Two new Human Beings are on their way to Greendale. Paget Brewster and Keith David will join Community full time as the comedy enters Season 6 and moves to its new home on Yahoo! Screen.
Shirley, Community fans are going to be disappointed with this news. But alas, it's true: Yvette Nicole Brown is departing the fan favorite comedy after five seasons.
Brown — who has played Shirley Bennett since the 2009 launch of Community — confirms to TV Guide Magazine that she has asked to be released from her contract for personal reasons. Sony Pictures TV and executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna have honored her request.
The actress says the change was necessary in order to take care of her ailing father. "My dad needs daily care and he needs me," Brown says. "The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn't do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad."
"Six seasons and a movie" almost didn't happen. As June drew to a close, time was running out to save Community, which NBC had canceled in May. Talks to move the comedy to streaming service Hulu were falling apart, the deal options to keep the show's cast intact expired at the end of the month, and much of the crew and key writers had already moved on to new jobs. Even the comedy's offices on the studio lot had been taken over by a new series: Grace and Frankie, Netflix's upcoming sitcom starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
"When a show is canceled, it's usually canceled," says Sony Pictures Television programming president Zack Van Amburg, whose company produces Community.
School's back in session at Community, which has received an 11th hour order to return for a sixth and last season via Yahoo. A sixth season of 13 episodes will be available exclusively on Yahoo Screen.
That indeed means that the show's clarion call — "Six seasons and a movie," first uttered as a joke by Abed (Danny Pudi) in a Season 2 episode — is that much closer to ...
With executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna back at the helm, critics and fans agreed that Community regained its mojo this past season. Considering the major arc for star Joel McHale, big guest turns by stars like Jonathan Banks and John Oliver, and an emotional farewell to star Donald Glover, it's reasonable to expect the show to be an Emmy contender in several key comedy categories, including Outstanding Writing.
There's just one pesky problem...