Today, Vulture reported a segment of Joel McHale’s July 30 interview with Metro Weekly that points out a quote where McHale said the cast is now too expensive to renew their contracts. It’s not any sort of diva behavior. The stars of Community have rightfully risen in profile through movies and other appearances. Yahoo!’s original programming arm wouldn’t have the budget a network like NBC would to keep a show going for a seventh season.
Today Ken Jeong was on a Television Critics Association panel for his new ABC comedy Dr. Ken. When asked about the new community news, Jeong responded. “As always with that show, I’m completely in the dark,” Jeong said. “I read the same thing too. I would love to do a movie. I just think doing a movie would just be amazing. Look, Community made me the actor I am today. I just wouldn’t be able to lead my own show [without it]. I learned so much on that. It taught me the will to always top yourself with the scripts and the performance. Dan, Joel, those guys all know I’m down for anything Community related. Fingers crossed for a movie at this point.”
After the panel, I approached Jeong with other journalists and asked if he disagreed that he was too expensive to do a seventh season. He appreciated the insinuation. “I will do it as a no quote, okay?” Jeong laughed. “I still have a passion for Community.”
Should Dr. Ken go for six seasons and a movie or more, Jeong says it wouldn’t prohibit him from future Community appearances. It definitely doesn’t conflict with a movie, but since the show is no longer on a network, it wouldn’t even conflict with his ABC contract.
“The fact that it was on Yahoo!, the new media explorations of it, the boundaries haven’t been fully demarcated yet,” Jeong said.
Jeong even thanked reporters for asking about Community because he wants the opportunity to keep it going. “Thanks for bringing that up because I love Dan [Harmon],” Jeong said. “Dan Harmon is the driving [engine] of that show. We are all wonderful willing participants in it. Whatever Dan comes with is always gold so he’ll think of something that we could never think of possibly in our lifetimes.”
As a producer, Jeong also joined the team for the Sundance movie Seoul Searching. That film’s director, Benson Lee, has an IndieGogo to fund self-distribution of the film. He received many VOD offers after Sundance but felt it was important that a film with an all Asian cast be shown in theaters. Jeong just hopes his name brings the film more attention.
“Seoul Searching, honestly I was just a late add on in terms of being an executive producer,” Jeong said. “I saw that at Sundance actually while promoting Advantageous. That’s just flat out one of the funniest and heartfelt movies I’ve seen in ages. It’s just one of my favorite movies period. I really just signed on as an EP just as a fan. Anything they need help on, and I’m letting Benson drive the charge and Andrea Chong, one of the main producers. I have to give her a shout out. I’m willing to help out in whatever area they need me to.”
Dr. Ken premieres Friday, October 2 at 8:30 on ABC.