Each and every fall TV season brings with it a crop of pilots that eek by enough to find their strengths, while many more fail miserably. We've seen a few cancellations added to the 2013 list already, but with NBC's Mike O'Malley-centric 'Welcome to the Family' ranking especially low on the network's already-struggling Thursday, might 'Community' season 5 get an early premiere to sub in?

The speculation arrives courtesy of TV By the Numbers, whose measurement of a dismal 1.1 rating for 'Welcome to the Family' all but assure cancellation in the coming weeks. Even critical favorite 'Parks and Recreation' and the bankable 'Michael J. Fox Show' have had a tough time making it against powerhouse opposition from CBS and beyond, leaving 'Welcome to the Family' with a large target on its back:

NBC’s rookie sitcom was clearly DOA after its premiere last week. After another dreadful rating last night, it’s in [a gotta go] situation. Conveniently, NBC has long time Thursday sitcom veteran Community just waiting to take over, as it certainly will. It’s just a matter of when.

So, while 'Community' seems like a plausible replacement to boost the Thursday lineup, it remains to be seen if Dan Harmon and the Greendale gang have gotten far enough into production to plausibly meet the demand. Uproxx pointed us toward a Reddit thread wherein Harmon admitted to being in the edit bay for the fifth season premiere, adding later "Should they NEED a little something something, we can hook em up in a few weeks. We have to have these babies off the assembly line on a certain schedule for fiscal purposes."

Elsewhere, ‘Community’ season 5′s eventual return will see Nathan Fillion as a mysterious janitor, ‘Justified‘ star Walton Goggins guest as a mysterious man who causes trouble for the Greendale gang, along with ‘Breaking Bad‘ star Jonathan Banks as Annie’s criminology Professor Hickey, returns from Brie Larson, LeVar Burton, John Oliver’s Professor Duncan and comedian Rob Corddry as Jeff’s lawyer-rival Alan Connor. Chevy Chase will not return for the fifth season, while Donald Glover will eventually depart to develop his own FX series, ‘Atlanta.’

We'd certainly prefer new 'Community' to NBC's flailing sitcoms, but what say you? Would you like to see Jeff and the gang off the bench in 2013, or given until 2014 for a stronger promotional push?

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