The third season of the television comedy series Community premiered on September 22, 2011 on NBC, and airs on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. In this Season, Jeff is in therapy, Britta has chosen her major, Annie finally moves out of Dildopolis, Troy is pressured to join a powerful secret society, Abed's grip on reality becomes tenuous, Shirley experiences a major change in her personal and professional lives, and Pierce deals with his father issues. NBC announced on May 10 the show was renewed for a fourth Season and Season Three concluded a week later on May 17 .
The Darker Side of CommunityEditIn a TV Guide interview, creator Dan Harmon promised a more serialized aproach to the stroytelling in Season Three, fewer "themed" episodes and hinted at the personal struggles each character would have to face. In September 2011, NBC posted a trailer promoting the show called "The Darker Side of Community". Using footage from previous Seasons it presented the comedy in a dramatic fashion teasing the darkness to come in Season Three.
On November 14, 2011, NBC announced their mid-season schedule and it was revealed that "Community" would not immediately return and was instead put on hiatus to come back sometime at a later date. This was done to make room for the returning "30 Rock" to take its 8:00PM EST time slot and to also move the new show "Up All Night" to Thursday from its Wednesday slot. A PSA was created by the online comedy site College Humor featuring the cast of Community. Joel McHale and Jim Rash would later appear in a NBC promo poking fun at the show and the hiatus.
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Fans of Community immediately began to refer to the hiatus as "The Darkest Timeline". Many of them began internet campaigns championing the show and demonstrating their support on social network sites with the rallying cry being #sixseasonsandamovie. On December 22, 2011 and January 20, 2012 flash mobs were organized by fans through facebook and other Community fansites appearing in front of NBC studios at Rockefeller Center.
The show returnsEditOn February 21, 2012, NBC made the announcement that "Community" would be returning March 15th to its regular time slot at 8:00PM. A trailer was released to promote the show's return. The shows first episode back, "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts", earned it a 2.2/7 ratings among the 18-49 demographic. This was its highest ratings since Season One.
TV Guide coverEditDuring the Community's haitus, TV Guide ran a fan poll on Facebook to determine which of the ten fan favorite shows selected would get the cover of an upcoming issue. On November 29, TV Guide Editor-In-Chief Debra Birnbaum contacted the cast via video that "Community" had won. Three variant covers were produced for the December issue of TV Guide as seen below.
- Joel McHale as Jeff Winger
- Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry
- Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett
- Donald Glover as Troy Barnes
- Alison Brie as Annie Edison
- Ken Jeong as Ben Chang
- Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne
- Jim Rash as Dean Craig Pelton
- Mel Rodriguez as Sgt. Nunez (2 episodes)
- John Goodman as Vice Dean Robert Laybourne (2 episode)
- Michael K. Williams as Professor Marshall Kane (1 episode)
- Martin Starr as Professor Cligoris (1 episode)
- Richard Erdman as Leonard Briggs (1 episode)
- Dino Stamatopoulos as Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne (1 episode)
- Erik Charles Nielsen as Garrett Lambert (1 episode)
- Irene Choi as Annie Kim (1 episode)
List of Season Three episodesEdit
|"Biology 101"||September 22, 2011|
|Directed by: Anthony Russo - Written by: Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman
The study group enrolls in a new class while dealing with the return of Pierce as well as Jeff's increasingly erratic behavior. Meanwhile, Dean Pelton decides to assert his authority over Vice Dean Laybourne and the Greendale Air Conditioning Annex.
|"Geography of Global Conflict"||September 29, 2011|
|Directed by: Joe Russo - Written by: Andy Bobrow
With the help of Jeff and the study group, Annie faces off against a new rival in a model UN showdown. Meanwhile, newly appointed security guard Chang must deal with Britta, who has returned to her activist ways.
|"Remedial Chaos Theory"||October 13, 2011|
|Directed by: Jeff Melman - Written by: Chris McKenna|
|"Competitive Ecology"||October 6, 2011|
|Directed by: Anthony Russo - Written by: Maggie Bandur
The study group spends the entire night trying to decide their lab partners while Greendale's newest campus security guard Ben Chang investigates a vast conspiracy.
|"Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps"||October 27, 2011|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Dan Harmon
When Britta discovers that an anonymous personality test suggests that one of them is a homicidal maniac, she convinces each of the study group members to tell a scary story in order to determine who the possible killer is.
|"Advanced Gay"||November 3, 2011|
|Directed by: Joe Russo - Written by: Matt Murray
Pierce discovers that Hawthorne Wipes have become very popular in the gay community and decides to capitalize on it with a new product and a "Gay Bash" event to be held at Greendale. Meanwhile, Troy finds himself having to choose between being a plumber or an air conditioning repair man.
|"Studies in Modern Movement"||November 10, 2011|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Adam Countee
The study group helps Annie move her belongings into Troy and Abed's apartment. Meanwhile, Jeff is blackmailed by Dean Pelton into spending time with him at the mall.
|"Documentary Filmmaking: Redux"||November 17, 2011|
|Directed by: Joe Russo - Written by: Megan Ganz|
|"Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism"||December 1, 2011|
|Directed by: Anthony Russo - Written by: Chris Kula
After Jeff challenges three transfer students to a Foosball game he asks Shirley to train him for the game. Annie accidently breaks Abed's new special edition of The Dark Knight DVD.
|"Regional Holiday Music"||December 8, 2011|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Steve Basilone and Annie Mebane
After the Greendale Glee Club is sidelined, Abed falls under the influence of its musical director Cory "Mr.Rad" Radisson and gradually recruits the other members of the study group to replace them in the upcoming the Holiday Musical.
|"Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts"||March 15, 2012|
|Directed by: Kyle Newacheck - Written by: Vera Santamaria
Andre re-proposes to Shirley and Britta and Annie quickly begin making arrangements for the wedding. Jeff must write a speech, and Troy and Abed attempt to become "normal" for the wedding. Pierce and Shirley try to get a sandwich shop installed in the cafeteria.
|"Contemporary Impressionists"||March 22, 2012|
|Directed by: Kyle Newacheck - Written by: Alex Cooley
Jeff begins experiencing extreme narcissism. The group helps Abed get out of debt by impersonating various celebrities at a Bar Mitzvah.
|"Digital Exploration of Interior Design"||March 29, 2012|
|Directed by: Dan Eckman - Written by: Chris McKenna
A new Subway shop opens in the cafeteria, and Shirley, Pierce, and Britta attempt to sabotage it. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed build competing blanket forts.
|"Pillows And Blankets"||April 5 2012|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Andy Bobrow
What started as a casual disagreement about blankets and pillows blossoms into all-out war on the Greendale campus.
|"Origins of Vampire Mythology"||April 12, 2012|
|Directed by: Steven Tsuchida - Written by: Dan Harmon
Annie, Troy, and Abed try to help Britta avoid an old flame who has returned to town while Jeff and Shirley set out to catch a glimpse of the mystery man. Elsewhere, Laybourne turns to Dean Pelton for help with his pursuit of Troy.
|"Virtual Systems Analysis"||April 26,2012|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Matt Murray
Annie and Abed spend some quality time together in the Dreamatorium for a simulation of "Inspector Spacetime." The exercise takes a turn toward the serious, however, with examinations of the study group and insight into Abed's personality.
|"Basic Lupine Urology"||April 26, 2012|
|Directed by: Rob Shrab - Written by: Megan Ganz
In an homage to "Law & Order'", the study group investigates a crime when someone sabotages their Biology lab experiment. When they discover the perp, Annie plans on prosecuting them to the fullest extent of Greendale's Code of Conduct.
|"Course Listing Unavailable"||May 3, 2012|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Tim Saccardo
As the study group comes to terms with the death of a classmate, Britta acts as grief counselor to the study group. Meanwhile, Chang is on a mission to increase his policing powers at the school.
|"Curriculum Unavailable"||May 10, 2012|
|Directed by: Adam Davidson - Written by: Adam Countee
After the study group's expulsion from school, Abed becomes convinced that Dean Pelton is an impostor. When he is caught on the Greendale campus investigating him, he is forced to receive psychiatric treatment from Dr. Heidi or face trespassing charges.
|"Digital Estate Planning"||May 17, 2012|
|Directed by: Adam Davidson - Written by: Matt Warburton
Pierce and the study group pay a visit to Hawthorne Enterprises after Pierce is summoned to discuss his inheritance with his deceased father's former right-hand man, Gilbert Lawson. The study group goes with him for moral support and must all pitch in to play the video game of their life on Pierce's behalf - or risk losing his inheritance.
|"First Chang Dynasty"||May 17, 2012|
|Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar - Written by: Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson
The study group mobilizes to save Greendale and rescue a captive Dean Pelton from Chang who, along with his security force, has taken over the school. Meanwhile, Troy turns to the Air Conditioning Repair Annex to get assistance for their plans.
|"Introduction to Finality"||May 17, 2012|
|Directed by: Tristram Shapeero - Written by: Steve Basilone and Annie Mebane
'Shirley and Pierce have a disagreement over their sandwich shop leading to a showdown between their lawyers Jeff and his former colleague Alan Connor in the "Greendale Summer Fun Court". Meanwhile, Vice Dean Laybourne tells Troy about his destiny at the Air Conditioning Repair Annex.