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'Community' gets animated in 'Abed's Master Key' webisodes

"Community"will return a little sooner than expected, and it'll be animated.

Cast members lent their character voices to three shorts promoting the March 15 return of the comedy to NBC Thursday nights. Titled "Abed's Master Key," the three shorts kick off March 7 on NBC.com and Hulu with Part 1. Parts 2 and 3 appear March 8 and 9 respectively.

Written by Dave Seger and Tom Kauffman of the Web series "Ikea Heights," the webisodes run approximately two minutes in length each.

In "Abed's Master Key," Dean Pelton hires Abed as his temporary assistant. Entrusted with a Greendale Master Key, Abed abuses his power to help his friends. After Britta confronts Abed, she heads down the same dark path.

"The 'Community' actors and team were eager to lend their voices and support to an effort intended to engage their loyal fan base that has rabidly kept the show thriving via flash mobs, fan art, viral videos, dedicated fan sites and on Facebook and Twitter," Sony Pictures Television's Chris Van Amburg said in a statement regarding the animated shorts.

NBC put the cult-favorite sitcom on indefinite hiatus in early December, both angrying and worrying fans. It wasn't until last month that NBC announced "Community" would return at 7 p.m. March 15 to continue its third season.

The March 15 episode is "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts," in which Andre (Malcolm Jamaal Warner) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) plan to remarry, throwing Annie and Britta into wedding-planning mode. Jeff, meanwhile, prepares a speech while Troy and Abed practice acting normal. Elsewhere, Pierce and Shirley present a sandwich-shop proposal to Dean Pelton.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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