October 08, 2012 5:51pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Delays 'Community,' 'Whitney' Returns
Community fans are going to have to wait a bit longer to see the cult comedy return to NBC.
The network on Monday pushed the fourth-season premiere of the Joel McHale comedy -- as well as sophomore comedy Whitney -- from their scheduled Oct. 19 airdate to a date to be determined. A source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that the delay is intended to allow time for both series to receive an additional marketing push.
"Given the success we’ve had for the past four weeks -- including winning the first week of the season in adults 18-49 -- we’ve decided to continue to concentrate our promotional strength on our new NBC shows that are scheduled Monday through Wednesday and have therefore decided to hold Community and Whitney from their previously announced premieres of Oct. 19," NBC said in a statement. "Without having to launch these comedies on Friday at this time, we can keep our promotion focused on earlier in the week; plus, we will have both comedies in our back pocket if we need to make any schedule changes on those nights. When we have a better idea of viewing patterns in the next few weeks, we will announce new season premieres of Whitney and Community."
Community is preparing to head into its first season without showrunner-creator Dan Harmon, under the leadership of executive producers David Guarascio and Moses Port. The isn't the first time the series' return has been delayed. Last year, the critical darling but ratings underperformer was left off NBC's midseason schedule, resulting in a wave of tweets from the show's cast and creators to voice their displeasure with the move.
Whitney, meanwhile, was renewed for a second season in May after averaging a 2.2 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. NBC shifted the comedy to Fridays this fall.
No return date has been determined for either comedy. Grimm repeats will air in the 8-9 p.m. Friday slot in the meantime, leading in to new episodes of the sophomore sci-fi procedural.
For its part, NBC has found success this season with three freshman series already securing full-season orders: Monday drama Revolution and Tuesday comedies Go On and The New Normal.