COMMUNITY at TCA: Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


January 13, 2015 by  

Yahoo revived COMMUNITY for its sixth season, and the show’s cast and producers are at TCA to talk about the show’s uncancellation and upcoming season. Follow along for live updates…

9:02 AM: The panel is starting off with a sizzle reel that includes a March 17th premiere date. There will be two episodes launching then, and then one episode every Tuesday from then on.

9:04 AM: We’re getting a first look at season 6. Don’t want to spoil much, but they’re very unhappy about the lack of wifi.

9:07 AM: How down to the wire was the pickup from Yahoo? “It was literally hours, from our perspective,” Dan Harmon says. Chris McKenna says it came down to the last day, and they had three hours to pick up their writers’ options, etc. Harmon says everything came down to the last eight hours. And yes, Hulu was at one point a contender, but they don’t know why that fell apart.

9:09 AM: “I’m playing Shirley in this as well,” Joel McHale jokes about working on the layers of his character this season. He praises the “wonderful, great time” he’s having with new cast members of Paget Brewster and Keith David.

9:10 AM: “I’m definitely not writing this as if it’s the end,” Harmon says. “This show has lived by the sword of the very intimate relationship with fans…only when people stop watching would I want to stop making the project.” He says he has to continue to write the show as if it’s lasting 20 seasons.

9:11 AM: “I think he was talking about season 4?” Harmon jokes about the possibility of Chevy Chase returning to the show. But he says that if Pierce would be brought back to life, that would be something he would want to keep quiet.

9:13 AM: Why release the episodes weekly? “Well, the episodes are 70 hours apiece,” McHale jokes.

Seriously, Harmon says he worries about the content of the show, he’s not concerned about how it’s released. He’s putting it in Yahoo’s hand.

“Maybe old school is the best school,” Harmon says of releasing the episodes weekly.”It is for rap.”

9:15 AM: “This is the only series I know how to be on…we’ve been through so much, so to survive again,” Ken Jeong on getting picked up at the last minute.

“It felt like the worst had happened: we had finally been canceled by NBC,” Gillian Jacobs says.”I had mourned the show, I cried when we got canceled.” But, she notes, “we are a Phoenix, and we got resurrected.”

“It’ll be weird when we get canceled by the internet,” Harmon says. Jacobs jokes they can be a snapchat show.

9:18 AM: “We shoot in a basement,” Jacobs says of their new lot. (They’re filming under PARKS AND REC.)

After McHale shares that Harmon goes around set on a segway, Harmon says, “I’m always looking for new ways to be a tool.”

9:19 AM: “We’re shooting outside for the first time in years,” McHale says. The new lot provides that opportunity.

9:20 AM: “That goes away, and the corset loosens a little bit,” Harmon says of not airing on a network.

9:21 AM: Harmon notes he wanted to be careful with bringing two new characters on the show — he didn’t want them to be gimmicky. What they did was put characters “with potential” and put them with the original gang.

Brewster’s character is a “problem-solver”…she’s been hired to “wrangle the problems at Greendale and fix them.” David’s character is a computer programmer who “wasted a lot of time in virtual reality in the ’90s.”

9:23 AM: Harmon says the relationship with Sony is good…they’ve been around so long that those who started off as newbies in season 1 are now the vets.

“Sony is this chamber that galvanizes this content,” Harmon says of them keeping it alive. “They see only one possible success for this content, which is global. It’s a good kind of studio to have on your side.”

9:25 AM: Harmon says there are still notes, and he’s not upset by it, since it’s generally by someone who is invested in making it better. And while they now have the freedom to do different things online, they don’t want to make it too different.

9:27 AM: Harmon declines to talk about the NBC comedy ratings, but he admits he is happy his show wasn’t the only one that was going down. That said, “I don’t pleasure in other creatives’ pain. I would love for SELFIE to run 100 episodes.”

9:29 AM: How long will the episodes run? They haven’t locked in anything yet, but due to syndication, there will need to be some format that can exist in a 20-minute format.

9:30 AM: Jacobs says that as much as she likes the newbies, she’s delighted by how much she still enjoys working with the original cast.

“I’ll work with anyone if the money is right,” McHale says.

“We laugh, because it’s true,” Jacobs adds.

9:32 AM: They’re still working out the formats of the ads, etc.

9:34 AM: Less likely to get John Oliver and Jonathan Banks back next season. Harmon says that because of Donald Glover’s exit, they had to drop the ball a bit on Jeff being a teacher, and they heard the feedback — it’ll be coming back next season.

9:36 AM: How will the show handle any other departures? Harmon says they’ve been forced to learn how to survive whenever cast leaves. McHale says that because the scripts are so good, it doesn’t feel so odd.

9:39 AM: How is Shirley leaving? “There is a satisfaction to [her exit] I don’t want to spoil,” Harmon says.

9:41 AM: The upcoming season is less high-concept and more exploring the characters themselves. Harmon says he’s still looking into doing something in the final episodes, if they can manage the budget.

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