TVLine Items: Surprise Community Cameo Scoop, Will Arnett Gets Simpsons-ized and More

Community - Season 5Dan Harmon, you tricky trickster you.

Community fans watching Thursday’s Season 5 premiere were no doubt surprised to see a familiar face turn up at Greendale — former co-star Chevy Chase, whose Pierce character was hastily written off the show in Season 4 amid controversy.

RELATED | Poll: Did Community Ace Its Season 5 Premiere?

How’d Harmon pull off the surprise cameo? “I wasn’t there when Chevy departed, but I know he had a specific agreement with Sony in which the terms of his departure were contractual and there was an agreement on both sides,” the EP explained to IGN. “So I was able to say to the studio, ‘What if we were shooting him on a separate stage with no other actors around. Would that be allowable?’ And they said, ‘Yes.’

But Harmon, whose own history with Chase has been tumultuous at best, still had to run it by the man himself. “I knew Chevy would be on board because… at the end of it all he always loved doing the show and would be more than willing to come back,” Harmon shared. “He’s very passionate about making people laugh. So I texted him, and he said, ‘Absolutely, I’ll do it.'”

Ready for more of today’s news nuggets? Well….

• Dance crews of America, listen up: Despite So You Think You Can Dance executive producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe’s recent tweet indicating that the show’s 11th season would feature hip-hop crews competing in a battle round, TVLine has learned that is not the case. Rather, the reality competition will feature dance crews performing at some point during the upcoming season.

• TVGN is running all-day marathons of The CW’s rookie dramas The Tomorrow People (Saturday, Jan. 4 starting at 2 pm/ET), The Originals  (Saturday, Jan. 11 starting at 2 pm/ET) and Reign (Saturday, Jan. 18 starting at 2 pm/ET). Similarly, the CBS-owned cabler will air all 13 episodes of Hostages this Sunday beginning at 1 pm/ET ahead of the thriller’s two-hour finale on Monday (9/8c, CBS). Speaking of binge-watching…

• Showtime will give viewers a chance to catch up on Shameless, House of Lies and Episodes prior to their Jan. 12 returns, with full-season marathons of all three series airing the weekends of Jan. 3 and 10. (Here’s a full list of the replay times.)

• Fox Sports will live-stream Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 for free (to U.S. users, at least). However, the forthcoming playoff games will be locked behind a paywall, per Variety.

• Will Arnett drops by The Simpsons on Sunday (8/7c, Fox) playing an FBI agent hunting down Homer, who stands accused of illegally downloading a movie. Exclusive sneak peek below!