Community is one of the best comedies on television. But this offseason saw upheaval in the departure of Creator/Executive Producer Dan Harmon. They were so unsure about a return that the last episode of the third season could act as a series finale. Still, a fervent fan base has given the quirky show a fourth season, even if it comes with a move to Fridays. The first table read is set for August 6th with shooting to begin August 13th. Five of the cast sat down to talk about the upcoming season, the departure and the bit of plot they could share (the appearance of Jeff’s dad).
Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry)/Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir)
The banter was in full effect when asked what class the study group would be taking together in season four.
Jacobs, “Oh, we know, but I don’t know that we should tell you.”
Pudi, “Spoiler alert. It’s a very important class.”
Jacobs, “The most important class of them all…”
Pudi, “Some would say.”
Jacobs, “They gave us a couple hints about the season and Danny was in the can. So he missed it.”
Jacobs feels that at this point, Britta is probably leading a psych class, probably a TA even.
They both met the new showrunners today. “Our show is unexpected, it’s always been unexpected. We’ve never known what’s happening, so it’s not like we’re shocked anymore by anything. Didn’t know in season two or three what would happen.”
Jacobs thinks that moving in with Troy may have been a misdirect. “I don’t know if I was moving in with Troy or just helping him move. There are always googly eyes. ["Googly eyes is pure comedy," added Pudi.] Haven’t you ever helped a friend move that you had a crush on, but you weren’t actually moving in with them or dating them? It’s really fun to move heavy furniture for a person who doesn’t want to date you… That you have a crush on.”
In terms of a Troy and Abed in the Morning spinoff from the hilarious end of episode tags, Pudi said “that would be fun, but that’s not going to happen. Beyond two minutes, there’s nothing in that show.” Jacobs added, “I think also sometimes, with things that fans love, the amount that they’re getting it in is the perfect amount. Those tags are genius and I feel like Dan Harmon and Community took full advantage of the tag and turned them into a little art form.” Pudi then concluded, “We really embrace our thirty seconds at the end of every episode and make it’s a self-contained thirty seconds of full, crazy expression.”
Prior to taking the Comic-Con stage for their panel discussion this morning, the cast of Community sat down with TV Fanatic and other outlets to dish on what they could regarding Season 4.
None of the actors interviewed had actually seen any scripts, but that didn’t stop Joel McHale from offering up casting suggestions for Jeff’s father (Ryan Reynolds? Charles Barkley?) or Yvette Nicole Brown from pleading for just one scene with (the absent) Donald Glover.
Gillian Jacobs, meanwhile, told us she loves Revenge and yearned for Britta to make out with Leonard; while Danny Pudi got REALLY excited for The Dark Knight Rises:
Gillian Jacobs, one of the stars of NBC’s Community, will star opposite Ken Marino and Peter Stormare in the horror comedy Milo.
Jacob Vaughan, an editor who worked with Jay and Mark Duplass on Jeff Who Lives at Home, is making his directorial debut on the pic, which the Duplass brothers are exec producing.
The script centers on a man (Marino) with intense stomach trouble who horror that he actually has a demon living inside his intestines. When he gives it permission to come out during a therapy session, the man names it Milo and tries to live a life in which he, not his demon, is in charge.
Jacobs will play Marino’s wife, and one of the stresses in his life. (Stormare plays the man’s shrink.)
Vaughan wrote the script with Benjamin Hayes.
Adele Romanski, Gabe Cowan, John Suits are producing with the Duplass brothers.
Kerry Johnson John Norris, Aimee Shieh and Clay Floren are exec producing Also executive producing are Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller.
Jacobs will be back for the fourth season of NBC’s Community, airing this fall, and will be seen in New Line’s Steve Carell-Jim Carrey magician comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Jacobs is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment.
ICM Partners will represent the domestic sale of the film and packaged the project with Caliber Media and New Artists Alliance.
Check out the “Best of Season 3″ and Gag Reel from the “Community” season 3!
Several members of Community‘s Greendale Gang hit the stage at Comic-Con Friday morning, and while the scoop was a bit scarce — the cast had only just met with new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio before the panel to discuss Season 4 — Joel McHale and Co. were on fire and pretty much brought down the Human Being-filled house while they were at it.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL | Of course, the panel kicked off with an introduction to the aforementioned producers, and what they had to say really boosted our confidence in their plans. “It’s all gonna be OK,” Guarascio said to the crowd. “A couple months ago we were a lot like most of you, just huge fans of the show… Suddenly now we’re here, helping to keep it going. The only thing we care about is keeping it this weird, wonderful gem… and that’s not going to change.” Echoed Port: “It’s also not us coming in and taking it on by ourselves. It’s the best cast on television… What I mean to say is, we won’t screw it up. We promise.”
GRADUATION UPDATE | Though series creator/original showrunner Dan Harmon often said the gang would graduate in Season 4, that may no longer be the case. “There’s a way to be true to the show … where the series will keep going even if they’re not [in college] all at the same time,” Guarascio shared. “They’ve become this family that will still exist together without changing the dynamic of the show.”
HOMIE DOES DEAN THIS | “It is, for a lot of the characters, their senior year,” Guarascio revealed. “That gives us the opportunity to explore some relationships — one of which might be the Dean and Jeff.”
CARTOONISH COMMUNITY | Think animated Community episodes went out the door with the innovative Harmon? Think again. “I think we should do a little in the first episode,” Guarascio put out there.
TEAM TRITTA | Will that Troy/Britta flirtation continue in Season 4? “The sparks may turn into a little bit of a fire,” Guarascio teased.
HOUSE HUNTERS AND A COMICAL ‘CON’ | In Season 4, “We’re going to get to see Pierce’s mansion [and] the twisted world in which he lives,” said Guarascio. “We are also going to get to go to an Inspector Spacetime convention…. Everyone [in the group] is going to go!”
DREAM DAD | If McHale has his way, a big-name star will play his father. “Eddie Murphy, everybody,” he joked. “Pluto Nash himself.”
SO BAD, IT’S GOOD | Will Britta continue to Britta things in Season 4? “Oh yeah,” Gillian Jacobs assured us.
BAG LADY | The other burning question on every fan’s mind: Will Shirley ever put down her purse? “I really think Shirley has the purse because I always have my purse,” Yvette Nicole Brown explained with a laugh. “I’m from the inner-city of Cleveland — you just don’t leave your purse!”
A move to Fridays this fall didn’t hamper the mood for Community.
Set to a sizzle reel with a custom “Friday Night” tune, stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown and new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio took the stage to a boisterous Ballroom 20 crowd at Comic-Con.
But the question on everyone’s mind was: Will season four be different with new bosses at the helm instead of creator Dan Harmon who was axed in May? (Harmon’s name wasn’t mentioned until near the end of the hourlong panel.)
“It’s all going to be OK,” says Guarascio when asked about how season four will look with the new regime. “We were just like you who thought it was best show on television and all of a sudden, we’re here,” adding that they will keep the “weird, wonderful gem and that’s not going to change.”
Later in the panel, the new showrunners previewed season four – and if fans were worried about the change, they did their best to reassure.
“The easy part about it is that we’re fans of the show first and observed it from afar and thinking how did they get away with that?” Guarascio says. “From that standpoint, we understand the show deeply and we love and we want it to keep being the wonderful thing that it is. Like no other show, the fans influence what happens on the screen.”
“In the writers room, we’re talking about what you’re going to like on a regular basis,” he says.
“It’s also not us taking it in by ourselves,” added Port. “We have a lot of writers back from last season and we hit autopilot – what I’m saying is we’re not gonna screw it up.”
Season four is also pivotal for the Community gang as it usually marks a community college student’s senior year – and the producers gave a small preview into what could be coming up.
“It’s emotional for people, what’s going to happen next. That’ll give us a chance to explore some new relationships; one might have to do with the dean (Jim Rash) and Jeff.” Guarascio teases. “We’re going to see Pierce’s mansion and see the twisted world where he lives.”
“We’re going to get to go to an Inspector Spacetime convention,” he added to cheers. “Everyone’s going to go.”
Writer Megan Ganz also revealed that the Germans, led by Nick Kroll, will be returning in the new season.
Continuing in the tradition of special theme episodes, Guarascio revealed that he’d like to “do a little [animation] in the first episode. We’ll see.” If viewers were worried that cast members would be departing or not seen as they move on from Greendale, he says that “the show will keep going” even though not everyone will be students at the college.
THR’s Full Coverage of Comic-Con 2012
During the panel, the cast took time to thank the fans – a fan video was even shown.
“We may not win Emmys or get nominated for them, but we win every online poll and that’s because of you guys,” says Jacobs, who gave a shoutout to the fan art show, “Six Seasons and a Movie.”
McHale said at one point: “There wouldn’t have been a season four without you guys. … The flash mobs, the fake beards and the blood sacrifices … If we do get canceled after 13 episodes, I blame you.”
Some other highlights from the panel:
• “I really think Shirley has that purse because I always have my purse. I’m from the inner city from Cleveland and you don’t walk away from your purse,” Brown says.
• “I’m just composing texts, not necessarily [sending them]. He’s just texting his hairdresser,” McHale says of his cell phone-addicted character.
• “[Dick Wolf] gave his blessing to use the ‘chung-chung,’ ” Ganz says of the Law & Order episode from the previous season. “We actually got a Law & Order actor [to appear], Leslie Hendricks who played the medical examiner.”
Tomorrow, Gillian Jacobs and her “Community” co-stars Joel Mchale, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie will be interviewed by EW.com during the Comic-Con live stream! Make sure to watch at EW.com at 1:45 PM (Pacific Time) for the interview!
Check out this interview that Gillian Jacobs did with “One on One”.
There’s no summer school for “Community” star Gillian Jacobs, but she does have a summer job in “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”
Jacobs passes notes with PopcornBiz about the cult fave sitcom as it heads into a fourth season, playing an ecstasy-tripping waitress who lip-locks Steve Carell to mark the apocalypse, and her own end-of-days philosophy.
Critics and fans are so passionate about ‘Community,’ even if the mass audience, and sometime even the network, seems to not be – and here you are on the verge of a fourth season. What are your thoughts on being a part of this singular television comedy?
I started to think about it like this: how often as an actor do you get to be a part of something that is meaningful to fans, is important to them and that they feel so passionate about? I think that’s a real privilege and I’m just lucky to be a part of something that people care so much about. The fact that I love it and respect it, too, is just cake. That’s all you can really ask for as an actor, in terms of the challenges of doing the show and the creativity. I really feel like I’ve grown as a performer from being on it.
How are you and the cast preparing for the changes behind the scenes that are going to happen in Season Four, now that Dan Harmon has left the show?
We have not gone back to work yet. I think we were really sad to see Dan Harmon go. As an actor you don’t get a lot of choice or power in any of these events, and so obviously that was not our desire. But we’re also so grateful that we’ve gotten a fourth season. We’re really excited about that. I feel like we’ve kind of crossed a marker, a threshold for a critically acclaimed, under-watched show, to make it to a fourth season, so the fact that we’re still on the air is something that we don’t take for granted as a cast. I hope that we make 13 really awesome episodes.
Britta has evolved in surprising comedic directions since the beginning of the show, maybe more so than the rest of the characters. What’s it been like to have ended up where you were at the end of the third season?
I feel really lucky for the material that I’ve been given by the writers. I feel like as I sort of grew as a performer their material for me got more and more exciting. I just felt lucky that I got to do all the things that they had me doing in the third season. I think that’s kind of the nature of a long running television show, that certain characters are going to change and morph and it’ll be a mutation between the writers and the actor.
What do you hope for the next season of ‘Community’ for Britta – something you haven’t gotten to do yet? Maybe the potential Britta/Troy romance expanded?
I feel like it’s such a delicate balance on a TV show, because as much as you want to see it go forward then it kind of puts you into the category of a relationship/couple show, and I feel like we exist on this whole other plane on ‘Community.’ So I think that’s maybe why they’ve never really paired anyone off, because it’s so fun to have the possibility go in every single direction with all of the characters. You see a lot of almost pairings or the fans will latch on to little moments and be rooting for a Britta and Abed moment or an Annie and Britta moment or an Annie and Abed moment. The fans sort of want everything simultaneously. I loved how bad of a psychology major Britta was, and then there were moments of actual insight. I feel like she did inadvertently help people, so that was fun to have as a major. I feel lucky that I don’t bear the responsibility of writing where the show is going to go. I leave that to more capable hands. I just look forward to more really great material coming my way.
Did you set out to be able to be as silly as you get to on ‘Community’ and in the film “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World?”
I was really lucky on this movie because I know Lorene Scafaria, who wrote and directed the film, and she sent me the script and said, ‘Would you please play this part?’ I was really excited that she wanted me to be a part of it and picked me to do it. Then, yes, it was really fun to get to be super silly, wacky and out there and not have to do any of the heavy lifting on the film, like Keira Knightley or Steve Carell had to do. It was very fun to get to play with T.J. Miller and just be a whack job.
When you first discovered your passion for acting were you more inclined to want to cry in a scene and be dramatic or did you always lean towards the funny stuff?
Certainly as a kid, when I started acting, I was not doing a lot of comedy. It was a lot of Shakespeare and Chekhov and musicals, but no real comedy. Then I went to Julliard and Julliard does not do comedy, so it was just more serious, classical, dramatic theater and serious contemporary plays. It wasn’t really until ‘Community’ that I got a chance to enter into the world of comedy, but it was something that I’d been longing to do because you can only play so many drug-addicted prostitutes before you get really tired of them. So I was really excited to get to jump into the comedy world.
When you work with great comedians, like Steve Carell, Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, what do you pick up for your own comedy skill set?
I feel like all those people have something in common, in that they think incredibly quickly on their feet. The sharpness of their minds and the sharpness of their wit is something that I aspire to. I also feel like I’ve learned a lot from people like Jim Rash and Donald Glover and Danny Pudi and everyone else on ‘Community,’ to really just go with the silliest, weirdest instinct that I have and to just give myself permission to sort of do whatever comes to me spontaneously in a moment. I really feel like I try not to over-think things too much. I feel like I’ve learned that from them, to be in the moment and be really present and something unexpected will happen.
And you’re in another film with Steve Carell coming up?
Yes, that’s true. I’m in this movie ‘Burt Wonderstone’ that stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey and Olivia Wilde and Steve Buscemi. All my scenes were with Steve Carell, and so it was really fun to get to work with him again. He’s such a lovely, sweet guy that I really relished the opportunity to work with him. He’s wildly different from who he plays in ‘Seeking a Friend…’ I’m probably more similar in both films, and I end up kissing him in ‘Burt Wonderstone.’ So, I’m two-for-two now. I have a running tally.
There’s lots of drugs and open sex for a few of the characters in “Seeking a Friend” who are expecting the end of the world. That’s not the worst plan, maybe.
No. I kind of admire that. That’s not my personality type, but I should aspire to that kind of response.
Do you have an endgame for the end of the world if it does come about?
You know what, I should take a lesson from this movie and really just have fun on the way out because I’m too much of a worrier in my day-to-day life. If an asteroid is really coming there’s not really much you can do, so why not just have a really good time.?
Despite the backstage drama on Community, the entire cast is set to return for the fourth season of the NBC comedy, Deadline.com reports.
Sony Pictures TV, the studio that produces Community, has picked up the options for every cast member, including Chevy Chase, who was embroiled in a very public feud with creator Dan Harmon last season. Sony and NBC have since reduced Harmon’s role to that of consulting producer. He was replaced by new showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port, perhaps opening the door for Chase to return.
The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Community will be returning to Comic-Con next month, with cast members Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs appearing on a panel for the show. Chase is unavailable to attend, which initially sparked speculation that he might not be returning to the series.
Community returns on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:30/9:30c.