The Peacock Network has just announced that the show’s fifth season will premiere on Thursday, January 2nd at 8:00 p.m., airing two back-to-back episodes before shifting to its regular, half-hour 8:00 p.m. slot the next week to accommodate the return of Parks and Recreation.
The return of the critically-acclaimed comedy was up in the air back in September when NBC simply scheduled it for a mid-season debut. Fans of the show are most likely now starting to count down the days until January 2nd, especially with widely-perceived creative genius Dan Harmon back running things.
Harmon was fired from Community in May of 2012, following heated arguments with NBC and former cast-member Chevy Chase over the direction of the show. After the fourth season, helmed by Aliens in America creators Moses Port and David Guarascio, received poor reviews from fans but kept similar ratings to Harmon-era Community, NBC wisely decided to bring the show’s creator back into the loop.
The fifth season of Community will see an influx of guest stars in addition to the departure of two main cast members. Chase left the show at the conclusion of its fourth season, after repeated rows with NBC over the personality of his character, curmudgeonly bigot Pierce Hawthorne. More shockingly, fan favorite Donald Glover, who plays lovable former quarterback Troy Barnes, will depart Community after only five episodes.
Breaking Bad‘s Jonathan Banks will appear in eleven episodes of the thirteen-episode season as mysterious criminology professor Pat Nichols. Meanwhile, British comedian John Oliver will reprise his role as Professor Duncan in six episodes, and Rob Corddry will return as Alan Connor, the nasty ex-colleague of protagonist Jeff Winger (Joel McHale). Brie Larson will re-appear as Rachel, a love interest of Abed (Danny Pudi) who was introduced in the fourth-season episode “Herstory of Dance.” Perhaps most excitingly, Justified‘s Walton Goggins and geek icon Nathan Fillion have each booked guest roles too.
Are you looking forward to the fifth season of Community and still campaigning for #sixseasonsandamovie, or has this show gone on long enough? Let us know in the comments section.
Community returns Thursday, January 2nd, at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.