NBC Boss Insists: 'Community Has Not Been Cancelled,' But Return Date Remains Unclear

NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt on Friday kicked off the broadcast networks’ segment of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena by almost immediately fielding questions about Community‘s MIA status from the midseason schedule as well as the acclaimed if undersampled comedy’s long-term fate.

First and foremost, Greenblatt made clear that Community “has not been cancelled,” and will return to the lineup… at a to-be-determined date this spring.

“When I announced our midseason changes last fall and took Community off the schedule, I failed to explicitly say that it would be back,” he explained. “I want to expel any notion that it is just disappearing off the schedule.”

For now, it remains unclear where exactly where our friends at Greendale will call home when they return to the lineup. “Community was moved to 8 o’clock a couple of years ago, and that’s an incredibly competitive time slot now on Thursday,” Greenblatt said, candidly. “I’m really curious to see what something else” — in this case, 30 Rock — “will do there. We have a really tight schedule with comedies [so it’s] really going to be a matter of looking at what happens with the six comedies we’ve got at midseason.”

As for any Season 4 prospects for Community, Greenblatt says it’s far too soon to tell. “We’re just going to look at the success of what pilots yield, what the scheduling needs are and make that decision closer to the upfront [in May].”

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  1. Ruby says:

    We will see….I hope that means that NBC is doing everything possible to stand behind this amazing show.

  2. Amy says:

    Well it’s not something new. Although I hope Whitney and Chelsea (whatever the hell that show is called) die on wednesdays.

  3. Maggie says:

    I really REALLY hope that Community returns soon and (hopefully) gets a fourth season. I am really desperate right now!

    • Brock says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I need my COMMUNITY. Axe Whitney and Up All Night. The problem was it was up against Big Bang – a more conventional comedy series. Plus X-Factor/Idol on Fox, the Vamps on CW and so on… a killer timeslot indeed. I would hate for NBC to lose their best series!

  4. absherlock says:

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the suits at NBC would rather air a random 1/2 hour of Grimm or Harry’s Law than Community. Same thing with ABC and Cougar Town.

  5. Hm…that really isn’t any new information. I thought they already said it hadn’t been cancelled and will return in the spring. I hope it returns sooner rather than later, though. I can see why they’d shelve something with more of a fanbase than something new like Up All Night or Whitney, but even so, it’s annoying. (Especially given that I’d only recently discovered it!)

    • Carmichael says:

      >though. I can see why they’d shelve something with more of a fanbase than something new like Up All Night or Whitney

      Yeah I can kind of understand wanting to give them a chance to garner some eyeballs, but what hurts me most of all is neither of those shows are as creative/original as Community is. Plus, the thing that’s been keeping me away from Up All Night is Maya Rudolph, I can’t stand her.

      • Nuke says:

        To each his/her own. I think Maya Rudolph is hilarious.

      • Oh yeah, I don’t think either of those shows are nearly as creative or fun as Community. I saw the pilot of Up All Night, and agree that Maya Rudolph’s character really drove me away more than anything else. I’ve only seen a bit of a Whitney episode, but nothing that made me want to watch it. I think that if they shelved either of those, though, it would definitely kill them. Community can probably bounce back, and maybe when it comes back they won’t have it on Thursdays at 8 anymore.

      • Riley says:

        Sounds like a fairly good plan really. I love Community dearly, but it needs some TLC if it’s gonna pull enough in the ratings to make it financially viable.

        Sounds like NBC are gonna wait to see if their new comedies crash and burn (which they probably will judging on the early word) and once those have been axed, they can bring Community back to replace them, hopefully with a bit of a push behind it and a less competitive time-slot.

      • Rain says:

        Agree about Up All Night, I was looking forward to it because I love Christina Applegate and Will Arnett but I can’t watch it because of Maya Rudolph.

  6. Josh says:

    So basically encourage everyone you know not to watch the 8am replacement :-p

    • Carmichael says:

      thing is the replacement is 30 Rock, another show we need to keep around

      • Nuke says:

        Do we? It’s kind of run its course (though it is still better than most comedies on TV).

      • ElKabong says:

        How so? 30 Rock has been hot garbage for at least 2 seasons now. Besides it’ll keep getting renewed and nominated for Emmys for at least another couple garbage-tastic years out of sheer industry inertia.

      • TV Gord says:

        I agree, Carmichael. I was afraid this was going to pit Community and 30 Rock against each other in some of the knee-jerk reaction from Crazy Internet People. Both shows are great and both deserve to survive.

        I’d like to see dying-on-the-vine The Office at 8, followed by Community, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec. With Community at 8, at least NBC might draw some Big Bang fans away from CBS at 8:30.

        • Carmichael says:

          That schedule makes hella sense. And, nobody’s been able to explain to why sitcoms couldn’t stay in the 10-11 slot.

      • lacey says:

        Though I’d rather watch 30 Rock then NBC’s new comedies I wouldn’t call it a show that should be saved. Kind of like The Office, used to be good, now not so much.

    • Viv says:

      I actually think 30 Rock is going to be at the 8 o’clock spot. Personally I’m hoping 30 Rocks ratings tank so NBC realizes that they saddled Community with the worst time slot ever for a fledgling comedy.

      • Amy says:

        I love 30 Rock but I love Community even more. So I’m gonna have to agree with you.

      • I don’t love 30 Rock, but it’s a decent show. I don’t want it to fail, but if it gets similar ratings to Community, it would just further prove that it’s a tough timeslot. Although it was syndicated this past fall, so it’s gotten a lot of exposure lately, which might help with its ratings. Still, anything being on against The Big Bang Theory (and The Vampire Diaries, to a lesser extent) is rough.

        • Ari says:

          I agree with you. I watch TVD live and record Community. I don’t want spoilers! I hate that NBC puts their comedies on Thursdays when a lot of the other networks (except CBS) put dramas on Thursday. I’d like to see them move their comedy block off Thursday and over to Wednesday. I’m not sure I know anybody who watches Community live but I know a ton of people who record or watch online the next day. It’s just in a terrible time slot. Frankly if I have to choose between Community and 30 Rock I’d rather have Community.

          • Carmichael says:

            Though they’d still get competition from ABC’s Wednesday block. All four of those shows are watchable, and I definitely prefer their 8-9 combo of The Middle/Suburgatory (another show that deserves love) to Whitney/Vodka or whatever the frak they’re calling it.

          • Ari says:

            Carmichael, I’d say it’s not about moving them to a spot where they have no competition but to a slot where they have comparable competition. I don’t know. I have no idea what NBC should do but I’m hoping they pick Community up for a season 4. They gave Chuck a mercy 5th season, I hope they do Community the same kindness. This is the darkest timeline.

      • TV Gord says:

        I think both shows are great. There’s no reason you have to root for one to fail just so the other will succeed.

        • Ava says:

          There is though. Basically NBC said in this little clip that Community is the odd man out. Unless one of the other comedies fail there is no way Community is getting picked up for another season.

          ” We have a really tight schedule with comedies [so it’s] really going to be a matter of looking at what happens with the six comedies we’ve got at midseason.”

          • lacey says:

            You don’t necessarily have to root for 30 Rock to fail just a comedy. Whitney is terrible and should have been canceled, but NBC doesn’t want to admit failure. The Chelsea one that’s going to air might have a chance of making it, especially considering it couldn’t be worse than Whitney.

    • Nick says:

      This is NBC your talking about, so I’m sure whatever it is will be utter garbage anyway. A nutless monkey could do a better job than anyone over there running that channel.

  7. Ari says:

    Well that’s not encouraging. So basically another show has to fail for Community to come back. Community has been in one of the toughest time slots on tv, getting less than good ratings but great critical acclaim. This is going to be a ratings game and Community is going to lose even though it’s one of the best shows NBC has.

  8. lauren says:

    I for one am glad that TVline is keeping us posted on Community, big “news ” or not. I swear that no other sites seem to care or cover it.

    • Carmichael says:

      If there were a like button for posts here I’d be using it

    • Ari says:

      I feel the same Lauren. I appreciate the coverage of both Community and Cougar Town while those shows are unfairly benched for lesser comedies. It gives me hope that the situation is not as dire as it seems.

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      Actually, a lot of entertainment sites are still picking up news about Community. Not going to mention them here, but there does seem to be a lot of Internet-love for the series. A lot of those sites also seem to favour Parks & Recreation and Cougartown, so I guess great minds think a like =)!

  9. J says:

    As for any Season 4 prospects for Community, Greenblatt says it’s far too soon to tell. “We’re just going to look at the success of what pilots yield, what the scheduling needs are and make that decision closer to the upfront [in May].”

    Greenblatt also added, “The problem with Community is that it’s too intelligent. Being that we’re NBC and we try to shy away from intelligent, quality comedy programming (Parks and Rec being the exception–if only Amy Poelner didn’t have those compromising pictures of me!), we’re really hoping that our comedy pilots for next year yield more unwatchable, dumb-as-nails dreck like Whitney, Outsourced, or some other piece of garbage we can stick in our most valuable comedy timeslot–9:30 pm Thursday, after The Office. That way, we can kill two birds with one stone: avoid putting something worthwhile there for yet another year, and kill off one of our shows that doesn’t rely on stereotypical sitcom jokes and paper-thin characters.”

    Greenblatt continued, “I actually just read the script for what sounds like a great show called “Ow, My Balls.” It’s an adaptation of the show from the film Idiocracy, which I haven’t seen–I just know that the script for this show blew me away. I think that we might pick it up and pair it with The Office next year.”

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      Greenblatt concluded, “We are pleased to announce that we’ve sold Community and Parks & Recreation to CBS for a handful of magic beans.
      They will be heavily features in our new Thursday night comedy anchor, ‘Growing Beans’, in which we literally watch these beans grow!”

      …and the drones applauded.

      *FACEPALM* What happened NBC? You used to be cool!

      • Ava says:

        I just LOL’d at my desk at work! Sadly, I could totally see NBC trying to sell a show like Growing Beans “It worked for Jack and the beanstalk it can work for us too!”

    • Amy says:

      You guys just made me laugh so hard! I was so pissed a minute ago

    • Carmichael says:

      Don’t give them any ideas they might actually try to make Ow, My Balls and we’ll be stuck looking for the Time Masheen or however it was incorrectly spelled

    • lacey says:

      “Ow, My Balls” sounds like a CBS show. NBC wants a show that doesn’t have a potentially offensive title, just offensive content.

  10. stevenjaba says:

    All I can say is… thank god for hope!

  11. Tammy says:

    I’m just gonna pray to God everyday, like I’ve been doing for the past 2 months. Heck I even flunked my test because I was too busy saving Community! I need a life

  12. Richie says:

    #sixseasonsandamovie #savecommunity

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Well, Community is one of my favorite shows ever. So, if I have to wish that all these new shows fail in order to have Community back, then that’s what I’ll be doing….

    • TV Gord says:

      That’s like saying someone you love with cancer might live if you kill everyone else in the cancer ward. Sensible. (eye roll)

      • Elizabeth says:

        You’re not seriously trying to compare TV programs to Cancer, are you?

        My mother is a cancer survivor; so I am very familiar with someone’s fight to beat the disease.

        Again, if these new shows being canceled helps Community to stay, I am all for it.

        • TV Gord says:

          Spare me your false indignation, you know what I’m saying. We ALL know and love someone who’s had cancer, so of course my point wasn’t about comparison. Do I really need to spell this out? (another eye roll)

          • Elizabeth says:

            Good grief, please spare me from your comments. I make a simple comment about wanting my favorite show to stay on air and hoping new (crappy) shows get canceled if it helps. You bring up a cancer analogy and eye roll at my post like I said something so outrageous.
            My mother is a survivor. I don’t know if “we all” know and love someone who’s had cancer. I wouldn’t have made that comment in response to someone stating my original comment.
            I will be as mature as you and….(eye roll).

  14. em says:

    Isn’t this the same thing they tell Cougar Town fans – that it’s not cancelled and that it’ll be back eventually? That doesn’t look good in the long run.

  15. Ashley says:

    There’s an easy answer to this: Cancel Whitney. Put in Community. DONE.

    • TV Gord says:

      I feel bad for Whitney, because I think it could have been a really good show, but it’s been tinkered to death by the network. It sure seems that way, anyway, because Whitney herself is very funny, but her show seems way too watered down for her fanbase. I would be very surprised to see it get a second season, but maybe she can oin the cast of her other show, Two Broke Girls.

  16. Larry says:

    Chelsea Handler makes the baby Jesus puke. Her show will end sooner than you can say “unfunny hooker”. Community will be back by March.

  17. Molly says:

    I cannot belieeevee they’re even considering killing Community off. It’s easily a brilliant, brilliant show and they’re just not tapping into their huge fanbase because of the totally behind-the-times way TV is run… It’s actually sad</3

  18. rob60990 says:

    Hopefully never. :D

  19. Darcy says:

    Cougar Town survived a 9 week hiatus last year, barely, but it survived. Parks and Rec’s third season was pushed back until January and was still good enough to get renewed. People panic when something isn’t on in September, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to die. You can’t judge the future of a show by the numbers it’s not yet getting.

  20. eric says:

    I really hope that Chelsea and Whitney fail. It looks like NBC is going to cut costs and trim the comedies for next season. Please let it be them, and allow Community to get its fourth season, so that Jeff can have that steak dinner, not alone, but with the entire study group. #sixseasonsandamovie!

  21. Brendan says:

    We could be looking at some serious irony here. The hiatus looked like death at the outset, but if it results in Community getting out of the deathslot across BBT, it could actually end up saving the show. In a better time slot the ratings could seriously bounce back and get us a fourth season!

    • Walter Kovacs says:

      As much as I hate to wish bad things for 30 Rock, hopefully they do notice a ratings difference in that time slot, and see that anything in that timeslot will underperform compared to the rest of the line up, and thus give Community another shot to show how it can do without being in the most competitive spot.

  22. Clark says:

    30 Rock is a great show but it has not evolved very much since its first episode. Community evolves every episode and brings the laughs every time. I can miss a 30 Rock and figure I’ll catch it later. Community is an event every week – cannot be missed. Curious to see how 30 Rock fares at the same time slot.

  23. Amber says:

    I think Community would do a lot better if NBC actually advertised the show. I can remember seeing a lot of ads for 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Rec, and a lot of dumb ads for Whitney, but I can’t recall seeing a single commercial for Community on NBC since the first season. Alison Brie brought this issue up of a lack of Community promotion on an appearance on The Soup, and the second she said it, I realized it was actually quite true. Why does NBC hate their best show?? Why would they put it up against a ratings grabber like TBBT and then never freaking promote it??

  24. Jera says:

    Seriously NBC has NEVER been behind this show. We get Whitney and Are you there Chelsea instead of Commumity? Are you frakkin kidding me?!?

    Strong, smart, quality humor doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves. Look what has happened to Cougar Town. Now I see why the two shows are “kindred spirtits”. Put both shows on Bravo, where they can be proud of the quality they put forth and can brag about it. They wouldn’t be slaves to morons trying to sell crappy eyeliner or diet soda.

  25. Amit says:

    Community is arguably NBC’s best comedy show right now. I like 30 Rock, but only because of Kenneth. It seems like Kenneth makes that entire show, but Community has a plethora of funny and interesting characters, including Magnitude! Pop Pop! DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS YOU DID WITH CONAN O’BRIEN, NBC! BRING COMMUNITY BACK TO A SOLID TIME SLOT!

  26. Beth says:

    I’m putting this firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it.” category, but I’m hoping. Talking about it isn’t nearly the same as acting on it and giving it a definitive return date and time slot.

  27. rob says:

    I really hope NBC doesn’t britta’d Community. This is the one show I can watch over and over and find more and more funnier. Like to day, I just caught the background story of abed dilivering a baby in S2E3.
    Im a fan of 30Rock and Parks and Recreation, and they don’t compare to Community.

  28. LC says:

    I can’t believe they’d even consider cancelling a show that hasn’t even resolved it’s main story, mainly Jeff graduating. It’s so frustrating when brilliant comedy such as Community doesn’t get the recognition or ratings it deserves and then crap like Two and a Half men is still running after eight years. What is with these people?!

  29. Evan Buck says:

    6 seasons and a movie…
    6 seasons and a movie…
    6 seasons and a movie…
    6 seasons and a movie…

  30. Jordan says:

    I am from Australia and we LOVE community down here. I hope it comes back And has a fourth season or many Australians will be upset!

  31. Pete says:

    Its Arrested Development all over again!

    why do good shows die in america when rubbish like the middle, modern family, parks and recreation, big bang theory and how i met your mother just keep going??

    Terriers was another awesome show that disappeared!

  32. qwerty says:

    six seasons and a movie!!!

  33. Mr. Superb says:

    The sad part is, not only they will probably pick up Growing Beans
    and Ow my balls! to air after Whitney Jokenocummings and that
    vodka turdbags show or Whatever stupid name they wish to call it, but they will also air a new show that will follow this called Watch this paint dry in which we actually get the wonderful privilege of, you guessed it actually watching paint dry!!!!!!

  34. MVP says:

    NICE!!!! but honestly what these network heads need to understand is that no one is saying that they can’t pick up new shows or take chances in the type of shows that they air in fact some of the best shows came from networks taking chances and trying something new, what’s wrong however is when a network chooses to either cancel or completely mistreat shows that they know are beloved by a lot of people and shows that are of a genuinely good quality.

  35. a human being says:

    I love commmunity, please keep more episodes coming, they’re dean-effitly the funniest thing on tv since the knights of prosperity or the first 3 seasons of the simpsons, but I’m not doing it justice, here are some examples :
    from the first season’s paintball episode, annie pops out of a men’s room trashcan to surprise someone with the lid stuck to her head like a hat, and she’s covered in toilet paper and doesn’t flinch from her sneak attack pose (hilarious!)

    In season two’s episode entitled Conspiracy theories and interior design , Jeff takes a trip into the rabbit hole figuratively and you the viewer are taken along for the ride (mysterious!)

    In season three’s competitive ecology, the group blatantly insults todd while he is right there with him , (nefarious!)

    and in season 1’s environmental science, dean pelton makes a mistake and insists on throwing out 5000 environmental conscientious type posters so they can print 5000 correct ones because it’s “green week”

  36. chris lanear says:

    That’s a bunch of B.S. F*%k all the big wig talk & just bring back one of the funniest t.v. shows in along time, really miss it. nothing else is as funny on t.v. as this show other than animation domination on Fox, so take that for what it’s worth. COMMUNITY I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

  37. chris lanear says:

    Aw yeah if you cancelled this show with out a proper send off, everyone @ the peacock networks, can suck a cock, & to take a line from the famous Sam. Jackson y’all are a bunch of RAT BASTARDS & I HOPE YOU ALL BURN HELL. JJ. All Love Holla, but for real bring back community.

  38. Lou says:

    Oh thank god! I love community! I would be pretty mad if they cancelled it