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One of the best and, surprisingly, underrated new shows of the season, Community, still hasn’t been picked up for a second season by NBC. The problem? Selling soap.
Community features the “biggest band of misfit schoolmates since The Breakfast Club,” which finds itself alluded to more than once on the show. Their leader, Jeff, is an ex-lawyer (The Soup’s Joel McHale) who’s more interested in the social aspects of community college than making the grade.
Jeff’s friends at Greendale Community College include Britta (Gillian Jacobs), the object of his attention; Abed (Danny Pudi), a pop culture junkie; perfectionist teen Annie (Alison Brie); jock Troy (Donald Glover) and Pierce (Chevy Chase), the oldest member of the group. The show also stars Ken Jeong who plays mean-spirited Spanish professor Senor Chang.
The show’s gotten critical support but when it comes to viewers, but Community falls in the middle of the 130 network programs on the five networks.
Last week, from 8-8:30 p.m. ET, Community (2.3/7 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) matched its highest 18-49 rating since January 14 and is currently reporting its biggest overall audience since that same date. Thursday’s Valentine ‘s Day themed episode was up 35 percent versus NBC’s 18-49 average in the time period this season prior to the Community debut in the slot (2.3 vs. 1.7).
Community is currently No.2 among the major networks in the slot behind only CBS’s reality series Survivor. It’s premiere scored well with adults 18-49, adults 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54 and women 18-34 and is No.1 in men 18-34.
“I am really proud of the work we are doing, and I feel like the people who are supposed to find the show will find the show,” says Yvette Nicole Brown who plays the middle-aged divorcee student. “I am happy NBC gave us a full year and I hope viewers will find us.”
“Casting was 95 percent of putting the show together,” said series creator Dan Harmon.
Community was inspired by the “emotional punch” of Harmon’s experience at Glendale Community College, north of Los Angeles. Enrolling four years ago at age 32 to study Spanish with his girlfriend, he found himself drawn into the lives of fellow students as he helped them with classwork.