It certainly feels like ages since it was last on television, but fans missing their beloved Community can breathe easy now that NBC has announced the temporarily shelved sitcom will be back to finish out its third season on March 15.
Series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon announced the news via his Twitter account by saying: "What you call 8:00, we call home."
The tweet was soon followed up by an official press release from NBC, which brought an end to the fears of many that, despite all assurances to the contrary, Community may have been left off the network's lineup for good.
The actual press release is more intent on selling the new comedy offerings from the network: Bent and Best Friends Forever, and already previewed Betty White's Off Their Rockers. Although the release saves the highly-anticipated announcement for last, fans will likely take any good news concerning Community as they can get it.
According to NBC entertainment president Robert Greenblatt:
"We are happy to have an unprecedented amount of original content on NBC this spring. Bent, Best Friends Forever and Betty White's Off Their Rockers are welcome additions to the Wednesday schedule, and we know that the loyal fans of Community will be pleased with its return to its home on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m."
As if the semi-dismissive acknowledgement of Community wasn't enough, Greenblatt went on to discuss his confidence in the decision to place the show in the time slot that it was essentially kicked out of last December.
“I don’t know if it makes sense to ask it to start off the night again, but, you know, we have a really tight schedule with comedies, and there’s not a lot of places to put comedies.”
In all fairness, when Greenblatt bemoans the lack of space for comedies, he is not overstating the point. Community's return means that another fan-favorite, Parks and Recreation, will be the next sitcom issued a hiatus notice - though for a much shorter amount of time. Parks will be off NBC's schedule until April 19, returning after the freshman comedy Up All Night has finished its remaining episodes.
Secondly, and perhaps more disconcerting, the 8:00 time slot means Community will be up against CBS' comedy juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, which recently topped American Idol in the ratings. So, in that case, Greenblatt was right, Community at 8:00 really doesn't make a lot of sense but perhaps the promise of a familiar character being killed off will help bring in higher ratings than before.
Regardless, the good news is that the students of Greendale Community College are back in class, and, for the time being at least, fans can tune in and watch.
Look for new episodes of Community starting Thursday, March 15 @8pm on NBC.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter