With 'Community' picked up by Yahoo Screen, does the streaming service have what it takes to make the show a hit?
‘Community’ fans: rejoice! Put down your pitchforks and send all of your scathing blog posts to the drafts section, because the show is officially coming back for a sixth season. In what was widely considered a surprise across the industry, the show was picked up by Yahoo Screen last week after talks fell apart with the streaming service Hulu. "I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo," showrunner Dan Harmon said in a statement. "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!"
Yahoo Screen picked up ‘Community’ for a sixth season
Harmon’s plans to de-throne BangBus may be a little farfetched, but the move from television to Internet for Community will undoubtedly work in the show’s favor. Over the years, it constantly struggled to keep up ratings, but there was always a strong Internet and social media presence with its fanbase that supported ‘Community’ through thick and thin. When the show was eventually canceled by their network NBC in early May, it looked like it was going to be the end of its five year run – however, it always had a chance to strive online.
With so many streaming services available, the go to suggestion was that ‘Community’ was an obvious pick up by Netflix. Netflix, which is now known for its own original shows (as well as revivals of ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘The Killing’) opted not to bring it back. However, reports surfaced in June that Sony was in talks with Hulu to bring the sixth season there, but when talks fell through, the future didn’t look very bright – that was until Yahoo Screen swooped in right before cast contracts were set to expire. So, now that it’s officially back, the question is: what is Yahoo Screen, anyway? It was clearly the least popular of the streaming options. In fact, you wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t even know it existed. Launched in 2006, Yahoo Screen started as a YouTube esque video sharing site until it rebranded in 2011, when it started one of its first original programs, ‘Burning Love.’
With ‘Community,’ it may just be the push that Yahoo Screen may need to get more eyes on their service. In the reviews for its app on Apple’s App Store, many are praising Yahoo for the ‘Community’ pick up and mention how they haven’t heard of Yahoo Screen until now, which is probably exactly what Yahoo was hoping for. Meanwhile, for the show itself, Yahoo is one of the most popular websites in the world. Even if its on-demand site isn’t as big, it’s certainly got the means to promote the new season on a massive scale.
Can a sixth season on Yahoo Screen be successful?
So, what do we know about the sixth season of ‘Community’ so far? It’s set to air this fall, and while it isn’t clear if the episodes will exceed its standard 21 minute runtime, the 13 episode season will be released weekly as opposed to all at once. The original cast will all make its return as well, with the exception of Donald Glover and Chevy Chase. Most importantly, if the season is a success, does #SixSeasonsAndAMovie turn into a reality? Sony Pictures Television president of programming Zack Van Amburg told The Hollywood Reporter that “very early and preliminary” conversations have been made regarding a feature film after season six’s conclusion, and also opened the door to a possibility of additional seasons after a movie. Will #SixSeasonsAndAMoviePlusMoreSeasons become the next social media campaign? Either way, ‘Community’ is back, and it seems like the darkest timeline is finally over.