Michael K. Williams Brings Sensibility of ‘The Wire’ to NBC’s ‘Community’

Michael K. Williams Brings Sensibility of 'The Wire' to NBC’s ‘Community’

Actor Michael K. Williams wowed fans with his gritty performance as virtuous gay stick-up man Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire” and now the acclaimed actor is shifting gears from drama to comedy as the latest addition to the cast of NBC’s wildly popular comedy series, “Community.”

According New York Magazine’s Vulture, Williams has signed on for at least three episodes this fall where he’ll play the Greendale gang’s new biology professor.

Though fans of the dramatic actor, who’s currently garnering rave reviews for his role as Chalky White on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” may be surprised by his new lighthearted gig, series creator Dan Harmon explained that Williams’ dark performances are exactly what attracted him to the actor.

“The general idea with this season is to add … a certain amount of groundedness and reality to the series. Because the detractors of our show complain that there’s a distancing that takes place because we have such a silliness and far-fetchedness. … So I asked myself, ‘What is the opposite of that?’ And it’s certainly ‘The Wire,’ ” said Harmon. “I [recently] watched all five seasons, and I wanted to bring a little bit of that mentality and apply it to the ‘Community’ recipe.”

Williams is only slated to appear in three episodes due to his commitment to “Boardwalk Empire” and any extra episodes of Community would have to be cleared by HBO. However, Harmon said that he’d love to have the actor appear in more episodes.

“I would hope to have him in many, many [episodes],” he said. “We’re really excited.”

The third season of “Community” is set to premiere on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011, at 8 p.m. EST.

nicholas robinson

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