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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sam says:

    So excited for Shameless Season 4! Ian and Mickey 4ever!

  2. david says:

    I miss America’s Best Dance Crew.

    I’d watch So You Think You Can Dance if they get rid of Mary Murphy – or at least muzzle her screeching. Even if i record it, knowing I’d have to skip over her makes the whole show unwatchable. .

    • David4 says:

      The problem with the Dance judges is they think the show is all about them, how wonderful the choreographing is and how wonderful the lighting crew, and the make up and dress up people are and how wonderful everyone is… besides the dancers.

      The last few seasons it’s 5 minutes of talking about crap, 10 seconds of talking about the dancers!

      • Drew says:

        Or bursting into tears because the choreographer said that the dance was about dying puppies in third world countries, even if nothing about the dance remotely resembled anything like that story.
        Then the judges talk about dance as though it is the cure for cancer and the key to world peace while the rest of America collectively rolls their eyes.

        The judges are annoying.

    • Magically Suspicious says:

      I feel the same way about Debbie Allen. I pray every season that one of her students will be on so she has to sit out.

      • Nunaya_Bidness says:

        I love Debbie Allen on the show and wish they would make her a fulltime judge. She actually offers constructive criticism without all of the “fluff”. I often wonder how things turned out for Cedric Gardner. He was so bad at everything outside his genre, that I was surprised when she offered him a scholarship and wonder if she was able to turn him around with some proper technique.

  3. dude says:

    So Chevy hated the cast not the show? I don’t get it.

    • That’s not what it means. Chase left for his own reasons. Harmon merely found a loophole to include him in the episode.

      • Florian Nufer says:

        Which is great and all (I was hoping for him to return at least in some capacity). But what does that mean, loophole? He’s not allowed back on Studio ground? And why the hell not? Actors have left shows before and were always able to come back for cameos. I don’t get it.

      • R.O.B. says:

        He found a loophole – that is so Community. Chevy did not sign the contract in the darkest timeline.

    • Alan says:

      no he hated the show but money talks.

      • Patrick says:

        Plus, I think both Harmon and Chase realized that they were staring into the abyss wrt their careers. Harmon had pissed off the only game in town that would have kept his low rated (but awesome) show on the air. They were doing him a favor, practically, and he was too good to do what he was told and play nice with others.

        Chase similarly has a bad rep. Hard to work with, dicey personality, no filter on his mouth.

        Both these guys were in danger of being unhireable in the biz. They realized that they could repair a lot of damage to their images by playing nice for a couple hours of filming. Low cost, high reward, and they probably spat at or on each other during the process. More than once.

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  5. Et al says:

    That Chevy cameo was the best kept television secret since the Interwebs were invented. Well done, Community!

    • Fido says:

      Do we know if, since Dan had Chevy in front of a camera, he used the opportunity to film that extra bit for the computer-game-Pierce’s-dad ep that iirc Chevy didn’t want to do at the time but maybe now he felt differently ???? Be a great extra for the inevitable Complete Series DVD release. Or have I just blown the other “best kept television secret”, oops.

  6. meleliot says:

    I watched a replay of Episodes a couple of weeks ago and had forgotten just how hysterical that show is. If you can, please try to watch it,.
    Also, I thought Community was really good. So happy it’s back!

  7. Kristina says:

    The Chevy cameo was really cool, especially since they managed to keep it a secret :)

  8. bobbie says:

    I was happy to see Chevy Chase – I felt better about the show because of it. Like some sort of forgiveness had happened.

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