‘Community’ returns to NBC

 ‘Community”s Joel McHale (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

‘Community”s Joel McHale (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

The wait is finally over for Community die-hards as the much anticipated fourth season of the NBC comedy will air on Thursday at 7:00 pm.

Community is a hysterically-funny chronicle set at Greendale Community College, following the tales of seven members of a Spanish study group in their senior year of college: the snarky ex-lawyer, Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), the politically-inclined and socially-emphaticBritta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), the emotionally-reserved, pop culture enthusiast Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), mother of three Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), the type-A Annie Edison (Alison Brie), the former high-school quarterback Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and moist-towelette tycoon Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase). The seven confidantes are often joined by their eccentric dean, Craig Pelton (Jim Rash), and their former Spanish professor Ben Chang (Ken Jeong).

In what may be their last season, the critically-acclaimed, pop-culture-infused half hour of hilarity has ventured once again away from the quirky roots that built their cult following as they will be airing a Hunger Games-themed episode to begin their season. After past atypical episode premises like Dungeons & Dragons, My Dinner with André, Goodfellas, and Pulp Fiction under creator and former executive producer, Dan Harmon, the show has taken a noticeably different turn as Happy Endings writers David Guarascio and Moses Port have taken over.

Community will be taking over the time slot left vacant after the series finale of 30 Rock. NBC had originally planned to air Community Friday evenings at 7 o’clock, but decided to dedicate the air time to their new fall comedies. After Animal Practice failed to take off in the ratings, the network filled their slot with Whitney – leaving the fate of Community unknown.

Historically, Community has not scored high in ratings. In their first three seasons the show scored 5.0, 4.44, and 4.03 million viewers, respectively. When compared to The Big Bang Theory, which also shares the same time slot, Community is dwarfed in contrast with the 18.83 million average viewers for the CBS television show.