Community certainly has a challenge ahead of itself in improving its ratings. Granted, Thursday night is better than Friday, which is where the fourth season was originally scheduled to air last fall. But up against The Big Bang Theory and American Idol, the returning comedy does have its fair share (and then some) of competition. With that in mind, the series didn't do so bad with its fourth season premiere last night, bringing in better ratings than its Season 3 premiere.

Senior year began last night with the Greendale Community gang reuniting… and then splitting up or pairing off while they dealt with a variety of issues, ranging from Jeff needing to win a spot in the lone history class of the semester to Annie determined to do some senior pranks, to Britta and Troy on their own adventure, and Pierce stuck at a table with a bunch of balls and no joke to make with them. A solid start to what will hopefully be a good season, the premiere brought in 3.978 million viewers with a 1.8/6 in the 18-49 demo. That's a 1% increase in total viewers from the Season 3 premiere (3.928 million). Community earned its top results in 18-49 and total viewers since March 15, 2012, which was the Season 3 midseason premiere last year.

Given the added anticipation since the series was pushed from October to February, I can imagine that diehard fans of the series (and those new fans who got caught up on the show between Season 3 and 4) were determined to tune in to watch the fourth season premiere. It might be too much to hope that the ratings will improve from there, but at the very least, if they can hold steady the show will be in much better shape than it was last season. Season 3's ratings dropped from its premiere numbers, falling to about 2.5 million viewers for its finale last spring. It's not particularly surprising to see a drop from the premiere, but hopefully the show will maintain more of its audience this year. So, if you're a fan of Community, keep watching! (And preferably when it airs.)

For those who did tune in, if you want a peek at next week's episode, we shared some spoiler photos here.

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