Dan Harmon and His Writers Treated ‘Community’s Season Premiere Like “A New Pilot for a New Show”
When Community returns for its fifth season, it’s going to be a pretty different show. Season 5 is bringing about the return of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, who was fired following the third season and sat out the critically-maligned fourth. Harmon and his writing staff are approaching season 5 as if they’re creating an all new show, in order to keep Community fresh amidst casting changes like Chevy Chase having left and Donald Glover’s exit impending as well as the season four decision to have Jeff graduate. The first new episode, written by Harmon and seasons 1-3 right-hand man Chris McKenna, is even called “Repilot.”
Here’s Harmon explaining the change to The NY Times:
We decided that it made the most sense for us to pretend that we were writing a new pilot for a new show about a lawyer who had once gone to a community college, but was a very poor community college, with a bunch of people that he loved a lot. He had become a pretty bad lawyer by virtue of becoming a better person, and an opportunity comes up for him to return to school. As in the pilot in the first season, he’s coming there with nefarious motivations. It’s also reintroducing all of the characters as if they were new characters coming back to this place as well, and giving them all new places to stay.