Okay, time to rant a little about “Community”. Feel free to tune out now…

First the good news: It’s been renewed for a fourth season.

Now the bad news: Only renewed for 13 episodes.

And the worse news: They’re moving it to Friday nights (the terminal ward of network television timeslots).

And the even worse news: NBC has fired creator and showrunner Dan Harmon.

Well, they didn’t so much fire him as they announced the hiring of his replacements. Helen Keller could read between those lines.

The pair picked to replace Harmon come well respected, but it seems clear their job will be to dramatically boost ratings if there is any hope of it surviving to a fifth season. It is unlikely they will be left to their own devices to do this, no doubt the NBC execs already have a slew of notes and “suggestions” for the new team, ideas designed to make the show more “accessible”, and appeal to a “wider audience”.

If “Community” were a mental patient, we would call this a lobotomy. The cleverness and quirkiness we love will slowly, or perhaps quickly, disappear.

To be fair Dan Harmon was something of a loose cannon, and had a habit of driving talent away, but… it was his vision. It’s hard to imagine it will fare well in other hands. This is the darkest timeline.

In brighter news, “Cougar Town” was picked up for a fourth season by TBS. All indications are the entire cast and crew will be included in the transition from ABC to TBS.