The cast of NBC’s comedy Community is getting animated about returning for its fourth season. Beginning March 7, a week before the series returns to TV, three shorts collectively called Abed’s Master Key will start showing on NBC.com, Hulu and Hulu Plus.
The animated versions of the cast are voiced by their live counterparts. The shorts were written by Dave Seger and Tom Kauffman, whose previous work includes Ikea Heights, the melodramatic web series shot entirely inside the Burbank, Calif. Ikea without the store’s knowledge.
Chris Van Amburg, senior vice president of U.S. marketing, Sony Pictures Television, said the shorts are “a vital component” of the network’s multi-faceted campaign to promote the March 15 season premiere. “The Community actors and team were eager to lend their voices and support to an effort intended to engage their loyal fan base that has rabidly kept the show thriving via flash mobs, fan art, viral videos, dedicated fan sites and on Facebook and Twitter,” Van Amburg said.
In Community, Joel McHale is the center of an ensemble cast that also includes Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong and Jim Rash. Incidentally, Rash recently won an Academy Award for co-writing the adaptive script for The Descendants.
Created by Dan Harmon, Community is a Krasnoff Foster Entertainment, Harmonious Claptrap, Russo Brothers production, Universal Media Studios production in association with Sony Pictures Television. Harmon serves as an executive producer along with Russ Krasnoff, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Garrett Donovan, Neil Goldman and Gary Foster.