The very excellent Megan Ganz has left Community to write for Modern Family

One of Community's most notable and popular writers, Megan Ganz, has announced in a Reddit post that she's taken a position at ABC's Modern Family. While it's sad to see her go, it's hard to blame her for leaving when there is constantly a question about Community's future. But at least we'll get to see two more episodes in Season 4 that were written by Ganz, and she'll be staying on to oversee the editing of those two episodes ("Paranormal Parentage" and the season finale, "Advanced Introduction to Finality"). Said the scribe:

We filmed the bottle episode in chronological order so this was the first line that we shot and I remember sitting at the monitors at 7am on the first day thinking, "If they call action and no one runs in here screaming 'stop the TV-equivalent of presses,' then I will have written a line that will appear on a television show. I'll be a television writer." And the director did call action–as they do–and so I was. Just like that. ...

This isn't the end of me and Greendale. Community was my world for four seasons and my job for three, and has hold of my whole heart like a bad-news high school boyfriend. I'll never really get away. The chemistry is too perfect and the writing room couches aren't really that uncomfortable to sleep on and I just can't stop writing for Britta. Plus I still have to do my editing pass on the finale. I think I left a box in my office, too. Bobrow probably misses me. Better stop by on my way home.

Ganz's voice on Community will definitely be missed, but I prefer to see her gainfully employed rather than suddenly silenced or underutilized. I will probably also really, truly have to start watching Modern Family now.

(via Splitsider)

Photo of Megan Ganz and Annie's Boobs via Community Wiki

Rumor: Jimmy Fallon to take over The Tonight Show in 2014?

Apparently, there are some "rumblings" (a professional show business term) that NBC is looking at Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show when the latter's contract is up in 2014. Unless, you know, NBC changes their mind and just lets Jay Leno stay on. Again. (via New York Daily News)

The first-ever convention celebrating Community is taking place in February!

Attention Community fans who live in or are willing to visit the Los Angeles area: CommuniCon, the first convention devoted entirely to the excellent (but neglected) show is taking place February 9-10, 2013 at Los Angeles City College, where they happen to shoot a lot of exteriors for the show! (Not to be confused with CommuniCon, Inc.) Some of the details have yet to be decided on, but Dan Harmon and the cast are expected to be in attendance. Also worth mentioning: Community is returning to NBC on Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 PM, its old time slot (replacing 30 Rock)! News I missed while I waited for my power to come back on after Hurricane Sandy, but better a whole entire month late than never! (via CommuniCon Tumblr)

Alec Baldwin sends the saddest tweet ever about 30 Rock

Guys, it's really going to be ending soon. Alec Baldwin sent this profoundly monumental message (at least for 30 Rock fans) this afternoon, reminding everyone that there is, indeed, a limited amount of episodes of NBC's 30 Rock left. But before we mourn, tonight is the episode in which Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) gets married to Criss Chross (James Marsden). Visit Flavorwire if you will be throwing a cocktail party, because they have some fancy mixed drinks just for the occasion! (via Alec Baldwin on Twitter, Flavorwire)

Chevy Chase is off Community, effective immediately

While reports say that the decision was mutual, Chevy Chase has made a deal with NBC to leave Community and never come back. Chase had filmed the majority of the fourth season's episodes, but there is no word yet on how the absence of his character, Pierce Hawthorne, will be addressed. Everyone who enjoyed his voicemails and borderline racist behavior will miss him dearly. (via Deadline)

Parks and Rec goes to Washington, Mr. Biden goes to Parks and Rec

What's one of the most fun benefits of taking a show about local politics national? Cameos! Parks and Recreation has taken such a turn this season, with Adam Scott's character, Ben, taking a job on Capitol Hill. And Ben will be responsible for bringing a very recognizable gentleman to meet his fiancée, Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler -- Vice President Joe Biden! Fresh off of re-election, Biden -- an object of Knope's affections -- will make a brief cameo at the beginning of the episode airing next Thursday, November 15 at 9:30 PM (Eastern). This year's season premiere featured appearances by Senators Olympia Snowe, Barbara Boxer, and John McCain, so Parks and Recreation is clearly the place to be if you're a politician reminding people that you have a sense of humor or you're taking a victory lap. (If Paul Ryan had been the VP-elect, he obviously would have been in last week's episode. He's that fast!) Entertainment Weekly has clips.

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

(via Entertainment Weekly)

NBC's Up All Night gets more episodes, is changing completely (again)

This kind of thing is usually reserved for sweeps week, but it's not a stunt: NBC's single-camera comedy Up All Night, starring Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph, will be changing mid-season to a multi-camera format with a live studio audience. It's not even the first huge change the show has seen in its second season; the premise last year involved Applegate's character working for Rudolph's talk show, Ava, while Arnett's character took on the role of stay-at-home dad. This season, Ava was canceled, Arnett went back to work, and Applegate is now a stay-at-home mom. Okay, acceptable to flip a storyline on its head to change things up. And now, it will be an entirely different show.

The show will run through December, fulfilling its original 11-episode order as a single-camera show. In February, it will return to production for five more episodes as a multi-camera show. This was all based on an idea by executive producer Lorne Michaels, who thought this might be a good idea based on the strong performances by Applegate and Rudolph when they (separately) hosted Saturday Night Live.

While it's rare for a show to basically turn itself inside out, it does happen. Deadline points out that Happy Days was shot in multi-camera format until its third season, when it made the same exact switch as Up All Night. (The laugh track it used for the first two seasons was just canned dead people.) They also did away with one whole family member. So, the next thing we can expect to happen on Up All Night -- the long-awaited return of Chuck Cunningham! I called it!

Photo credit: NBC

(via Deadline)

NBC will air the pilot of its Munsters remake, Mockingbird Lane as a Halloween special

In case you were curious about Bryan Fuller's updated Munsters series, Mockingbird Lane -- and you might be, because Eddie Izzard is in it -- you will get the chance to watch the pilot this Friday, October 26 at 8:00 PM EST on NBC. It's being sold as a one-shot Halloween special until the network decides whether or not this thing might stick. Until then, it's pretty much in limbo. But hey, it's nice of NBC to give this new show a shot! By the way, Community is still off the air. That was supposed to come back last week, but it was bumped. Indefinitely. Yup. Still. (via Nerd Bastards)

NBC delays Community -- so it can actually promote it

While everyone is enthusiastically awaiting the return of NBC's Community this fall, news broke today that the network was delaying its fourth season premiere indefinitely. Now, when I first read this, my first thought -- and many probably thought the same -- was that NBC was screwing over Community, yet again. But, as it turns out, it's the total opposite. Instead of just taking it off the schedule, launching it into further obscurity so it can die a quiet death, the network wants to put the proper spotlight on it and spend more time marketing it.

NBC released a statement saying that their current lineup of new shows is benefiting from their attention, so they've chosen to shelf the premieres of both Community and Whitney, which were originally going to premiere next Friday.

"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."

So, it's very nice of NBC to spare Community from being overshadowed by all the marketing they'll be doing for their new shows. It's also amazingly ironic, considering how they have had Community on their channel for three years and barely promoted it at all, then wondered why the ratings were so bad, and then banished it to Friday nights next to one of its most reviled new shows. So, now they're going to take the time to promote it? I suppose that if it has to be on Friday nights, it's a good thing they're finally going to give it the attention it deserves. But isn't that like having an aunt who says you never, ever visit her, then when she ends up in the hospital and you realize she might die, you go see her once -- for your own peace of mind?

NBC -- your best fair-weather nephew. Check this space for the new premiere dates.

Photo credit: Trae Patton for NBC

NBC Delays 'Community,' 'Whitney' Returns [The Hollywood Reporter]

NBC's The Office will end this season

One of television's most successful adaptations of a British show is finally coming to an end. Currently filming its ninth season, The Office will not be back next year, but its original showrunner, Greg Daniels, will return to cap this thing off. What does this mean? Probably guest stars, guest stars, guest stars -- but not necessarily in front of the camera. Like Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who is directing an episode of the show's final season today. And Steve Carell will likely make an appearance. Was this ending overdue? Maybe. But there will be two undeniably gaping holes on Thursday nights when this and 30 Rock are both gone. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

Update: NBC wins Michael J. Fox's sitcom -- and orders a full series

Last week, we heard about Michael J. Fox's new sitcom project, how happy this will make everyone, and how badly all the major networks wanted their hands on it. Well, NBC has won this bidding war, and will go straight to series, ordering 22 episodes of the show before a pilot has even been made. Fox will make his comeback on NBC next fall, about 30 years after he became the star of the same network's Family Ties. I'll say it: This is heavy. (via Gawker)

NBC's Stars Earn Stripes might be the bastard child of The Hunger Games, Idiocracy, and Tropic Thunder

NBC is taking advantage of its Olympics coverage by promoting its new fall and late summer shows. A particularly unnerving one is for a show called Stars Earn Stripes, a new reality/competition show hosted by former presidential candidate and Army general Wesley Clark that takes D-list celebrities and puts them through very realistic military exercises with real military personnel. Almost every single part of that sentence felt weird to type, but it gets even more uncomfortable when you realize that NBC was essentially plucking (or, rather, reaping) semi-famous people from their relative obscurity and making them engage in combat with each other -- not unlike The Hunger Games, which are not supposed to be real. And even though the contestants don't have to actually kill each other, the idea is to see who can perform on the same level as a soldier of the U.S. military by making them go through the same exercises as the actual U.S. military. The military is entertainment now. Entertainment is the military. Welcome to Idiocracy! It finally, actually happened.

(Should I mention how NBC is partly owned by GE, and GE has over a billion dollars in defense contracts? That's not weird, right?)

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NBC announces its depressing plan to become the network of the lowest common denominator

In an incredibly disheartening interview with Time Magazine, NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt has announced that in light of the low ratings for uniquely creative and fun shows like Community, the network will focus on making "broad" sitcoms in an attempt to grow its audience. Because what's the point of making good TV shows if no one is watching them, and why not just make tons and tons of unfunny shows that people will watch and then forget about? Good strategy, NBC.

Except all those viewers you think you aren't watching shows like Community, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock? All those viewers in that sexy 18-49 demographic? Neilsen isn't reporting them because all that TV watching is happening online. Have you checked your Hulu traffic? Because you might be surprised... No, Hulu is on the computer. That sleek-looking machine sitting on the desk, with the screen. Have one of the interns turn it on for you so you can see what I'm talking about.

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Comcast eats NBC: every media mega-merger needs a cautionary infographic

comcastgrafism.jpg

Click for large-size. From Josh Stearns of Free Press.