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Season 5 of Community adds another showrunner… to its list of guest stars, that is. Last week we shared the news that Arrested Development showrunner Mitchell Hurwitz had signed on to guest star in the NBC comedy, and this week comes word that Breaking Bad mastermind Vince Gilligan will also be putting in a bit of face-time at Greendale Community College.
THR says Gilligan has signed on to guest star in an episode of Community. The site notes that Community — like Breaking Bad — is a Sony Pictures Television produced series. The name of Gilligan’s character is being kept under wraps — Any chance that it's Heisenberg? — but the site reports that he’ll be playing “a smooth-talking gold-digger” who takes center stage in a dispute between Annie and Abed. We can only imagine what kind of dispute Annie and Abed are having, or what a smooth-talking gold-digger would have to do with it, but this is certainly exciting casting news.
As mentioned, this news follows word that Mitchell Hurwitz was also set to guest star in Community’s fifth season, so Gilligan's not the only showrunner of a beloved series set to visit Greendale. He’s also not the only person involved with Breaking Bad lined up for a spot on Community. Last summer we learned that Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks is set to guest star on the series. Although, in the case of Banks, it’s more than just a one-off guest spot. The actor who played Mike on Breaking Bad will be appearing in multiple episodes, serving as a criminology professor “with a mysterious background in military and police work.” Given that Banks is going to appear in 11 of the season’s 13 episodes, it seems like the odds are in our favor that he and Gilligan will be in the same episode together, though who knows if they’ll actually share any screen time? Here’s hoping! There's also a loose AMC-tie for Gilligan and Alison Brie, the latter of whom recurs in Mad Men.
Rather than taking some time off to decompress after Breaking Bad’s wrap-up this summer, Gilligan’s back working on his next series, Battle Creek, which received a straight-to-series order at CBS. So we have that to look forward to as well. But a guest spot is especially fun, as it'll give us the rare opportunity to see Gilligan on camera.
Gilligan and Banks are among a growing list of guest stars for Season 5 of Community, along with alton Goggins, Nathan Fillion, Robert Patrick, Paget Brewster, Rob Corddry and the great Ben Folds. Not that Community needs guest stars to be great. Heck, the fact that Dan Harmon is returning is reason enough to tune in, but those are some great names and even more reason to look forward to the series’ return. Community will be back on the air Thursday, January 2.