Look, I know not everyone is super psyched about some of the changes happening to Community, but in all likelihood, the show will more or less remain the same. It has enough of its core cast and crew to maintain its oddball credentials, and although it would have been nice to keep Dan Harmon on the show, chances are it won’t end up completely neutered. Anyway, in light of the massive backlash it faced, NBC went on the record to say they’re really trying to keep this show running. Entertainment Weekly reports:
“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: “I think fans of Community are going to get the same show they have loved from the beginning,” he said. “Every so often it’s time to make a change with a showrunner … you evaluate the creative … sometimes you want to freshen a show and we decided to do that with Community – no disrespect to anyone.”
While I don’t agree with Harmon’s dismissal, one thing I can get behind: moving the show to Friday. Let’s face it, 8 PM Thursdays are a really tough slot, especially when you consider American Idol and all the other big name shows in that time slot. Hopefully, the move to Friday will open up Community‘s audience a bit more.