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'Community' showrunner Dan Harmon promises to bring back the series' glory days

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After near-cancellation and a maligned fourth season without original showrunner Dan Harmon, Community will return next year with what Harmon hopes will be a clean slate. At a Comic-Con panel today, Harmon promised that the show will bounce back from its slump and said that he's still angling hard for the requested six seasons, though he was fairly mum on a movie. "Nobody wants to not fail more than me at this point," said Harmon, who is retaking the helm for Season 5. "This is a whole new thing. We have to reground, reestablish these characters, get back to the emotional basics, and then have the most fun we've ever had."

Harmon admitted that there's still no script for the new season's premiere, and he spoke more in terms of tone than specifics — though he did reveal that one episode would be animated, most of his statements were about simply needing to get the show back in shape. "We want to get back to that Season 1, Season 2 feel of being really organic and knocking every episode out of the park," he said. "The first couple will be about making it seem like these people live down the street from each other." Both he and fans alluded often to the largely hated Season 4, though Harmon says he's planning to move forward from it, not "actively undo" choices that were made. Even with its problems, Community will be syndicated on Comedy Central starting in October, and it will begin syndication on local networks in September.

Community right now is "like a rescue dog," said Harmon. "It pees itself every time there's lightning. It's been through a lot. And I really want to give it a milk bone and not look it in the eye and say everything is gonna be all right." A few questions later, moderator Chris Hardwick asked half-jokingly if there had been "any favorite episodes from Season 4." The entire cast burst into laughter. Despite this, Harmon once again apologized for a brutal panning of the show after his removal, calling himself a "creepy jerk" who was speaking only of his own experience. "Community's never going to hurt you," he said. "I might hurt you."