Yvette Nicole Brown Is Leaving ‘Community’; The Show Will Cast Two New Characters

Sad news out of Greendale: Yvette Nicole Brown, who has played Shirley on Community for the past five seasons, is leaving the show before the sixth season debuts on Yahoo.

TV Guide has the scoop:

[Brown] has asked to be released from her contract for personal reasons. Sony Pictures TV and executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna have honored her request.

The actress says the change was necessary in order to take care of her ailing father. “My dad needs daily care and he needs me,” Brown says. “The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn’t do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad.”

Brown went on to say how great everyone associated with the show has been about the situation, from Harmon letting her out of her contract and telling her he’ll be praying for her dad, to Sony, which allowed her to take a part in the CBS comedy The Odd Couple, a new multi-camera sitcom that will have a more forgiving shooting schedule than the single-camera Community.

Her departure means the show is now down three of its eight original study group members, with Chevy Chase and Donald Glover both exiting during its original run on NBC. Add to that Jonathan Banks not returning because of his Better Call Saul commitments and John Oliver being a little busy himself lately, and suddenly things are getting a little thin over at Greendale. Which brings us to … new characters.

[T]he producers are now casting for two new characters. One is described as a woman who’s brought in as a consultant to help shape up the school. The other is a retired salesman who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself.

Please let the salesman be Koogler. Please let the salesman be Koogler. Please let the salesman be Koogler.