Like the show is somehow living in an alternate reality that is kind to low-rated comedy shows, Community has survived it all. While so many other sitcoms have been dying these past few television seasons (Manhattan Love Story, A to Z, Bad Judge and Selfie have all gotten the axe this season already, while Mulaney has essentially been cancelled) Community will be back in the new year with thirteen new episodes, and new jokes to make about its online format, I’m sure.
But that’s not the only thing that’s changing about the show, with the addition of Paget Brewster and Keith David to its sixth season cast. Over the last few seasons, the show has lost Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, John Oliver and Jonathan Banks, with it also being recently announced that Yvette Nichole Brown would not be returning for the sixth season either. With Brown’s character Shirley being a particular loss, the cast has been beefed up — because six people (and that’s generously including Chang and Dean Pelton) just don’t quite fill out that study group table.
Community has proved adept at adding on new cast members in the past and both Brewster (Criminal Minds) and David (Enlisted) are skilled actors, with Brewster having already been a guest star on the show as the head of IT in season five’s “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking.” But I’m sure there’ll be a joke about that.
The Hollywood Reporter has details on both of the new cast members’ roles, with Brewster reportedly playing “Francesca ‘Frankie’ Dart, a consultant brought in to help shape up the school,” while David is set to play “Elroy Patashnik, a retired scientist who is reinventing himself.”
While all this might cause a little nervousness about the show and what other changes fans should expect, creator Dan Harmon talked to Yahoo TV back in August about the future of the show at its new home. And while he’s interested in the new medium and its freedom (for more interaction, perhaps), he made it clear that the tone of Community will remain the same.
So, we can look forward to seeing Brewster and David being thrown into the messy, meta world that we all know to be Community. Six Seasons and Movie, friends.