1, 2013, Dan Harmon announced he would return as showrunner for season five, replacing season four showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio, with former writer Chris McKenna returning as executive producer. On June 10, Sony Television officially confirmed the return of Harmon and McKenna for the fifth season. Donald Glover, who portrays Troy Barnes, does not return as a full-time cast member for the fifth season, and only appears in five of the thirteen episodes. Jonathan Banks was cast in the fifth season in August 2013 and appears in 11 of the season's 13 episodes, portraying Buzz Hickey, a criminology professor. John Oliver, who played Professor Duncan throughout the first two seasons, reprises his role in season 5 for multiple episodes.
The show's first season received mostly positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 based on 23 critics on Metacritic. Notably, David Bushman (Curator, Television) of the Paley Center for Media called Community the best new show of the fall season. Jonah Krakow of IGN gave the first season an 8.5 saying that "Community eventually ramped up and delivered some amazing stories in the second half of the season."
The second season received high critical acclaim, scoring 88 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. Emily Nussbaum of New York Magazine and Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com rated Community as the best show of 2010. In The A.V. Club's list of the 25 best television series of 2010, Community ranked second, stating that the best episodes were "Modern Warfare", "Cooperative Calligraphy", and "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas". IGN named Community the best comedy series in both 2010 and 2011.
Acclaim for the show continued in the third season, scoring 81 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. It also topped the Metacritic User Poll in the category 'Best Television Show of 2011', receiving 3,478 points. Community placed on several critics top television lists; including ranked second by Paste, fifth by both HitFix and The Huffington Post, first by Hulu and third on TV.com's Top 100 Everything of 2011.
In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #15 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years," with high praise: "The series' affinity for ambitious, high-concept story lines (e.g. few shows are willing to turn over an entire episode to stop-motion animation), meta humor, and constant pop culture allusions has helped it earn the kind of fervent fan following some of its higher-rated comedic competitors must envy." A user poll on Splitsider named "Remedial Chaos Theory" as the best sitcom episode of all time, beating out The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail".
Reviews for the fourth season were generally positive, but less enthusiastic than the reception of the first three seasons. It scored 69 out of 100 based on 17 critics on Metacritic. Verne Gay of Newsday stated the show was "still defiantly Community, still good and still uninterested in adding new viewers." On the other hand, Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall wrote, "It feels like [Moses] Port, [David] Guarascio and the other writers decided to reverse-engineer the [Dan] Harmon version of Community, but couldn't quite manage without the missing ingredient of Harmon himself." Mike Hale of The New York Times has stated that the series "has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review...have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community."
The fifth season received critical acclaim, scoring an 80 out of 100 based on 15 reviews at Metacritic. Many critics cited the return of series creator Dan Harmon as a strength. Verne Gay from Newsday said of the season that it was "about as good a Community restart as anyone could have possibly hoped for."
Awards and nominations
In 2010, at the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin received a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for "Introduction to Statistics". At the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, the series received a nomination for Breakout Show and Ken Jeong was nominated for Breakout Star Male. For Entertainment Weekly's 3rd Ewwy Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, Joel McHale was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
In 2011, Betty White received a nomination for Favorite TV Guest Star at the 37th People's Choice Awards. The series received a nomination for Best Directing for a Comedy Series at the The Comedy Awards. The episode "Modern Warfare" won the 2010 Gold Derby TV Award for Comedy Episode of the Year. For the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, while Joel McHale and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy Series, respectively. The episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" won a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation. At the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for the episode "Modern Warfare". At the 27th TCA Awards, Community was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Individual Achievement in Comedy. The series received four nominations for the 2011 Satellite Awards, for Best Comedy or Musical Series, Joel McHale for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series, and Donald Glover for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie; while it won Best Television Release for the season two DVD set.
In 2012, Community was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory," written by Chris McKenna. Also that year, the show won the awards for Favorite Comedy and Favorite Ensemble in the 2012 TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites Awards. "Remedial Chaos Theory" was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2012 for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Community also won the Hulu "Best in Show" award for 2012, beating 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, New Girl and Modern Family in the first four rounds, and The Walking Dead in the final round by 11,000 votes.
At the 2nd Critics' Choice Television Awards, Community received the most nominations and won Best Comedy Series,. Joel McHale was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Jim Rash and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs were nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Community was also nominated for TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy at the 2012 TCA Awards.
Premiering in the 9:30 pm ET spot on September 17, 2009, the pilot episode had a viewership of 7.680 million. In the 18–49 audience, it had a rating of 3.7. As such, it held 93% of this audience from The Office, which had been in the previous time slot. The show was called the "bright spot for the night" for NBC, seeing how The Office was down 18% from the previous year's premiere, while Parks and Recreation, in the preceding time slot, was down 30%.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Community:
- Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiere||Finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers
(September 17, 2009 – October 1, 2009)
Thursday 8:00 pm
(October 8, 2009 – May 20, 2010)
||4.41||2.0||2009–10||#97 of 140||5.00|
|2||Thursday 8:00 pm||24||
||3.32||1.5||2010–11||#138 of 268||4.44|
||2.48||1.3||2011–12||#144 of 195||4.03|
|4||13||February 7, 2013||3.88||1.9||
||3.08||1.3||2012–13||#133 of 187||3.58|
|5||13||January 2, 2014||3.49||1.3||
Response to mid-season hiatus
Community was absent from NBC's 2011–2012 mid-season schedule, being replaced with the returning series 30 Rock. Fans of the series began a campaign to get the show back on the air using Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, making hashtags such as #SaveCommunity, #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, and #OccupyNBC trending topics. NBC responded to the backlash by announcing that the network was still planning to film and air the remainder of the 22 planned episodes after the undetermined hiatus, and that the fate of the series would be determined after the planned episodes air.
On December 7, 2011, CollegeHumor released a video titled "Save Greendale (with the cast of Community)" using the cast of Community in-character to promote the series and the school in a PSA-styled video. On December 22, 2011, fans of the series created a flash mob outside of NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters in New York City to Occupy NBC. The flash mob dressed in Christmas gear, wearing "darkest timeline" goatees, and singing "O' Christmas Troy" from the first season's episode "Comparative Religion" and chanting "Go Greendale, go Greendale, go". On January 6, 2012, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced that Community was not canceled, though he did not mention a return date.
On February 21, 2012, creator Dan Harmon announced via Twitter that the third season would resume on March 15, 2012, in its regular timeslot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.
It premiered on September 17, 2009, on City and on January 13, 2014, on MuchMusic in Canada. In Australia it premiered on March 23, 2010, on GO! and on April 1, 2013, on SBS Two. In India it premiered on Star World on March 14, 2011, and on FX on September 22, 2012. It premiered in New Zealand on February 7, 2011, on Four. In South Africa the series started airing on April 7, 2010, on M-Net. It premiered on October 5, 2010, on Viva and on December 14, 2012, on Sony Entertainment Television in the United Kingdom.
On March 14, 2012, Comedy Central announced that it had purchased the rights to Community for syndication that began airing in September 2013. Community premiered in syndication in Canada on The Comedy Network on September 4, 2012. In January 2014, the show moved to sister channel MuchMusic.
The first season was released in region 1 on September 21, 2010 in a four-disc set. The set includes all 25 episodes plus bonus features, including commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; extended versions of the "Pilot" and "Communication Studies" episodes; outtakes; "Season One Cast Evaluations" featurette; "Season One Highlight Reel" featurette; "Creative Compromises" featurette; "Advanced Criminal Law" alternative scenes; and three mini episodes.
The second season was released in region 1 on September 6, 2011. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; outtakes; animatics for "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and making-of featurettes covering that episode as well as "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For a Few Paintballs More".
The third season was released in region 1 on August 14, 2012. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; deleted scenes; "This is War: Pillows vs. Blankets mockumentary" featurette; and "A Glee-ful Community Christmas" featurette.
The fourth season was released in region 1 on August 6, 2013. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; deleted scenes; "Inspector Spacetime: Inspection" featurette, and Adventures in Advanced Puppetry featurette.
A soundtrack for the first season, titled Community (Music from the Original Television Series) was released on September 21, 2010 by Madison Gate Records. The tracklist includes the main title theme, "At Least It Was Here" by The 88; original songs and incidental music composed for the show (by series composer Ludwig Göransson); and several songs were performed by the characters (a mix of original compositions and covers).
|Community (Music from the Original Television Series)|
|1.||"At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)" (main title version)||The 88||0:35|
|2.||"101 Rap"||Donald Glover and Danny Pudi||0:35|
|3.||"Getting Rid of Britta"||Chevy Chase, Eric Olsen and Tom Wolfe||2:15|
|4.||"Pierce You Are a B"||Eric Olsen, Tom Wolfe and Jacques Slade||2:21|
|5.||"Pierce Raps"||Jacques Slade||0:36|
|6.||"Night Cap"||Jacques Slade||2:10|
|7.||"The Way It Is"||Chevy Chase||0:59|
|8.||"Community Medley"||Ludwig Göransson||4:37|
|9.||"Somewhere Out There"||Donald Glover and Danny Pudi||2:09|
|10.||"I Never Die"||Jacques Slade||1:50|
|11.||"Sensitive Night"||Yvette Nicole Brown||1:01|
|12.||"Party Where Your Heart Is"||Trevor Armstrong||1:01|
|13.||"Annie's Song"||Eric Olsen||1:37|
|14.||"Episode 119 Medley"||Ludwig Göransson||3:43|
|15.||"Come, Take a Trip in My Air-Ship"||Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi and Joel McHale||0:46|
|16.||"Some Worries"||Chevy Chase, Eric Olsen and Tom Wolfe||2:10|
|17.||"If I Die Before You"||Ludwig Göransson||2:49|
|18.||"At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)" (full-length version)||The 88||2:50|
Songs featured on the show that were not released on the soundtrack are available on composer Ludwig Göransson's official website.
|1.||"Running Through Raining" (Annie returns)||Ludwig Göransson||212||1:55|
|2.||"Greendale is Where I Belong"||Ludwig Göransson||125, 210, 217, 308, 309, 316, 320, 322, 405||1:34|
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