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“Community” Cast Defends Network

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By SAMIA KHAN
Despite being a critic’s favorite, even the stars of “Community” can’t seem to avoid the Peacock’s problems.

It’s a tough time to be part of NBC. As if being 4th place in the ratings wasn’t discouraging enough, the network has drawn much attention in recent days over speculation that Jay Leno would move from primetime back to late-night in a move that would potentially kick Conan O’Brien from his 11:30pm “Tonight Show” spot.

During a visit to the Paramount studios set of NBC’s “Community” by television critics and reporters, the late-night controversy raging over Leno and talk show host Conan O’Brien, was a subject to be avoided. However, when it came to network ratings, the stars of “Community” were quick to defend the network.

“I hear about the ratings and I’m like, ‘It’s not our problem, let’s just go to work on a great show,'” says actor Joel McHale, who in addition to his role on “Community” keeps busy as host of “The Soup” on E!

Co-star Gillian Jacobs added that NBC gives comedies a chance to find their legs. “They allowed ’30 Rock’ to find an audience, they allowed ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’ to find an audience,” she said.

As for Chevy Chase’s thoughts, when asked what they should do, he joked, “Go to another network.”

“Community” creator Dan Harmon pointed out that there’s reason to be optimistic. “There’s a lot of people that get paid a lot of money to spin it. We’re number one in the males 18 to 43-and-a-half 8 p.m. time slot.” Hamon made his comments while appearing to jokingly imitate NBC execs.

And just to prove that “Community” is still in the game, McHale brought up the Oct. 30 episode where Ken Jeong’s character, Senor Chang, introduced a sexual position known as “Mexican Halloween.”

“That was the most searched thing on Google the next day,” McHale said.

McHale plays a former lawyer whose law degree was revoked and who has now returned to community college to complete the necessary classes. The show also stars Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Alison Brie.

The actors made their comments during a break from filming on the set, which was was decorated in red, pink, and white with heart-shaped balloons simulating a Valentine’s Day dance at fictional Greendale Community College.

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