Greendale rejoice! Community, the beloved cult-favorite comedy has found a new home on Yahoo. Partnering with Sony Pictures Television, Yahoo’s streaming service, Yahoo Screen, has ordered a 13-episode season of the former NBC series. Not only will the majority of the cast return, but Community creator and showrunner Dan Harmon will write the series for Yahoo.
For those who might be unaware of the comedy, Community centers on the students and faculty of Greendale Community College. This collection of weird, but well-meaning misfits typically deals with zombie outbreaks, paintball wars and parallel timelines. Nothing is out of bounds for Harmon’s creative series.
Less about what a student may face at college, Community’s real focus is on the deconstruction of American pop culture. Disregarding the typical antics and canned laugh tracks that continue to plague many American sitcoms, Harmon’s show dared to be different, and it often paid for it. Beset by low ratings, Community always seemed to be a breath away from cancellation. Well, with its cancellation by NBC in May, it felt like the doors would close at Greendale for good.
Harmon himself was more than happy to share his thoughts on Yahoo’s buyout.
“I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo. I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online. I vow to dominate our new competition. Rest easy, Big Bang Theory. Look out, BangBus!”
As Harmon points out himself, a move to an online format might bring in the audience that Community so desperately deserved while on television. As a member of a generation that receives the majority of their entertainment content from the internet, this change is more than welcome by me.
The viewership of online media eclipses most network television shows today. Shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black might have struggled to survive on television, but by being online, they have a greater chance of being seen. With an ever increasing online population, the possibility of Community receiving even more viewers is greater than ever before.
As thrilled as I am about the return of Community, the question needs to be asked: Is Yahoo’s resurrection of the show a good thing?
Community will be getting a sixth season, but a long series doesn’t always equal success. A show rarely continues to stay great for so long, even with the original creative team at the helm.
I loved Community’s first two seasons. They felt so original, and they really appealed to people immersed in geek culture. Everyone I knew was talking about it for a time. However, Season 3 felt off. It still had the humor, but the writing wasn’t as sharp as it had been. After the critically panned fourth season, Season 5 felt like a solid, though slightly underwhelming return to form.
With Harmon writing Season 6 of Community in the fall, only time will tell if he can deliver the same quality of content. I’m still waiting for another episode like “Dungeons and Dragons.”
More importantly, is Yahoo up to the task of taking on a series like Community? With only one show under its belt, Burning Love, Yahoo is still untested when it comes to delivering original content. Getting Harmon to write and watch over the creation of a sixth season can be seen as step in the right direction. Yahoo, whose only option right now is to play it safe, might take a hands-off approach to their recent acquisition. By allowing Harmon and company to do what they do best, they’ll receive goodwill from the fans, and more importantly, viewers.
Will Community be able to go beyond its sixth season? At this point, it’s in the hands of Yahoo. Yahoo is nowhere near the level of a steaming service like Netflix, or even Amazon. They got the attention of Community fans and those familiar with online streaming, but whether they can be successful with this particular program is another matter entirely.
If Community does get that coveted sixth season and a movie, fans of the show will have to create a new hashtag.
What do you think reader? Excited about Yahoo’s acquisition of Community? Let us know in the comments below.