Omar's coming -- but it's to a silly network sitcom

Michael K. Williams, who played epic villain on 'The Wire,' joins NBC comedy

July 24, 2011

Michael K. Williams, who played one of the greatest villains in TV history on HBO's "The Wire," is joining the cast of NBC's "Community" for three episodes, according to Dan Harmon, executive producer of the NBC sitcom.

Williams, who played stick-up man Omar Little in the Baltimore-based drama, will be cast as a biology professor in "Community," Harmon said.

The producer added that he would like to use Williams in more episodes, but the actor is under contract to HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."

The news was first reported at Vulture, the arts blog of New York Magazine, this weekend. Read it here

 "The general idea with this season is to add a certain amount of groundedness and reality to the series," Harmon told Vulture.

"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. I watched all five seasons, and I wanted to bring a little bit of that mentality and apply it to the Community recipe."

It's a long way from the streets of Baltimore to the Greendale Community College campus in Colorado where the sitcom is set.

Not to be negative about it, but I kind of think it's going to take more than Williams to ground this dippy series in any kind of educational and social-class reality.

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