“Community” returns tonight

community returnsIt has been a long and tumultuous hiatus for the cast of Community. The show will finally air its fourth and potentially, maybe, sorta, kinda, last season tonight on NBC at 8 p.m.ET.

Community depends strongly on its cast, and while the majority are back, one is no longer associated with the program. The oldest cast member at 69; Chevy Chase has left the show, and it comes as no surprise. The veteran actor who plays the insensitive Pierce Hawthorne, got into multiple spats with Dan Harmon the creator of Community. Neither won the battle, as both have been ousted from the show. The new season has a total of 13 episodes, and Chase will appear in at least 11 of them, including the season finale.

As avid Community  fans, we all knew season four should have been in full swing by now. The original premiere date was set for October 19th. That was before a complete overhaul took place, putting the shows existence in jeopardy. Community has never garnered high ratings, but instead has created a cult following that fans have embraced. NBC has had an awful start to the year, wheeling out new shows that have had viewers yawn in displeasure. In a way it’s good news for Community. The network that can’t seem to accelerate new programming, may just stick to old ones. Community has been on NBC since 2009, and ratings have shown a reoccurring fan base that has been patient. The possibility of six seasons and a movie is not a stretch, but instead a challenge.

With Harmon now gone, the two new executive producers are Moses Port and David Guarascio. It will be interesting to see how fans react to a set of new leaders, and how they end up delivering Community to an already established fan-base.

“Given all the change with the show, meaning us coming aboard, it would’ve been nice to be airing episodes while we’re making them, to cross that threshold of, ‘Hey, world, here it is, take it or leave it, whatever you think!’” says Guarascio. “There is so much anxiety about how people will react to it, because we’re all so invested in getting everyone to embrace the show. On the other hand, we feel like we’re on a night we’d much rather be on….The fact that we’re back on Thursday has also helped increase the anticipation a little bit. It’s why dessert comes at the end of the meal, it’s the anticipation that helps make it so satisfying.”

Guarascio, and Port have emphasized to fans that it will be the same style of Community  that we have seen over the last few years. A sense of closure may start to occur as the season progresses, after all it is Jeff’s senior year.

So tonight is the night we are reunited with Jeff, Britta, Abed, Troy, Shirley, Annie, Pierce, Senor Chang, and Dean Pelton. The first episode will be a parody on the popular 2012 film “The Hunger Games.” Community always thrives when theme driven, and I am sure season four will open with a bang.

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