Chevy Chase has left the NBC sitcom Community through mutual agreement and effective immediately, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Much of Community's fourth season has already been shot and will feature Chase as the crotchety, often offensive Pierce Hawthorne. A few episodes remain, however, and it is unclear whether Chase's departure will be written into the show. His exit is not expected to effect production.
Based on a November 12th Tweet from writer Megan Ganz that featured a picture of the cast and the note, "Day one of shooting the finale. I couldn't ask for a better group," it does look like Chase will appear in the season four finale.
Chase's departure probably won't come as a surprise to many as the former Saturday Night Live star has had a rocky relationship with the show for a while now, once saying, "It's just a fucking mediocre sitcom! I want people to laugh, and this isn't funny." His relationship with recently ousted creator and show-runner Dan Harmon was also rather tumultuous, particularly after Harmon leaked an angry voicemail Chase left him at a live show that found its way online.
This shake-up is yet another hitch in a long line of setbacks for Community's fourth season: Along with losing Harmon, who was replaced by Moses Port and David Gaurascio, the show was originally slotted to return on Fridays this fall before getting its release date pushed back to February 7th.