Community (TV series)

Community (TV series)
Community title.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Dan Harmon
Starring Joel McHale
Gillian Jacobs
Danny Pudi
Yvette Nicole Brown
Alison Brie
Donald Glover
Jim Rash
Ken Jeong
Chevy Chase
Opening theme "At Least It Was Here" by The 88
Composer(s) Ludwig Göransson
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 57 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Gary Foster
Russ Krasnoff
Dan Harmon
Anthony Russo
Joe Russo

Neil Goldman
Garrett Donovan
Location(s) Los Angeles City College, California
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Sony Pictures Television
Universal Television
Krasnoff Foster Entertainment
Russo Brothers
Harmonious Claptrap
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original channel NBC
Original run September 17, 2009 (2009-09-17) – present
External links

Community is an American television comedy series created by Dan Harmon that airs on NBC. The series is about a group of students at a community college in the fictional locale of Greendale, Colorado. The series heavily uses meta-humor and pop culture references, often parodying film and television clichés and tropes.[1] The series premiered Thursday, September 17, 2009, and airs in the 8:00 pm ET time slot.[2] It previously aired in the 9:30 pm ET time slot, beginning with its premiere, but later relocated with its fourth episode. On March 17, 2011, NBC renewed Community for a third season,[3] which premiered on September 22, 2011.[4] The series will go on an extended hiatus during NBC's midseason schedule, but will return at an undetermined time with all remaining episodes of the season airing.[5]



Community centers on Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), a suspended lawyer attending Greendale Community College after it is discovered that he falsely claimed to have a bachelor's degree. The series focuses on the experiences of Jeff and the study group he accidentally forms while pursuing Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), a former anarchist trying to get her life back on track. The other members of Jeff's study group include Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), a millionaire on a late-in-life voyage of self-discovery; Annie Edison (Alison Brie), a young straight-laced student and former prescription drug addict; Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), a former high school star quarterback-turned-nerd; Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), a single mother and vocal Christian going to school to jumpstart her brownie business; and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), a pop-culture-obsessed film student with an evident developmental disorder. The group originally unites as a study group for the Spanish 101 class taught by egomaniacal teacher Ben "Señor" Chang (Ken Jeong), and quickly become friends.

Cast and characters

The ensemble cast centers on Jeff, Britta, Troy, Abed, Pierce, Annie, and Shirley, members of a study group. Also recurring are unbalanced former Spanish instructor Señor Ben Chang (Ken Jeong), psychology professor Ian Duncan (John Oliver), whom Jeff once represented for a DUI, and the overwhelmed Dean, Craig Pelton (Jim Rash), who desperately wants his school to be more like a real university and goes to strenuous and excessive lengths to seem politically correct.


Most episodes feature titles designed to sound like the names of college courses such as "Introduction to Film", "Anthropology 101" and "Cooperative Calligraphy".[6] The first season premiered on September 17, 2009 in the 9:30 pm ET 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.[7] In January 2010, NBC ordered an additional three episodes for the first season, extending it to a total of 25 episodes.[8] On March 5, 2010, Community was renewed for a second season and premiered on September 23, 2010.[9] On March 17, 2011, NBC renewed Community for a third season.[3]


In addition to the regular episodes, NBC produced a series of webisodes. The newest ones are focused on the daily life of Dean Pelton. 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.[10]



Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, and Chevy Chase at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2010

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.[11] He had worked with several of the cast members earlier; Joel McHale, John Oliver, and Chevy Chase all had cameo roles in episode 9 of Water and Power, the short film series produced by Harmon for Channel 101.[12] Actor Chevy Chase had long been a favorite of Harmon. Though initially not very partial to sitcoms, Chase was persuaded to take the job by the quality of the show's writing.[11] 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."[13] 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.[13]

McHale, known from the E! comedy talk show The Soup, was also (like Chase) impressed by Harmon's writing. He commented that "Dan's script was so head and shoulders above everything else that I was reading."[14] McHale appealed to Harmon because of his likeable quality, which allowed the character to possess certain unsympathetic traits without turning the viewer against him.[13] 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.[13]


The premise of Community was based on Harmon's 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.[11] Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became closely connected 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 explains, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them."[13] With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been self-centered and independent to the extreme before he realized the value of connecting with other people.[13]

About the creative process behind the writing, Harmon says 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 work he had done, except for the length and the target demographic.[13]


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."[15] He also mentioned Joel McHale and Donald Glover, the actors who portray Jeff and Troy respectively, as adept improvisers.[14]

Theme song

The theme song of Community is "At Least It Was Here" by The 88. Additionally, the song "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare" by Matt & Kim is featured prominently in the pilot episode and in commercials.


The show's first season received mostly positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 based on 23 critics on Metacritic.[16] Notably, David Bushman (Curator, Television) of the Paley Center for Media called Community the best new show of the fall season.[17] 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."[18] The second season received very positive reviews, scoring 88 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic.[19] Emily Nussbaum of New York Magazine and Heather Havrilesky of rated Community as the best show of 2010.[20][21] 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".[22]

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%.[23]

Awards and nominations

The series received a nomination for Favorite New TV Comedy at the 36th People's Choice Awards.[24] At the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin received a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for "Introduction to Statistics".[25] At the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, the series received a nomination for Breakout Show and Ken Jeong was nominated for Breakout Star Male.[26] For Entertainment Weekly's 3rd Ewwy Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series,[27] Joel McHale was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy[28] and Danny Pudi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.[29] Betty White received a nomination for Favorite TV Guest Star at the 37th People's Choice Awards.[30] The series received a nomination for Best Directing for a Comedy Series at the The Comedy Awards.[31] The episode "Modern Warfare" won the 2010 Gold Derby TV Award for Comedy Episode of the Year.[32] 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.[33] The episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" won a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation.[34] IGN named Community the best comedy series in 2010.[35]


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 Episodes Timeslot (ET) Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1st 25 Thursday 9:30 pm (September 17, 2009 – October 1, 2009)
Thursday 8:00 pm (October 8, 2009 – May 20, 2010)
September 17, 2009 May 20, 2010 2009–10 #97[36] 5.00[36]
2nd 24 Thursday 8:00 pm September 23, 2010 May 12, 2011 2010–11 #115[37] 4.48[37]
3rd 22 Thursday 8:00 pm September 22, 2011 2011–12

International broadcast

In Australia, season one of Community premiered on Go! on March 23, 2010, airing Tuesdays at 9:00 pm.[38] The series was moved to Mondays at 8:30 pm on June 7, 2010.[39] The second season started airing in Australia with a double episode on November 30, 2010 on Go! airing Tuesdays at 9:30 pm. In the United Kingdom, the show began airing on October 5, 2010 on Viva, airing two episodes on Tuesdays at 10:00 pm.[40] In Latin America, it is aired on Sony Entertainment Television. In Canada, the show airs on Citytv, simsubbed with NBC in many areas. In New Zealand, season one of Community premiered on FOUR on February 7, 2011, airing Mondays at 8:00 pm.[41] In South Africa, the show airs on Vuzu, with the first season broadcast between April 7 and September 22, 2010, and the second season airing from February 2 to July 13, 2011.[42] It premiered in India on March 14, 2011, on STAR World India airing at 11:00 pm.



The first season was released in North America on DVD 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.[43]

The second season was released on DVD on September 6, 2011. It also 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".[44]


A soundtrack for the first season, titled Community (Music from the Original Television Series) was released on September 21, 2010[45] by Madison Gate Records.[46] The tracklist includes the main title theme, "At Least It Was Here" by The 88; original songs and incidental music composed for the show; and several songs were performed by the characters (a mix of original compositions and covers).

Track listing

Community (Music from the Original Television Series)
No. Title Artist Length
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 0:36
6. "Night Cap"   Jacques Slade 2:10
7. "The Way It Is"   Chevy Chase 0:59
8. "Community Medley"   Ludwig Göransson 4:37
9. "Somewhere Out There"   Donald Glover and Danny Pudi 2:09
10. "I Never Die"   Jacques Slade 1:50
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 0:46
16. "Some Worries"   Chevy Chase, Eric Olsen and Tom Wolfe 2:10
17. "If I Die Before You"   Ludwig Göransson 2:49
18. "At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)" (full-length version) The 88 2:50

Other tracks

music not on any released soundtrack
No. Title Writer(s) Episodes Length
1. "Greendale is Where I Belong" (Annie returns) Ludwig Göransson[47] 0125, 0217, etc. 1:34


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