Greendale Community College is back in session! After a nine-month hiatus, Community returned to NBC on Feb. 7 for its fourth season. The comedy was originally supposed to air on Fridays in the fall — but when NBC scrapped those plans, the show (which had already shot Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed episodes) slid into midseason (Thursday, 8/7c).
Viewers are now getting their first taste of Community under new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio, who replaced creator Dan Harmon. "We closed our eyes, dived in feet first and just had as much fun with it as possible," Guarascio told TV Guide Magazine last October. So far, viewers are pleased: Community's season premiere was up 12 percent from last year among viewers 18-49, fueling talk that a fifth season isn't so far-fetched — and after that, perhaps even the fabled "six seasons and a movie." Guarascio and Port answered our showrunner survey to explain why we should enroll.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should watch Community?
Moses Port and David Guarascio: Anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, unloved or ignored and cast aside by an unfeeling world. Also, anyone who is hungry. Or might one day be hungry.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch?
Port and Guarascio: You don't get to be a part of the club and you don't learn the secret handshake.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Port and Guarascio: Simple. Take Commander In Chief and subtract the "ander in Chief." Now take The Unit and divide by The City. The "the"s cancel each other out, so you're left with "unit" and "city." The math gets complicated here, but using some basic calculus you can extract the "Cit" and the remaining denominator of "y" finds its way up top. Squish it all together. Bang. Community.
TV Guide Magazine: How should we celebrate the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays this spring?
Port and Guarascio: Why, with the Greendale Seven, of course. And it makes sense, really. The powers that be moved October 31 to February 14 and November 22 to early March. December 25 is also moving. Probably to April, it's still being decided. We all crystal clear on that? Pretty straight forward, right? (And for Christmas, the Greendale Seven might be the Greendale Six. But that's a looooong story for another time.)
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it to the screen.
Port and Guarascio: We had an idea for a season opener that involved an imagined world of Abed having its own imagined world — like Russian nesting dolls of the subconscious — which along the way might raise some interesting questions regarding notions of "authorship" in modern forms of communication and entertainment, like TV. Meanwhile, we thought it would be fun to also have two buff gentlemen dressed as unicorns pull Dean Pelton around in a chariot. We saved the network some grief by putting that one on the shelf, for sure. [Editor's Note: They kid. Both of these elements made it into the season premiere.]
TV Guide Magazine: With what show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Port and Guarascio: It would be great to do a crossover with the long-running British series Inspector Spacetime [a fictional sci-fi show that Abed worships]. In fact, there have been some real discussions about making this happen. And we're hopeful. But as there are many annoying scheduling and contractual details to work out, this episode would be a ways off. But just in case it does come together, we don't want to give anything away.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick a show and start a fake feud.
Port and Guarascio: Downton Abbey. But there's nothing fake about it. Enough is enough. Someone needs to shake Lord Grantham by the lapels of his tailcoat and say, "Dude! Come on!"