“Community” may be getting a sixth season by way of Yahoo Screen, but the community on the show just got a bit smaller -- again. E! News is reporting that Yvette Nicole Brown will not be returning for the new season, a blow for fans excited for what, essentially, is a bonus season of the cult favorite series.
Brown played the role of Shirley Bennett on the show and was a regular since Season 1. Her character was a business major at Greendale Community College where she played a maternal role in the main group of characters. Bennett was a devout Christian who was often hilariously hostile about her beliefs. Executive Producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna have not yet announced how Bennett will be written out of the show.
So why is Bennett leaving? My dad needs daily care and he needs me," Brown told TVGuide.com. "The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn't do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad."
“Community” will have to carry on without Bennett in Season 6, though this is not the first time the show has had to deal with a notable cast departure. Series regulars Donald Glover and Chevy Chase (who played Troy Barnes and Pierce Hawthorne on the show, respectively) both left “Community” in Season 5.
“Community” originally premiered on NBC in 2009. While never amassing big ratings, the show sustained a vocal cult fan base and critical acclaim during its five seasons on the network. After NBC cancelled the show in May 2014, Yahoo Screen bought and renewed the show for a sixth season. Fans can look forward to new episodes in 2015, but, unfortunately, they will come without the talents of Yvette Nicole Brown.
How much will you miss Brown’s Shirley Bennett? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.