November 21, 2012 2:26pm PT by Philiana Ng , Lesley Goldberg
Chevy Chase Leaves 'Community'
Say goodbye to Pierce Hawthorne.
After more than three seasons, Community is parting ways with Chevy Chase through mutual agreement, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. He leaves the NBC half-hour comedy effective immediately.
The majority of Community's episode order for season four already has been filmed, with one or two episodes yet to be produced. It is unclear whether Chase's departure will be written into the show. No other cast departures are expected and, Chase's exit is not believed to impact production.
Expect to see Chase appear in the season finale. Writer Megan Ganz tweeted on Nov. 12 a photo of the cast, including the comedy vet, in Greendale's study room: "Day one of shooting the finale. I couldn't ask for a better group."
The news doesn't come as a surprise as Chase has had a roller-coaster relationship with the NBC series as he grew frustrated with the direction his character was taking. Most recently in October, the actor used an N-word on-set when questioning dialogue in a scene, then "immediately" apologized to the cast.
Chase also clashed with Community creator Dan Harmon, who was replaced as showrunner with Moses Port and David Gaurascio weeks after leaking an angry voicemail from the 69-year-old actor that surfaced on the web in the spring.
Chase's departure marks the latest in a string of speed bumps for the fourth season of the Joel McHale-led comedy. The perennial bubble show from Sony Pictures Television was renewed at the eleventh hour in May and originally slotted for Fridays this fall. NBC, in a move designed to properly promote the show's return, pushed its original return date from Oct. 19 and slotted the cult favorite to its original home at 8 p.m. Thursdays starting Feb. 7.
SPT and NBC declined comment.