Community is an American television sitcom created by Dan Harmon. The series ran for 110 episodes over six seasons, with its first five seasons airing on NBC from September 17, 2009, to April 17, 2014, and its final season airing on Yahoo! Screen from March 17 to June 2, 2015. Set at a community college in the fictional Colorado town of Greendale, the series stars an ensemble cast consisting of Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, and Jim Rash. It makes heavy use of meta-humor and pop culture references, often paying homage to film and television clichés and tropes.
|Created by||Dan Harmon|
|Opening theme||"At Least It Was Here" by The 88|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||110 (list of episodes)|
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||September 17, 2009 –|
June 2, 2015
Harmon based the program on his own experiences attending Glendale Community College. Each episode was written in accordance with Harmon's "story circle" template, a method designed to create effective and structured storytelling. Harmon served as showrunner for the show's first three seasons but was fired prior to the fourth season and replaced by David Guarascio and Moses Port. After a lukewarm response to the fourth season from fans and critics, Harmon was re-hired for the show's fifth season, after which the series was canceled by NBC; Yahoo! Screen revived the show for what would be Community's sixth and final season.
Despite struggling in the ratings during its run, Community developed a cult following and received critical acclaim for its acting, direction, and writing, as well as its meta-humor. The series won a Primetime Emmy Award from four nominations and received the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series in 2012, among other accolades. Since the series ended, and as recently as 2021, former crew and cast members have expressed interest in a potential film.
Jeff Winger is disbarred and suspended from his law firm when it is discovered that he lied about possessing a bachelor's degree from Columbia University. To earn a legitimate degree, he enrolls at Greendale Community College in Colorado. He quickly becomes attracted to his classmate, social activist Britta Perry, and pretends to run a study group in order to spend time with her. However, Britta invites classmate Abed Nadir (who struggles with social interactions and is obsessed with pop culture), who in turn brings other classmates along: religious single mother Shirley Bennett, naive over-achiever Annie Edison, former high school football star Troy Barnes, and racist, elderly millionaire Pierce Hawthorne. Despite their differences, the members of the group soon become close friends. They are often roped into helping the college's flamboyant dean, Craig Pelton, in his schemes to make the school seem more respectable, as well as having to deal with the antics of their mentally unstable teacher (and eventual classmate) Ben Chang.
Season 1 follows Jeff's creation of the study group and their subsequent misadventures. Season 2 sees Chang forced to enroll as a student and attempting to join the study group despite secretly planning revenge against them, while Pelton is forced to fight for Greendale's sense of pride against the dean of rival school City College, eventually culminating in a desperate paintball battle. Season 3 focuses on Chang's villainous plot to take over the school, as well as Troy struggling with whether or not to attend the cult-like air conditioning repair school. Season 4 shows the study group in their senior year, with all of the characters (especially Abed) struggling with what may be their final moments together, and Chang recovering from amnesia. Season 5 sees Pierce's death and Troy leaving in the middle of the season, while all of the other characters return to Greendale after graduation to save the school, leading Jeff to take a job there as a teacher. Season 6 ends the series with the characters reflecting on the last six years while new staff member Frankie Dart arrives at the dysfunctional school to make it more respectable, forcing the group to question how much Greendale can be cleaned up while still remaining Greendale.
The show features an ensemble cast of characters, focusing on the members of a study group and a recurring group of faculty of Greendale Community College, including the dean.
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||25||September 17, 2009||May 20, 2010||NBC|
|2||24||September 23, 2010||May 12, 2011|
|3||22||September 22, 2011||May 17, 2012|
|4||13||February 7, 2013||May 9, 2013|
|5||13||January 2, 2014||April 17, 2014|
|6||13||March 17, 2015||June 2, 2015||Yahoo! Screen|
Most episodes feature titles designed to sound like the names of college courses such as "Introduction to Film", "Anthropology 101" and "Cooperative Calligraphy".
The first season premiered on September 17, 2009, in the 9:30 pm ET Thursday timeslot. After three episodes, the show was moved to the 8:00 pm ET timeslot. In October 2009, it was announced that the show had been picked up for a full twenty-two-episode season.
In January 2010, NBC ordered an additional three episodes for the first season, extending it to 25 episodes. On March 5, 2010, Community was renewed for a second season and premiered on September 23, 2010. On March 17, 2011, NBC renewed Community for a third season. On May 10, 2012, Community was renewed for a fourth season consisting of 13 episodes. On May 10, 2013, the show was renewed for a fifth season. On June 30, 2014, it was announced that the show would be returning for a sixth season of 13 episodes on Yahoo! Screen.
In addition to the regular episodes, NBC produced a series of webisodes. Some focus on the daily life of Dean Pelton and others include a Spanish project, study breaks, and Abed copying his friends' lives and turning them into student films. These webisodes are featured on the front page of the Greendale Community College website on the AV Department page.
On March 2, 2012, it was announced that three animated webisodes would air exclusively on Hulu in lead up to the return of the series on March 15, 2012. Titled Abed's Master Key, the shorts were written by Dave Seger and Tom Kauffman of Channel 101 and animated by Animax Entertainment. In the webisodes, Abed becomes Dean Pelton's assistant and is given a master key to Greendale.
Dan Harmon emphasized the importance of the cast to making the premise of the comedy work. "Casting was 95 percent of putting the show together," he said in an interview. He had worked with several of the cast members previously. Actor Chevy Chase had long been a favorite of Harmon. Though initially not partial to sitcoms, Chase was persuaded by the quality of the show's writing to take the job. Harmon saw similarities between Chase and the character he plays on the show. Though Chase has often been ridiculed for his career choices, Harmon believed this role could be redeeming: "What makes Chevy and Pierce heroic is this refusal to stop." Harmon had to warn Chase against playing a "wise-ass" the way he often does in his roles, since the character of Pierce is a rather pathetic figure who is normally the butt of the joke himself.
McHale, known from the E! comedy talk show The Soup, was also impressed by Harmon's writing. He commented that "Dan's script was so head and shoulders above everything else that I was reading." McHale appealed to Harmon because of his likable quality, which allowed the character to possess certain unsympathetic traits without turning the viewer against him. For the role of Annie, Harmon wanted someone who would resemble Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon's character from the 1999 movie Election. Originally the producers were looking for a Latina or Asian Tracy Flick, but could not find any. Instead they ended up casting Alison Brie, known for her role as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men.
Harmon based the premise of Community on his own real-life experiences. In an attempt to save his relationship with his then-girlfriend, he enrolled in Glendale Community College northeast of Los Angeles, where they would take Spanish together. Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became close friends to the group of people with whom he had very little in common. "I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them," he explained, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them." With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been arrogant and emotionally distant to the extreme before he realized the value of understanding other people.
About the creative process behind the writing, Harmon said that he had to write the show as if it were a movie, not a sitcom. Essentially, the process was no different from the earlier works he had done, except for the length and the target demographic.
Each episode of Community is written in accordance with Dan Harmon's template of "story circles" that he developed while at Channel 101. Harmon rewrote every episode of the show (except while not working on the show during its fourth season), which helped lend the show his particular voice. Members of the Community writing staff have included Liz Cackowski, Dino Stamatopoulos, Chris McKenna, Megan Ganz, Andy Bobrow, Alex Rubens, Tim Saccardo and Matt Warburton. Additionally, cast member Jim Rash, who won an Academy Award in 2011 for co-writing the film The Descendants, wrote a season four episode.
The show is well known for its frequent use of thematic episodes every season, which use clichés and television tropes as single episode concepts that play with suspension of disbelief while maintaining continuity of the plot. An example of a notable thematic episode is Season 3's "Remedial Chaos Theory", in which the cast explore seven different parallel realities of the same night, with one key variation being a roll of a single six-sided die in a game of Yahtzee that Jeff uses to dismiss a member of the group to go get a pizza (the seventh variant being that the die was not allowed to roll at all). Frequent episode themes are school-year holidays (Halloween and Christmas being the most frequent), paintball, and various forms of animation.
Filming the show involved a lot of improvisation, particularly from Chevy Chase. About Chase, Harmon said that he "tends to come up with lines that you can actually end scenes with sometimes". He also mentioned Joel McHale and Donald Glover, the actors who portray Jeff and Troy respectively, as adept improvisers. Apart from a few exterior scenes shot at Los Angeles City College, the show was filmed at the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, California, during seasons one through five. For season six, the series moved to the CBS Studio Center, and featured exterior scenes from Los Angeles City College for the first time since season two. The series used the single-camera technique, where each shot is filmed individually, using the same camera.
The series was renewed for a third season on March 17, 2011. Filming for the season began on July 25, 2011. Jim Rash, who portrays Dean Pelton, was promoted to a series regular after having a recurring role throughout the first two seasons. Michael K. Williams was cast as the study group's new biology professor, who is described as a deeply intense character. John Goodman appears as a recurring character throughout the season as Vice Dean Laybourne, the head of Greendale's air conditioning repair school, and is a foe for Dean Pelton.
Community premiered its third season on September 22, 2011. On November 14, 2011, NBC announced that they were removing Community from their mid-season schedule, replacing it with the returning series 30 Rock. Fans of the series began a campaign to get the show back on the air using Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, making hashtags such as #SaveCommunity, #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, and #OccupyNBC trending topics. NBC responded to the backlash by announcing that the network was still planning to film and air the remainder of the 22 planned episodes after the undetermined hiatus, and that the fate of the series would be determined after the planned episodes air.
On December 7, 2011, CollegeHumor released a video titled "Save Greendale (with the cast of Community)" using the cast of Community in-character to promote the series and the school in a PSA-styled video. On December 22, 2011, fans of the series created a flash mob outside of NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters in New York City to Occupy NBC. The flash mob dressed in Christmas gear, wearing "darkest timeline" goatees, and singing "O' Christmas Troy" from the first season's episode "Comparative Religion" and chanting "Go Greendale, go Greendale, go". On January 6, 2012, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced that Community was not canceled, though he did not mention a return date.
On February 21, 2012, creator Dan Harmon announced via Twitter that the third season would resume on March 15, 2012, in its regular timeslot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.
Series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon was replaced as showrunner for the series in the fourth season, as writers David Guarascio and Moses Port (co-creators of the short-lived Aliens in America) took over as showrunners and executive producers. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series with Universal Television, initially said that Harmon would serve as a consulting producer, but Harmon asserted that he was not informed of the deal and would not return in a position without any executive prerogatives. The end of the third season also marked several other departures including executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer/producer Chris McKenna and actor/writer Dino Stamatopoulos. Frequent episode directors and executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo also left the show in order to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In early October 2012, NBC delayed the premiere of the fourth season, which had been scheduled for October 19, 2012, without announcing a new date. On October 30, 2012, NBC announced that the fourth season would premiere on February 7, 2013, returning to its original time slot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.
On November 21, 2012, it was announced that Chevy Chase left the show by mutual agreement between the actor and network. As a result of timing and the agreement made, Chase's character Pierce is absent for two episodes—he did not appear in the tenth episode (produced as ninth), "Intro to Knots", and the twelfth episode, "Heroic Origins". He also appeared in a voice-only role in the episode "Intro to Felt Surrogacy", which was the final episode produced for the season, and as part of his agreement to leave the show, Chase was required to record all audio for the scenes where his character, alongside the other characters, appeared as a puppet. The season finale, which was filmed out-of-sequence, as it was the eleventh episode produced, marked the final on-screen appearance of Chase as a regular cast member. Chase appeared in a cameo in the premiere of season 5.
On May 10, 2013, the series was renewed for a fifth season. On June 1, 2013, Dan Harmon announced he would return as showrunner for season five, replacing season four showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio, with former writer Chris McKenna returning as executive producer. On June 10, Sony Television officially confirmed the return of Harmon and McKenna for the fifth season. Dino Stamatopoulos, Rob Schrab and the Russo brothers all returned as well.
However, cast member Donald Glover decided to not return as a full-time cast member for the fifth season, only appearing in the first five of the thirteen episodes. To make up for the absence of Glover and Chase, Jonathan Banks was cast in the fifth season in August 2013 and appeared in 11 of the season's 13 episodes, portraying Buzz Hickey, a criminology professor. Additionally, John Oliver, who played Professor Duncan throughout the first two seasons, reprised his role in season 5 for multiple episodes.
On May 9, 2014, NBC announced that it had canceled Community. For several years prior to its cancellation, fans adopted the slogan "six seasons and a movie", a line from the episode "Paradigms of Human Memory" regarding Abed's hopeful legacy of short-lived NBC series The Cape. Bids to continue the series were turned down by popular streaming providers like Netflix and Hulu.
On June 30, 2014, the day the cast's contracts were due to expire, Yahoo! announced it had ordered a 13-episode sixth season to stream on Yahoo! Screen, including the main cast along with executive producers Dan Harmon, Chris McKenna, Russ Krasnoff, and Gary Foster. Harmon said, "I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo ... I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online." However, Yvette Nicole Brown dropped out to care for her ailing father, although she made guest appearances in "Ladders" and "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television". Paget Brewster was cast as consultant Francesca "Frankie" Dart and Keith David was cast as inventor Elroy Patashnik. Filming began for season six on November 17, 2014, and on December 8, 2014, the series celebrated the milestone of 100 episodes. Filming ended on March 27, 2015.
In a June 3, 2015, interview with TV Insider, Dan Harmon explained why season six would likely be the last of the series:
We've exploded into these successful shrapnel. Dr. Ken is now Dr. Ken. Alison has probably got her eye on movies. Gillian is working on a Netflix show. If there was some magical way of guaranteeing that everyone could come back all at once, let's do it. But it would be a lot easier to put together a movie project and get them all on board than to say, "Let's give it one more season!"
Despite the show's "six seasons and a movie" mantra, Yahoo never formally marketed season six as its final season. On July 30, 2015, Joel McHale stated that Yahoo! "wanted to [make more seasons of Community], but all of [the actors'] contracts were up after six years." McHale later clarified his statement via Twitter, saying "Community is not canceled." Yahoo released a statement: "We've seen tremendous value in our partnership with Sony and are continuing to discuss future opportunities for Community." Harmon said he "could have said yes immediately" to season seven, but "given the actors' velocity and trajectory" decided in favor of "getting [the cast] back together for an awesome movie." On January 4, 2016, Yahoo announced it had shut down its Yahoo Screen service, after a $42 million write-down, with its original programming being moved to Yahoo TV for continued public viewing.
In a June 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Zack Van Amburg of Sony Pictures Television confirmed that a Community film was in the early stages of development. Asked if Sony had plans beyond the sixth season, Amburg said:
There's no way we're not making the movie now! I think once we make the movie, let's look up and decide how much more Community the world wants. I'd be lying if I told you that we have not had some very early and preliminary conversations that are very exciting about what a potential movie could be and who might direct it.
One year later, after the sixth season wrapped, Dan Harmon commented that he was not ready to produce a movie at the end of the season:
I told Yahoo, 'I can't think about writing a movie until I miss Community,' ... They wanted to turn around and do a movie immediately, and Yahoo can get it done. They're like the NSA.
In July 2016, during an interview with Larry King Now, Harmon assured that a Community movie "will happen", while expressing uncertainty on how to begin its production. In July 2017, in an interview with Time, Harmon stated regarding a Community movie, "I recently had a conversation with a director that's the kind of guy whose weight in the industry could make that happen. For the first time in a long time, I'm actually putting thought into that again." In November 2017, Harmon told The Wrap that both he and Justin Lin are working to make the movie happen.
In January 2018, series co-star Danny Pudi stated that the cast were still excited about the prospect of a film, stating, "We have a little text chain, so we're always like, 'We're ready! We're ready!'" On March 23, 2018, Joel McHale mentioned that he was still hopeful about the movie, while noting that he felt bringing back former castmate Donald Glover would be vital to make the film a success, though he was unsure if this would be feasible. McHale elaborated: "It would be great to do, I'd do it in a New York minute."
When asked in an interview in June 2019 about doing a Community movie, Alison Brie said, "Yeah, I think I would." She later added, "I mean, look, it's like, are we going to do the movie? I feel like if the Community movie ever gets made, it should just be made for Netflix, and it would be fun to do, but, I think it would be best if we could get everyone to do it, so I feel like that might be difficult." In a February 2020 Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread, Brie stated that she "actually got an interesting call about it this week" when questioned about a Community movie and said to "stay tuned".
As the show debuted on Netflix in April 2020, public exposure and interest picked up significantly. That same month during an interview with Collider, Joe Russo was asked if he and his brother Anthony would come back to do the movie. He stated, "We'd certainly be willing to do it. We love our Community family. That cast, we're all still very close to all of them. It'd be schedule-depending for us. But I believe there will be a Community movie, especially now that it's doing well on streaming. Someone like Netflix could step up and make the movie."
In May 2020, the original cast (excluding Chase) and Harmon announced that they would reunite via a livestream video for a benefit to raise money for the COVID-19 pandemic with a table read of "Cooperative Polygraphy". Pedro Pascal filled in for Walton Goggins, who was unavailable. On May 13, a few days before the table read, Gillian Jacobs talked about her belief that the entire cast would want to return for a movie. In a Q&A session immediately following the May 18 livestream video table read, the cast, including Glover, expressed interest in a movie.
Harmon confirmed in 2021 he had begun work on the script, and that any logistical issues with creating a Community movie were mostly solved. He described the challenging part of the movie was more "philosophical," namely whether the movie would be approachable to a viewer unfamiliar with the television show.
|1||90% (41 reviews)||69 (23 reviews)|
|2||100% (18 reviews)||86 (4 reviews)|
|3||91% (22 reviews)||82 (4 reviews)|
|4||65% (40 reviews)||69 (18 reviews)|
|5||93% (42 reviews)||80 (15 reviews)|
|6||89% (36 reviews)||78 (12 reviews)|
The show's first season received mostly positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 based on 23 critics on Metacritic. Season 1 scored 90% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's critical consensus reading: "Snarky and fast-paced with a surprisingly tender undercurrent and an engaging cast, Community is one of the best new comedies of the season". David Bushman (Curator, Television) of the Paley Center for Media called Community the best new show of the fall season. Jonah Krakow of IGN gave the first season an 8.5 saying that "Community eventually ramped up and delivered some amazing stories in the second half of the season."
The second season received high critical acclaim, scoring 86 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. Rotten Tomatoes gave the season a 100%, with a critical consensus that reads: "Community unfurls into a marvel of meta-madness in its sophomore season, artfully deconstructing sitcom tropes while repeatedly knocking its own emotional beats out of the park". Emily Nussbaum of New York Magazine and Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com rated Community as the best show of 2010. In The A.V. Club's list of the 25 best television series of 2010, Community ranked second, stating that the best episodes were "Modern Warfare", "Cooperative Calligraphy", and "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas". IGN named Community the best comedy series in both 2010 and 2011.
Acclaim for the show continued in the third season, scoring 82 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. It also topped the Metacritic User Poll in the category 'Best Television Show of 2011', receiving 3,478 points. Rotten Tomatoes gave season 3 a 91% with a critical consensus that reads: "The Greendale study group take some of their boldest swings – though not all connect – in this freewheeling third season that nevertheless continues Community's streak as the gold standard for fiendishly clever television". Community placed on several critics top television lists; including ranked second by Paste, fifth by both HitFix and The Huffington Post, first by Hulu and third on TV.com's Top 100 Everything of 2011.
In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #15 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years," with high praise: "The series' affinity for ambitious, high-concept story lines (e.g. few shows are willing to turn over an entire episode to stop-motion animation), meta humor, and constant pop culture allusions has helped it earn the kind of fervent fan following some of its higher-rated comedic competitors must envy." A user poll on Splitsider named "Remedial Chaos Theory" as the best sitcom episode of all time, beating out The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail".
Reviews for the fourth season were generally positive, but less enthusiastic than the reception of the first three seasons. It scored 69 out of 100 based on 18 critics on Metacritic. The season 4 rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 65%, and the critical consensus reads: "Despite some behind-the-scenes drama, the fourth season of Community manages to retain the playful energy, potent humor, and kooky stories the show is famous for". Verne Gay of Newsday stated the show was "still defiantly Community, still good and still uninterested in adding new viewers." On the other hand, Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall wrote, "It feels like [Moses] Port, [David] Guarascio and the other writers decided to reverse-engineer the [Dan] Harmon version of Community, but couldn't quite manage without the missing ingredient of Harmon himself." Mike Hale of The New York Times has stated that the series "has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review...have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community."
The fifth season received critical acclaim, scoring an 80 out of 100 based on 15 reviews on Metacritic. Rotten Tomatoes gave the season a 93%, with the critical consensus reading: "With Dan Harmon back as its show runner, Community returns with a familiar new energy and more fun, exciting adventures for the Greendale gang". Many critics cited the return of series creator Dan Harmon as a strength. Verne Gay from Newsday said of the season that it was "about as good a Community restart as anyone could have possibly hoped for."
The sixth season continued to receive positive reviews, scoring a 78 out of 100 based on 12 reviews on Metacritic, and scoring an 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus being, "Despite cast and broadcast changes, Community manages to remain at the top of its quirky class." Amy Amatangelo of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Everything fans loved about Community remains [...] the show has seamlessly transferred to an online venue." The Los Angeles Times' Robert Lloyd considered "something special" about the season, commenting that it "lives in consciousness of its own construction in a kind of existential but also dramatically meaningful way." The New York Times's Mike Hale felt Harmon responsible "for turning countercultural whimsicality into affecting, fast-paced comedy" in the season. Time's James Poniewozik felt it the same show in humor and quality, though he noted an absent "sense of mission regarding the characters. [...] Maybe it's enough for Community, free of the ratings pressures of NBC, to live its second life free to be weird and playful and experimental."
Since its final episode, Community has appeared on a number of lists determining the greatest television shows of all-time. In TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time, critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked Community 54th in their combined top 100 list, placing them in the section titled "Groundbreakers and Workhorses." In 2017, IGN placed it 51st in its top 100 ranking of TV shows, with writer Jonathon Dornbush describing it "as a meta love letter to the films and shows that inspired it and its creator, Dan Harmon."
In 2010, at the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin received a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for "Introduction to Statistics". At the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, the series received a nomination for Breakout Show and Ken Jeong was nominated for Breakout Star Male. For Entertainment Weekly's 3rd Ewwy Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, Joel McHale was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
In 2011, Betty White received a nomination for Favorite TV Guest Star at the 37th People's Choice Awards. Yvette Nicole Brown won the 2011 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The series received a nomination for Best Directing for a Comedy Series at The Comedy Awards. The episode "Modern Warfare" won the 2010 Gold Derby TV Award for Comedy Episode of the Year. For the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, while Joel McHale and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy Series, respectively. The episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" won a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation. At the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for the episode "Modern Warfare". At the 27th TCA Awards, Community was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Individual Achievement in Comedy. The series received four nominations for the 2011 Satellite Awards, for Best Comedy or Musical Series, Joel McHale for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series, and Donald Glover for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie; while it won Best Television Release for the season two DVD set.
In 2012, Community was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory", written by Chris McKenna. Also that year, the show won the awards for Favorite Comedy and Favorite Ensemble in the 2012 TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites Awards. "Remedial Chaos Theory" was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2012 for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Community also won the Hulu "Best in Show" award for 2012, beating 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, New Girl and Modern Family in the first four rounds, and The Walking Dead in the final round by 11,000 votes. It won Hulu's "Best in Show" award again in 2013, beating out Game of Thrones in the final round with 60% of the votes.
At the 2nd Critics' Choice Television Awards, Community received the most nominations and won Best Comedy Series. Joel McHale was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Jim Rash and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs were nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Community was also nominated for TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy at the 2012 TCA Awards.
While sitcoms are often underrepresented in the academic study of television, Community is an exception. More specifically, television critics and scholars often reference Community when discussing semiotics, the study of signs, in television and film. Television itself does not convey meaning, but rather viewers construct meaning based on recognizable signs and references,[page needed] so a complex show like Community is rich with potential semiotic analysis.
Some critics have even claimed that the show itself is about semiotics. Mordicai Knode of Tor.com suggests the show is "about the tropes of every single genre, it is about the cinematic language and the shared culture we all bring piecemeal to the table when we sit down as audiences."
Dan Harmon fills each episode with signs and references in order for the audience to deconstruct and construct their own meaning, even going so far as to break the fourth wall to give viewers a wink and a nod to the show's complexity. Fans of Community require a "certain level of rhetorical and interpretive skills"[page needed] to pick up on these semiotic layers of the series:
"The most important knowledge a viewer brings to the viewing of Community is the subconscious recognition of indicators for other formal systems (meaning other genres or specific texts) with help from subconscious hypotheses and charts that are built on previous experiences with similar works."[page needed]
Premiering in the 9:30 pm ET spot on September 17, 2009, the pilot episode had a viewership of 7.680 million. In the 18–49 audience, it had a rating of 3.7. As such, it held 93% of this audience from The Office, which had been in the previous time slot. The show was called the "bright spot for the night" for NBC, seeing how The Office was down 18% from the previous year's premiere, while Parks and Recreation, in the preceding time slot, was down 30%. However, the show, like many other NBC comedies at the time (including The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock), would later struggle in the ratings despite critical acclaim, though the show did tend to improve after factoring in DVR ratings. Some commentators noted that the show's uniqueness and ambition prevented it from achieving the broad appeal of other sitcoms.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Community:
Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiere||Finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers|
|1||Thursday 9:30 pm
(Until October 1, 2009)
Thursday 8:00 pm
(Since October 8, 2009)
|25||September 17, 2009||7.89||3.8||May 20, 2010||4.41||2.0||2009–10||#97 of 140||5.00|
|2||Thursday 8:00 pm||24||September 23, 2010||5.01||2.2||May 12, 2011||3.32||1.5||2010–11||#138 of 268||4.44|
|3||22||September 22, 2011||3.93||1.7||May 17, 2012||2.48||1.3||2011–12||#144 of 195||4.03|
|4||13||February 7, 2013||3.88||1.9||May 9, 2013||3.08||1.3||2012–13||#133 of 187||3.58|
|5||13||January 2, 2014||3.49||1.3||April 17, 2014||2.87||1.0||2013–14||#96 of 149||3.00|
On March 14, 2012, Comedy Central announced that it had purchased the rights to Community for syndication that began airing in September 2013 at the same time as weeknight syndication on local stations.
Community premiered in syndication in Canada on The Comedy Network on September 4, 2012. In January 2014, the show moved to Canadian sister channel MuchMusic. The series made its Canadian over-the-air broadcast debut in 2018, when the series moved to CHCH.
The first season was released in region 1 on September 21, 2010, in a four-disc set. The set includes all 25 episodes plus bonus features, including commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; extended versions of the "Pilot" and "Communication Studies" episodes; outtakes; "Season One Cast Evaluations" featurette; "Season One Highlight Reel" featurette; "Creative Compromises" featurette; "Advanced Criminal Law" alternative scenes; and three mini episodes.
The second season was released in region 1 on September 6, 2011. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; outtakes; animatics for "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and making-of featurettes covering that episode as well as "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For a Few Paintballs More".
The third season was released in region 1 on August 14, 2012. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; deleted scenes; "This is War: Pillows vs. Blankets mockumentary" featurette; and "A Glee-ful Community Christmas" featurette.
The fourth season was released in region 1 on August 6, 2013. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; deleted scenes; "Inspector Spacetime: Inspection" featurette, and Adventures in Advanced Puppetry featurette.
The fifth season was released in region 1 on August 5, 2014. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; and two featurettes, "Re-Animating the '80s" and "Advanced Television Production: 5 Days, 2 Scripts, No Sleep".
The sixth season was released on DVD in region 1 on March 8, 2016. Special features include deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the finale, trivia with the cast and crew, and a gag reel.
The complete series was released on DVD in region 1 on November 15, 2016. Special features include all the features from the first six seasons.
In the United States, the complete series is available on Hulu and Netflix. The first three seasons are available on Netflix throughout Latin America with Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese subtitles. All six seasons are available via the iTunes Store. The series was available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video UK until February 1, 2015, when seasons one through five also became available on Netflix in the UK and Ireland until 2017. In Australia, the entire series is available on Stan. In 2018, all six seasons were made available on All 4, the streaming service of Channel 4, in the United Kingdom.
The series has been available to stream through Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in Canada, Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom, Netflix and TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand, Netflix in Ireland, Australia and Latin America and All 4 in the United Kingdom.
On April 1, 2020, the series became available to stream on Netflix worldwide. Since Community's addition to Netflix, the show began to reach a wider audience and entered into Netflix's top 10 most popular shows in April 2020. Season 6 is still available to view on Yahoo!'s website and app, including exclusive Communitary commentary from cast, writers, and producers.
On June 26, 2020, Netflix and Hulu removed the season 2 episode "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" from their platforms due to controversial scenes with Chang playing a dark elf by wearing black make-up and a white wig, which was perceived as blackface. Several other live-action comedies had episodes featuring blackface removed as well. At the time, Harmon did not comment on the episode's removal. In a 2021 interview with The New York Times, Harmon remarked that "justifiably they're stripping it from the streaming archives because it's got a joke about blackface", but added that it "is probably the best episode of Community".
|Community (Music from the Original Television Series)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||September 21, 2010|
A soundtrack for the first season, titled Community (Music from the Original Television Series), was released on September 21, 2010 by Madison Gate Records. The track list includes the main title theme, "At Least It Was Here" by The 88; original songs and incidental music composed for the show (by series composer Ludwig Göransson); and several songs were performed by the characters (a mix of original compositions and covers).
|1.||"At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)" (Main Title Version)||The 88||0:35|
|2.||"101 Rap"||Donald Glover and Danny Pudi||0:35|
|3.||"Getting Rid of Britta"||Chevy Chase, Eric Olsen, and Tom Wolfe||2:15|
|4.||"Pierce You Are a B"||Eric Olsen, Tom Wolfe, and Jacques Slade||2:21|
|5.||"Pierce Raps"||Jacques Slade||0:37|
|6.||"Night Cap"||Jacques Slade||2:10|
|7.||"The Way It Is"||Chevy Chase||1:00|
|8.||"Community Medley"||Ludwig Göransson||4:37|
|9.||"Somewhere Out There"||Donald Glover and Danny Pudi||2:10|
|10.||"I Never Die"||Jacques Slade||1:51|
|11.||"Sensitive Night"||Yvette Nicole Brown||1:01|
|12.||"Party Where Your Heart Is"||Trevor Armstrong||1:01|
|13.||"Annie's Song"||Eric Olsen||1:37|
|14.||"Episode 119 Medley"||Ludwig Göransson||3:43|
|15.||"Come, Take a Trip in My Air-Ship"||Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, and Joel McHale||0:47|
|16.||"Some Worries"||Chevy Chase, Eric Olsen, and Tom Wolfe||2:11|
|17.||"If I Die Before You"||Ludwig Göransson||2:50|
|18.||"At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)" (Full-Length Version)||The 88||2:50|
Songs featured on the show that were not released on the soundtrack are available on composer Ludwig Göransson's official website.
|1.||"Running Through Raining" (Annie Returns)||Ludwig Göransson||212||1:55|
|2.||"Greendale Is Where I Belong"||Ludwig Göransson||125, 210, 217, 308, 309, 316, 320, 322, 405, 413||1:34|
Throughout the series, Michael Haggins' song "Daybreak" can be heard. On several occasions the characters are humming the tune and sometimes it can be heard playing on the radio in the background.