NBC continued to catch flack this morning when a memo from the network to Community cast members leaked online. Now, admittedly, NBC has not handled the firing of Dan Harmon well from a public relations perspective, and this memo doesn’t help. It reeks of an “emergency communications plan” concocted by some soulless PR hack in an empty suit, fired off in response to not only the negative reaction surrounding Harmon’s ouster but the pro-Harmon Tweets that virtually the entire cast sent out in the wake of the kerfuffle.
Now, mind you, the Tweets from Joel Mchale, Alison Brie, et al. did not criticize NBC or Sony in any way; they merely expressed gratitude to Harmon. An example:
Jim Rash (@RashisTVUgly) May 19, 2012
But, as giant, flailing corporations are wont to do, NBC overreacted and realized they needed to get their spin out, pronto. No cattle wandering off the ranch under Bob Greenblatt’s watch! So, yes, the portion of the memo we’ve seen is filled with the worst kind of doublespeak, cynicism and insincerity.
But I think the media and Community fans are being a little unfair to NBC, because only part of the memo leaked. We’ve got the rest of it, including a portion of the script for the fourth-season premiere of Community, right here, right now.
Team Community (con’t):
Now that you know how to respond to specific questions, we have some more tips for cast members when dealing with the media, since we know you look to us as a trusted older brother, able to lead and to guide with aplomb. You, our little lambs, are under our protection and no harm shall come to you as long as you follow our simple guidelines.
Key messaging to hit during interviews:
- We are a team, and everything we achieve we have achieved together. No individual is more important than the team. We believe in the sacrifice bunt, the productive out, and the suicide squeeze.
- The best thing about television is the chance to work with new people. The key to making a great show is to never let it get stale.
- Dan Harmon? Yeah, he was, what a producer or something? I’m sorry to hear he’s gone, I guess, but it’s not like he was writing the episodes or anything.
- Morale has never been better. We all feel…freer, somehow.
- Do you have a date for every Friday night this fall? You do now! With sexy Joel McHale and/or Alison Brie!
Words and phrases to avoid:
- “creative genius”
- “good luck to Dan Harmon”
- “thanks for everything”
- “unique voice”
- “complex and thrilling pop culture satires”
- “cast-led coup d’etat”
- “die protecting his vision”
And, Team Community, now that that unpleasant business is out of the way, we can start to get pumped for Season Four! 13 episodes…maybe more…who knows?! Here at Peacock Inc., we can’t wait for the fall. We’re looking forward to met budgets, followed orders, and amusing episodes about the wacky adventures of a gang of attractive college pals. To get you as pumped as we are, we have the first few pages of the script for S04E01, and they’re attached to this memo. Team Community 4EVA, you guys! I know what you’re thinking: did the brilliant David Guarascio and Moses Port write the premiere themselves? No, they did not. They have more important things to do, like spreadsheets and paperwork and reports. But they did supervise the hiring of a team of veteran sitcom writers, who — with the help of copious network and studio notes — did write this bad boy. Enjoy! And let the laughter and the profits flow.
INT. STUDY ROOM – DAY
The gang sits around the study table: JEFF, BRITTA, TROY, SHIRLEY, and ANNIE, looking cool (sexy even?) and having pleasant conversation about their summer break. ABED walks in, tosses his backpack on the table, opens a DELICIOUS 20 OZ. BOTTLE OF REFRESHING PEPSI-COLA, and sits down.
Hey, Abed, how was your summer?
Something seems different at Greendale.
What do you mean, Abed? I’m wearing my hair differently.
No, it’s not that. There’s just a much more peaceful atmosphere on campus. Everyone seems lighter, happier, more normal. Even I feel more normal.
So you’re not going to have another one of your…spells…this year?
No way. That stuff is so junior year. I even have a girlfriend now. Do you want to meet her?
The gang exchange worried glances, assuming Abed is making up an imaginary girlfriend.
Uh…sure, Abed. We’ll be happy to meet her, but no hurry. Whenever you’re ready. I’m sure she’s great.
Is she from Canada, Abed?
No, it’s all good, she’s right outside. Come on in, baby!
WHITNEY (Whitney Cummings) enters the room and sits on Abed’s lap. The gang stares googly-eyed at her.
Hey brown sugar, thanks for finally introducing me to your friends.
Cool. Cool cool cool.
Whoa. Abed, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
TROY AND ABED
Troy and Abed doing Whitney!
Now guys, I don’t roll like that. Abed and Britta doing Whtiney, on the other hand…
Whitney, I have to know. We all love Abed, but what are you doing with him?
Don’t you know, Jeff? Autistic guys have really big…
PIERCE walks in the room, carrying an armful of ROBUST, FRAGRANT STARBUCKS VENTI COFFEES for the gang.
Pierce, have you met Abed’s new girlfriend, Whitney?
Yeah, right. We all know Abed and Troy are doing it…
Pierce falls down, spilling coffee all over himself and the room.
Oh no, that incredible Starbucks coffee is wasted. Pierce, you’re so clumsy!
Pierce starts to stand up, then trips in a puddle of coffee and falls down again.
Guys, I think our senior year’s going to be one to remember.
Hmmm….senior year? Kind of like Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Remember when…
We’re not doing that stuff anymore, Abed.
Whitney swivels on Abed’s lap and accidentally kicks Pierce in the balls. The gang erupts in laughter and hugging. Jeff and Annie share a tender kiss.
* Damn you, Videogum, for posting this while we were in a boring bullshit work meeting. WE STARTED OUR POST FIRST THING IN THE MORNING BUT ARE EASILY DISTRACTED BY BREAKING FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS ITEMS.