Community fans, have you been following all of today’s totally bizarre news? First, we heard that Canada’s Citytv would be premiering Season 4 next Friday, November 9th. That would have surely meant Canadians would see the new episodes before US viewers — and also that many of the show’s cultish American fans would be downloading them well before they aired on NBC. We knew the network wasn’t exactly behind the show, but would they really let their ratings take that much of a hit? As it turns out, nope: Citytv updated its site with news that Community wouldn’t return until January 11, 2013. And then it backpedaled again, clarifying that “NO START DATE HAS BEEN SET YET FOR THE RETURN OF COMMUNITY.”
This may have something to do with why we finally have a US premiere date for Season 4. Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on Community, announced via Twitter, “Guys,
#Community officially has an airdate: Thursday, February 7th at 8pm!” Her co-stars Joel McHale and Alison Brie have also tweeted the update (although Brie was careful to include the disclaimer “for now” in her message). Aside from the bad news that we’ll have to wait over three more months to watch such seasonally appropriate fare as the Halloween and Christmas episodes, it’s encouraging to see Community move out of its Whitney-adjacent Friday-night death slot and back onto the Thursday lineup, where it will apparently replace 3o Rock after its abbreviated final season ends. Then again, Thursdays at 8pm aren’t exactly wide open for sitcoms — just like last year, Community will be up against CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, whose enormous audience will almost certainly cut into its viewership.