"Community" star Jim Rash says the NBC comedy's cast is "optimistic" that it will return despite the network pulling it from its midseason schedule.
NBC has said it expects to bring back the Thursday night show, which uses the exploits of a community college study group to jump off into bizarre and ambitious methods of storytelling. "30 Rock" will take over its 8 p.m. time slot in January.
"It's frustrating, but we're remaining optimistic and taking them at their word that we'll be back, and we're still shooting and continue to finish out our 22 [episodes for the season] and look forward to actually coming back," he told TheWrap.
Rash, whose character was recurring in the show's first two seasons, was elevated to a regular member of the cast with the current, third season.
Rash said the show's Christmas episode will be the last before "Community' goes on a midseason break -- and will be on par with past holiday episodes. The show won an Emmy for one in which the cast was rendered in clay, in the style of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
He said the episode, airing in December, will "remind people what's so great about this show."
"We're all making a valiant push here to keep our show around," he said. "The spirits seem pretty good. It was obviously deflating at first because we're so proud of what we're doing," he said.
He also repeated frequent complaints from fans and show creator Dan Harmon that the show's overnight Nielsen numbers don't reflect its fan base, because it is especially popular online and on-demand.
"We're also victims of, in my opinion, sort of an antiquated way of figuring out what people are watching," he said. "It doesn't really make sense anymore in that way that our world has evolved."
Asked if the show may have hurt itself this season by getting too clever -- in one episode, for example, slightly different actions by the characters split their world into several different realities -- he said the show has balanced such wild storylines with basic character development.
"It's at its core doing what all shows do, which is introducing you to characters, showing you what they're going through, building on them, evolving them in such a way that you grow fond of them," he said.
Rash is also the co-writer of the new Alexander Payne film "The Descendants." Look for TheWrap's interview with him about the film soon.