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When Community returns from the cancellation graveyard next year on Yahoo streaming, it will be doing so without one of its original cast members. Yvette Nicole Brown, who has played Shirley on the series for the past five seasons, announced on Tuesday that she will be leaving the series in order to spend more time caring for her ailing father.
Brown’s departure marks the second time an original cast member has parted ways with the critically acclaimed, but low rated, sitcom. Donald Glover, who played the loveable but dim-witted Troy, left the series at the start of season five in order to focus more on his musical career. The departure of Brown and her intense but loving Shirley (who, over the course of the show, became the mother figure to the group) will certainly be hard to replace.
To make up for the loss of two central cast members, Community has announced it will be introducing two new cast members when the show returns for its sixth season: one male and one female character. No word yet on whether these new characters will be Greendale students or faculty (the show has also lost Jonathan Banks, who will be reprising his role as Mike on the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul). Fans of Brown should note that they will still be able to see her on TV this season, as she will be appearing in a recurring role on the CBS multi-camera comedy The Odd Couple, which has a shooting schedule that will allow her to continue working while caring for her father.