Holy. ()*%#@!$. Cow.

It’s the Internet. And, as Joel McHale said in Alan Sepinwall’s HitFix post regarding the breaking news of Community’s return to the air (err, the web?), “We can swear now.”

The news broke late this afternoon of a deal between Sony Pictures and Yahoo! for an eleventh hour save of our (mostly) beloved comedy about a study group at a Colorado community college. At HitFix, Sepinwall explains today was the last possible point to revive the show as the show’s cast, consisting of McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Jim Rash, John Oliver and Jonathan Banks, were set to be released from their contracts at midnight. (Jacobs secured a recurring role on HBO’s Lena Dunham-vehicle Girls, while Pudi made a surprise cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier this past spring, Oliver launched Last Week Tonight on HBO, and McHale showed no signs of leaving his role at host of E!’s The Soup.)

Dollsome Does Tumblr

And now, as they *would* say on “iCarly”, it’s time for some RANDOM DANCING.

Community, which had an unstable home at major US broadcaster NBC from 2009 to 2014, was not renewed for the 2014/2015 TV season, much to the disappointment of many fans, who redoubled the efforts of their ongoing social media campaign, spearheaded by Catherine Boyd. Fans lobbied Netflix, which resurrected fan-favorite Arrested Development from its premature death at Fox, as well as Comedy Central and Hulu, both of which have syndication deals in place for the show’s previous seasons.

Bing and the Bingette

Us, to NBC, when the premiere date was changed for season three – and four and five.

While the relationship between NBC and Community often appeared adversarial, the show undeniably never contributed to returning the network’s Thursday night lineup to it’s “Must See TV” glory days. (Then again, scheduling Community opposite CBS’s inexplicable ratings juggernaut, The Big Bang Theory, never helped. And, like NBC’s other current Thursday night staple, Parks and Recreation, Community may not have drawn massive ratings, but it consistently received high marks from the critics. [For the sake of argument, we’re ignoring season four. Capice?]) The relationship did appear to deteriorate after NBC was acquired by cable TV provider Comcast, and the endtag of the fifth season finale undeniably flipped the bird at the network and its apparent inability to invest in popular primetime programming.

In which we are all Chandler, and Ross going after Rachel is our collective discovery of Yahoo Screen *for the very first time.*

Yahoo! plans to air Community‘s 13-episode sixth (and likely final) season on Yahoo Screen, an online video service that the Internet corporation plans to use as a platform for new programming. Arguably, using Community to draw the show’s existing fans to the service in the hopes they’ll stick around for other new shows is a savvy move on the part of Yahoo!, although details regarding specifics (premiere date, global availability, access fees, returning cast, etc.) are as yet unavailable.

Community is hardly the first canceled show to be brought back to life. It joins the ranks of Arrested Development, canceled (twice) after three seasons at Fox; The Family Guy, which also fell victim to Fox’s programming manipulations; Firefly, another victim of Fox that was later revived as a major motion picture; and, most recently, Veronica Mars, canceled after three seasons at UPN/The CW only to have a full-length theatrical release crowd funded through KickStarter and released simultaneously as a digital download, through various Video On Demand (VOD) services, and in a limited number of AMC theaters in the U.S.

Community Things

We – or at least I – relate to Jeff, but mostly because we’ve been burned by network TV before.

We here at WWFTP had mixed feelings regarding the show’s fifth season, but were still sad to think we wouldn’t see the cast on our TVs once a week. But as Community has, from the beginning, been immensely popular on the web, it will no doubt be interesting to see how the show transitions from a traditional platform to the brave new world of Internet TV.

More on the Sony Pictures/Yahoo! deal:

Community’ Resurrected by Yahoo Screen for Sixth Season (Zap2It)

Community Moving to Yahoo for Sixth Season (Vulture)

‘Community’ to Return for New Season on Yahoo (Variety)

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Check out our Community tag for our reviews and thoughts on the show’s fifth season, and follow us on Twitter @WWFTP for our thoughts on the new season (whenever it airs).


2 thoughts on “Holy. ()*%#@!$. Cow.

  1. It is always good to hear that a show has a second chance.

    My all time favorite, however, will always be JAG. NBC aired the first season and gave up on it and CBS picked it up. That show then went on for NINE more seasons (10 total) AND gave birth to NCIS (it’s the same universe and the first adventure for Gibbs and the NCIS characters was a JAG two parter episode).

    The NBC stodge who let JAG go must be hating life given all the revenue JAG/NCIS has made now.

    So who knows…

    • You make a good point! I mean, the knuckleheads top dogs at NBC’s programming department have really been off their game for the last several years. (I mean, really, “Whitney”? “Whitney” gets two seasons? WHY? Who looks at that and says, ‘Good idea!’?)

      But I had completely forgotten JAG aired on NBC. My dad watched it (and religiously watches NCIS and its spinoffs), but I only ever half paid attention to it. And, yes, I’m sure there was a personnel change when NBC realized how much money they lost out on with JAG and NCIS.

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