The upheaval continues on the set of NBC’s “Community.” According to New York magazine's Vulture site, actor Donald Glover will appear in only five of 13 episodes on the upcoming fifth season of the beloved show. Glover’s limited availability is reportedly due to his burgeoning music career, where he performs under the name Childish Gambino.
Glover plays Troy Barnes on "Community" and is frequently paired with Danny Pudi, who plays Abed. The duo’s chemistry quickly became one of the most popular elements of the NBC series. It remains to be seen how Glover’s reduced presence will affect the dynamic of the fifth season.
Showrunner Dan Harmon doesn’t appear to be worried. As the New York Times points out, Harmon alluded to the news on Monday night with a tweet that reads, “Listen. It's Community. The day it’s quiet is the day we need to panic. #sixseasonsandamovie #bestonecoming.” The latest news will undoubtedly come as a blow to fans of the show, which premiered in 2009 and enjoys a feverishly devoted cult following, but has struggled to pull decent ratings.
Behind the scenes, the show has been in a constant state of flux. Harmon, the series creator, was fired after the third season due to conflicts with NBC. "I would have fired me," he told KCRW's The Business last August, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Sony was always so bummed out about the way I wrote and thought, and they always fantasized about doing the show without me."
Cast member Chevy Chase departed after the fourth season as a result of a highly publicized feud with Harmon and complaints about the quality of the show.
Last month, NBC and Sony announced that they had signed new deals to bring back Harmon and executive producer Chris McKenna for the fifth season.
Glover, NBC and Sony have not yet commented on the news that the actor-comedian will appear in only five episodes next season.