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'Community:' Expect a fifth season

Actors Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown,

Actors Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Joel McHale and Allison Brie at the "Community" press room during Comic-Con International 2012 held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, Calif. (July 13, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Let's go all out here and make a prediction that we can all hope comes true Sunday night  when NBC unwraps the 2013-14 fall lineup: "Community" will return for a fifth season. I could of course be wrong — there are different timelines, some evil, that could also play out.

But I think this will happen.

Tonight's the finale, and you may want to watch if you're a fan, even though history has determined that you almost certainly won't — viewership is usually kind of lousy for "live" airings of any NBC comedy. Which leads to my brief list! Why "Community" will survive!

1.) Money, money: NBC would like to rack up at least 100 episodes, considered a comfortable benchmark, for syndication .?.?. still about 15 or so shy.

2.)  Ratings, ratings: Really, not all that bad for live telecasts — about 2.7 million for last week, which represented a jump from the prior. A core and dedicated audience very much remains.

3.) NBC knows a big chunk of the audience is uncounted. How "big?" Beats me, but when you count "out of home" — college dorms — tablets, iPhones, laptops — that's bigger than a bread box certainly.

4.) Sony has launched a Save "Community" campaign which is a reasonably good sign that the producer sees a possibility of renewal too.

5.) The Moses Port/David Guarascio reboot has largely worked, creatively.

6.) Hey, nothing else is doing much better on NBC!

7.) Finally, my key reason: The network knows it has to launch new comedies next season to replace — at the very least — "The Office" and "30 Rock." It''s no fun trying to replace classics — particularly when the audience, which can be surely, will hate the replacements. So as a network, you'd like to keep something in your back pocket that you can count on in the spring. That would be .?.?. "Community!"

 Two clips: Tonight's tease and the Sony push.

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