CLEVELAND, Ohio – Six seasons and one movie are happening.
Peacock announced that the long-awaited “Community” movie is coming to the streaming service. The project will reunite the show’s creator Dan Harmon with stars Joel McHale, Allison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong.
Along with a release date, the announcement noticeably lacks beloved original cast members Yvette Nicole Brown, an East Cleveland native, Shirley, and Donald Glover, who played Troy. Chevy Chase was also not mentioned, but his character was killed off during the show’s fifth season. That’s not to say neither Brown nor Glover could still perform, both attended a virtual cast reunion in 2020 that Chase wasn’t a part of.
“‘Six Seasons and a Movie’ began as a cheeky line from the early seasons of ‘Community,’ and quickly ignited a passionate fan base for this iconic, hilarious, and cool (cool, cool) NBC comedy,” said Susan Rovner, Chair, Entertainment Content , NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement to Variety, which broke the news on Friday. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to bring fans this promised film 15 years later and can’t wait to continue working with Dan Harmon, (writer) Andrew Guest, Joel McHale, Sony and our partners at UTV to bring this epic comedy to the Peacock.” -Audience.”
“Community” had a tumultuous run during its five seasons on NBC and a little-watched final season on Yahoo! Screen. The series quickly became a critical and cult favorite, if not a ratings hit, when it premiered in 2009. The story revolved around McHale’s Jeff Winger, a high-profile attorney who enrolls at Greendale Community College after he was found to have falsified his degree. There, he forms close friendships with a study group that includes Jacobs’ rebellious Britta, Brie’s naïve Annie, Pudi’s socially awkward Abed, Glover’s star athlete Troy, Brown’s single mother Shirley, and Chase’s millionaire jerk Pierce.
The series was innovative and meta before meta was cool. Episodes like “Modern Warfare”, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” and “Remedial Chaos Theory” made the series a must-watch on TV. Cleveland natives Joe and Anthony Russo served as executive producers and directors in the early seasons before rising to Marvel fame.
But on-screen comedy eventually suffered from behind-the-scenes drama. Harmon was fired after season three, but was reinstated after season four was so bad without him that it became known in canon as “the gas leak year.” Chase left due to problems on set during season four, and Glover left the next year as his music career as Childish Gambino took off. Brown left before season six to take care of her ailing father.
Producers tried to fill in their gaps with actors like Paget Brewster, Keith David and Jonathan Banks, but were never able to recapture the magic of the original study group. NBC canceled the series in 2014, but it was picked up by Yahoo’s now-defunct streaming service for one final round, allowing Harmon and the cast to fulfill their promise to deliver six seasons of the show. It was only a matter of time before the film became a reality.
“We love the fans and come on, we’d be idiots if we didn’t give them what they want and what they deserve,” Brown told cleveland.com in 2021.
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