The cast of "Community" won't be on NBC tonight, but they do appear in a new online video explaining why not.
As "Community" fans are well aware, the ratings-challenged show, which previously aired Thursdays, was originally scheduled to return for its fourth season tonight in a less-than-wonderful Friday time slot.
But NBC dashed those plans earlier this month, saying it would delay the premieres of "Community" and "Whitney," which was to be paired with "Community" on Fridays, so it could focus on promoting its new shows. It also said it would have the two comedies "in our back pocket if we need to make any schedule changes" — a euphemism for "cancellations."
On Thursday, NBC pulled "Whitney" from that back pocket to replace the canceled Wednesday show "Animal Practice." "Whitney" will air Wednesdays beginning Nov. 14.
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But that leaves no show to fill out the 8 o'clock hour with "Community" on Fridays. So "Community" may need a new Friday partner, or may move to earlier in the week to replace a future canceled show.
It's also possible — we're just saying — that it could be canceled before it even airs. (NBC previously moved "Southland" to Fridays for its second season before deciding not to air it. TNT picked it up.)
NBC hasn't responded to queries about the fate of "Community."
The "Community" cast aren't the only ones who seem less than thrilled about the uncertain fate of the show. Creator Dan Harmon, who was fired as show runner after last season, also weighed in on Twitter with a dig at NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt.
"Take heart today, Communifans. To quote a great man, 'The show has its faithful audience and they will follow it to the ends of the Earth,'" Harmon tweeted. "(That quote was from NBC's Bob Greenblatt, who then literally moved the show to the end of Earth.)"