Shirley Bennett will not be enrolling for another semester at Greendale Community College. TV Guide reports that the sixth-and-likely-final season of Dan Harmon’s “Community,” set to hit Yahoo! Screen in 2015, will have to do so without Yvette Nicole Brown. According to the outlet, Brown was granted a release from her contract so that she might look after her ailing father.
“My dad needs daily care and he needs me,” Brown explains. “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.”
While it’s impossible to do anything but empathize with Brown’s decision, her absence is sure to be felt by the series’ fans. In addition to her work in front of the camera, Brown has been a true champion of the series, regularly making surprise guest appearances at fan-organized events like Communi-Con and the Six Seasons and Movie art show.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Brown continues. “I can take care of my dad, but won’t be with my TV family. I don’t want the fans to worry; it’s going to be fine. Greendale is the heart of the show, not any particular character. Even if characters come and go, the heart of Greendale remains.”
Fans will have a chance to catch Brown as a recurring character on CBS’ upcoming “The Odd Couple,” starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.
Season six is also moving forward without the season five addition of “Breaking Bad” star Jonathan Banks as Buzz Hickey. Banks will, instead, become a major part of the upcoming “Better Call Saul.” To make up for the departure of both actors, “Community” will be adding two new characters: a female consultant brought in to help improve Greendale and “a retired salesman who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself”.
Production on “Community” season six will begin shortly with Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong all confirmed.