Community‘s goal of “six seasons and a movie” got one step closer as Yahoo! Screen picked up the canceled NBC sitcom for the show’s sixth and likely final season, saving the series just hours before the actors’ contracts expired yesterday. It’s a move that I don’t think anyone expected; especially after Hulu rejected the idea and Netflix made no or little move about the possibility of taking Community.
The show, according to Vulture, will have thirteen episodes streamed online, retain creator Dan Harmon as the show runner, and, in Vulture’s own words, receive a production value that “will not be dramatically different than the most recent NBC season of the show.” These conditions free Community from much of the pressure it received on air, where it continuously struggled in its time-slot against The Big Bang Theory, as well as giving Harmon the creative freedom to do what he wants. It’s just about every Community fans’ personal dream.
I’ve loved Community since I first saw “Modern Warfare” in 2010, but I’m a bit worried about the series’ fate online. While Yahoo’s guidelines are certainly encouraging, it’s hard to predict what they have planned in store for formatting the series for streaming, whether having it as a lengthened webisode or in series’ typical full-length episode structure (like in Arrested Development‘s fourth season). Other than that, Community has gone on for nearly 100 episodes now, making me wonder if Harmon and co. can keep the same quality as the past five seasons (minus the fourth).
Still, I expect that Community will do well on Yahoo and look forward to watching the series when it returns.