Greendale Community College will be without one of its most recognizable faces this coming school year: Yvette Nicole Brown, who has played optimistic single mother Shirley on Community since the show debuted in 2009, has left the series due to care for her ailing father, as reported Tuesday by TV Guide.
“My dad needs daily care and he needs me,” Brown told TV Guide. “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.”
Community creator Dan Harmon and executive producer Chris McKenna acknowledged Brown’s departure in a joint statement, saying, “Yvette was an integral part of Community and is irreplaceable. We are sad to see her go and wish her the very best.” While it’s not known how Shirley will be written out of Community, Brown says she’s open to the possibility of a future guest spot on the show. “I’m glad it won’t be hard for them to explain where she is. She has three kids, a degree and a business. There are a lot of ways to explain her [departure].”
Brown will appear in a recurring role on CBS’ new take on The Odd Couple, slated for midseason. “A multi-camera sitcom is a better fit for the life I have now,” Brown said to TV Guide.
Brown is the third member of the original Community cast to leave the show, following Chevy Chase and Donald Glover. Jonathan Banks, who joined the show in its fifth season, has also exited due to his role on Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. After five seasons on NBC, Community has moved to the streaming service Yahoo! Screen, with new episodes slated to start in early 2015.
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