The NBC cult favorite sitcom Community is coming back for season 5 on Thursday, Jan. 2, and it will be a significant season with many big changes.
Season 5 of Community will be a transitional season as two of the original cast members will be gone at the end of its 13 episodes. Donald Glover, who plays Troy Barnes, will be leaving after five episodes to pursue new creative endeavors, such as his rapping career as Childish Gambino.
"I just watched the episode where Troy leaves, and it's heartbreaking," series creator Dan Harmon told TV Guide recently. "It's a real Kleenex-boxer. I wrote it, I was there when they shot it, I'm editing it and I'm not even looking at a completed version, and my eyes were running like a faucet."
Additionally, Chevy Chase, who played ornery millionaire Pierce Hawthorne, will no longer be appearing on Community after disagreements with the direction of the show.
"You've read the 300 or 400 articles," said Joel McHale, who plays Jeff Winger. "The articles say he didn't like the writing and didn't like the show and didn't watch it and didn't want to be here. And now he's not."
Season 5 will also be a restructuring period as Harmon returns to his role as showrunner after being fired by NBC ahead of season 4. Harmon promises that the show will be getting back to basics and "making each episode understandable" to the audience.
Community season 5 premieres Thursday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Watch a trailer for Community season 5 here: