‘Community’ season five to begin in January 2014

US network NBC announces return date of cult sitcom starring Ken Jeong and Donald Glover

Community will return at the start of the New Year, the show’s US network NBC has confirmed.

Season five of the cult sitcom will kick off with back-to-back episodes on NBC on January 2, 2014. Like season four, season five will be a shorter run comprising 13 half-hour episodes instead of the 22-25 episodes that featured in each of the first three seasons.

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, who has played Troy Barnes since Community began in 2009, has reduced his role on the show and will appear in just five of the new episodes. However, fellow longtime cast members Ken Jeong, Joel McHale, Alison Brie and Danny Pudi will all be back for the whole run.

Created by Dan Harmon, the cult US comedy revolves around a motley crew of adult students at a community college in the fictional town of Greendale, Colorado. The show’s UK home is on the Sony Entertainment Television channel, which has recently finished showing season four.

Over the summer Harmon branded former cast member Chevy Chase, who quit in November 2012 after squabbling with the show’s creator on set and in press interviews, a “befuddled old man”.