Pierce Hawthorne’s days at Greendale Community College are numbered… which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the behind-the-scenes spats between the the actor who plays him, Chevy Chase, and rest of the cast and crew over the past four seasons.
According to Deadline , “Chase’s departure from the show is effective immediately. The bulk of Community ‘s 13-episode fourth-season order have been filmed. Chase won’t appear in the one or two episodes that have not been shot yet.”
To be honest, it’s surprisingly he’s lasted this long. Chase has made it very public that he feels like he’s slumming it in a sitcom, “which is probably the lowest form of television,” as he told The Huffington Post earlier this year. “The hours are hideous… I just sort of hung around because I have three daughters and a wife, and I figured out I might as well make some bread, every week.”
He also has a widely publicised falling out with the show’s original showrunner, Dan Harmon, which ended with him leaving a sweary voice mail on Harmon’s phone. But if anyone though that Harmon’s departure from the show might smooth things, think again. Chase has had more on-set outbursts this year, and according to Deadline , “Chase had been increasingly frustrated and uncomfortable with the direction of his character, Pierce, who is a bigot, and had felt that Pierce had run his course.”
Although normally you’d expect an ensemble show like Community to ride out a departure like this, the way things are going for this show at the moment (ousted showrunner, star leaving, shortened – and delayed – season) you can’t help worrying this is another nail in the coffin. Still, filming on the last two episodes may be a little less fraught, eh?