NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt was asked at Tuesday’s (July 24) Television Critics Association press tour session if he would “categorically rule out another season for ‘Community.’“
“There are a couple negatives in that sentence. I would categorically not rule out that it’s not the last season,” Greenblatt jokes. Less confusingly, he adds, “I would love nothing more than for ‘Community’ to have a following on Fridays and to be able to continue.”
Greenblatt does acknowledge, though, that NBC is “in transition” with its comedy programming, and “Community’s” move to Friday nights and initial shorter episode order for Season 4 is part of that.
“We’re trying to broaden our audience and broaden what the network does,” he says. “Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love and we love, tend to be more narrow than we’d ultimately like as we go forward. ‘Community’ is a show that’s been always on the bubble, and we decided to bring it back again and see what a fourth season will do for us.”
As for only ordering 13 episodes of “Community” to start, Greenblatt says that was partly a function of the network’s having a whopping 13 comedies on its roster this season. In order to get them all on the air at some point, shorter seasons became necessary.
“Which isn’t to say we couldn’t decide at some point to extend those seasons,” he adds.
“Community” is also going into its fourth season with new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio, who are taking over for series creator Dan Harmon. Greenblatt was diplomatic about Harmon’s ouster, saying he thinks fans of the show will see the same show they’ve always liked.
“Every so often it’s time to make a change in showrunners and sort of evaluate the creative, how the show is run, how the writing staff works,” Greenblatt says. “Sometimes you want to freshen the show, and we just decided it was time to do that on ‘Community.'”
Season 4 of “Community” is scheduled to premiere Friday, Oct. 19.