For the Community panel, actors Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, show creator Dan Harmon, writer Chris McKenna and story editor Steve Basilone were on hand. The fans in attendance were treated to a screening of the March 29th episode in full, almost two weeks early.
Dan wishes that the show was not opposite The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights and that it could take and gain some of those viewers. He is sure that the influx in viewer numbers was a combination of the episodes being on Hulu and the fans getting their friends to watch the show. Yvette commented on how she can feel and see all the fan support, especially during their winter hiatus. She respects the fans for having left their computers to watch the show live on TV.
The writers feel that if they can come up with a good story, there is no reason for them not to write another paintball episode for season four. The show as actually approached ny Subway for direct product placement. It was not until Subway gave the show money and told the production team to run with it, that they agreed on having product placement within the show.
When asked about having written the most recent Christmas episode, Steve said that he is a fan of the previous Christmas episodes especially the claymation show. They decided to take Dan’s lead and write a Glee inspired story. They even had to hire an Emmy award winning songwriter to help them out.
The episode “Remedial Chaos Theory,” is the most out of the box story written so far and was even being shot up until a week before it aired. Yvette and Gillian both had to be pulled away from shooting a later episode so they could be in a reshoot of a scene for “Remedial Chaos Theory.” The episode was aired a week later because they needed more time to edit it. According to Dan, even the hardcore fans can tell when the episodes have been shuffled. The first two shows back from the hiatus, were also swapped.
The foosball episode was a great bonding story for Jeff and Shirley and it looks like they are going to continue grow their friendship. Yvette equates Shirley’s relationship with Pierce as being oil and water, at some point in his attempt to help her with the sandwich shop, something will go wrong and cause them to butt heads.
Ken thinks that Chang is clinically insane and brings paranoid schizophrenia to Greendale. Several upcoming stories will feature the best story arc written for the character of Ben Chang. It combines the authority of season one with the patheticness of season two and splits the difference for Chang.
Britta is a character that other women don’t really like. She started out as being the carrot on a stick or motivation for Jeff, someone for him to go after.At first, the writers found it hard to make her relatable. Gillian likes Britta because of her tough skin and how she takes a lot of abuse and doesn’t seem to learn from it.
In regards to the Kickstarter funded, Inspector Spacetime webseries, Dan thinks that the studio will not allow it, but if the people who want to make it change the name, there is no reason for it not to get made. On average the writers are six weeks ahead of the episodes airing on TV. Dan thinks there is 70/30 percent chance that the series will be renewed for a fourth season.
This was a fun panel and a great way to end WonderCon 2012. Community is one of those rare sitcoms that is both genius in its writing, storytelling and how it never ceases to amaze and humor the its fanbase. As was said during the panel, this show has a very dedicated and loyal fan base, hoping that they can get the show renewed for a fourth season.