Over on io9, (which is a pretty good site as long as you ignore their shameless plagiarism) they've got a quote from Community executive producer Dan Harmon discussing how "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" one of Season 2's best episodes almost never happened. Here's a snippet:
"They [the studio and the network] were so upset about the crime of this episode having been written. The note session as a whole was preceded by a 45-minute period of them walking around the lot whispering to each other. They told me they would come up to my office and meet me privately. When they came up, I had the director and all of the writers in the office with me, because I was terrified. They sat down, and they said, ‘Look, where do we start?'The full quote is even more disturbing, as Harmon gets so frustrated with the network execs that he contemplates quitting one of the funniest shows on TV. If you haven't seen it, you're really missing out on a wealth of brilliant material. It gets fairly low ratings but I'd attribute that to the frequent meta-fictional dissections of common TV and film tropes (particularly in the genre space) going over the average viewer's head. I would assume that the people who enjoy Two and a Half Men and the ones who like Community fall are for the most part mutually exclusive. I mean they had a freaking clip show made up of clips from episodes that never existed! People who watch the same episode of CSI week after week won't catch on to that one.
So if you've got a few minutes, watch the first part of "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons," the episode that was received as anathema to the NBC execs. As the title suggests, it's basically 23 minutes of a bunch of people sitting around a table making up a story together. Who could possibly enjoy that?
If you enjoyed the first half of the episode, find a way to track it down [preferably in a way that actually gives the show some support such as iTunes or on DVD]. If not, at least tune in next season. Community is a brilliant show and I would hate to see it go the way of Arrested Development or Better Off Ted [may they Rest In Piece] just because it didn't have the fanbase of some lowest common denominator sitcom.