Community is getting its sixth season. This fall, it'll head to Yahoo Screen for a 13-episode run, saving the show after it was canceled by NBC in May. "I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo," series creator Dan Harmon says in a statement. "I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online." It appears as though the show will retain its half-hour format, and stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Jim Rash will all return.
"The reports of our cancelation have been greatly exaggerated." —Joel McHale
Community has been a cult hit since its debut in 2009, but it's never seen particularly big viewership numbers, making it surprising that it's even made it this far. But the series has poked fun at its likely demise, and its fans have long been campaigning for it to get "six seasons and a movie." It didn't look like Community was going to get there, but in a true eleventh-hour rescue, Yahoo and Sony Pictures Television struck a deal: contracts for the cast to return to the series were reported to expire today.
It's good news for comedy fans, and it's a savvy move by Yahoo too. Yahoo's starting to get its original programming up and running, and it had planned to debut its first TV-length comedies next year. Now, it'll have Community to kick off its new programming effort instead, and that's sure to get viewers paying attention and coming back to Yahoo as a source for quality TV. Even if viewership figures remain below where they were during Community's prime, the series could help to bring some initial prestige to Yahoo's programming as it begins to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Microsoft, Amazon, and other big tech names diving into the web-TV fray.
For its part, Yahoo is having fun with the news. "You can’t get to six seasons and a movie without a sixth season," Jamie Erlicht, Yahoo's programming and production president, says in a statement. "Yahoo is the perfect home for the continuation of this journey."
As Netflix showed with Arrested Development, bringing a beloved sitcom from TV to the web isn't quite as easy as it looks. But Community, despite some hiccups with its core talent, hasn't stopped running, and it's a show that's been endlessly willing to reinvent itself. After its fifth season's eventful finale, it may well have to do that yet again to get this next season going — but if any series can do it, it's Community.