News Column

BRIEF: NBC renews 'Community,' picks up James Spader drama 'Blacklist'

May 11, 2013

YellowBrix

May 11--The news keeps getting stranger and stranger for "Community." The NBC sitcom has bounced back from a near-death experience a year ago and will return for Season 5 next year.

The network confirmed late Friday that it will pick up the eccentric comedy for another go-round, on a day when a batch of other shows, including the Matthew Perry vehicle "Go On," learned they were not making the cut.

The perennially low-rated "Community" was considered at death's door last year, when show runner Dan Harmon was ushered to the door. Many fans complained that this year's episodes sorely missed Harmon's scabrous sensibility.

But as it tries to rebuild its comedy brand, NBC viewed "Community" as one of its few sitcoms with any name recognition among viewers.

The network also picked up two more new dramas plus a new comedy.

"The Blacklist" stars James Spader as a former con man who turns himself in to help law enforcement crack crimes. Buzz around the show has been building in recent days with reports that the pilot delivered very high testing numbers.

"The Night Shift" is a medical drama set in San Antonio, while "Welcome to the Family" is a multi-cultural sitcom about Latino and Anglo clans.

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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