When news broke that NBC had opted not to pick underdog comedy Community up for a sixth season, despite critical acclaim and a devoted (if small) viewer base, many of the show’s fans were left struggling to contemplate a world in which Jeff, Annie, Britta, Abed, Shirley, Troy and the rest of the Greendale gang would never fulfill #sixseasonsandamovie, the rallying cry which had propelled the bubble show to renewals year after year. Now, it seems that Community fans may be rewarded for their loyalty to the series after all.
According to Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, Hulu is in talks with Community producer Sony Pictures TV in hopes of reaching a deal for more original episodes of the series. As soon as the show was cancelled, the blogosphere ignited as fans petitioned streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon in hopes of getting more Community, but Hulu has really been the most logical choice for a savior, considering that they already maintain a digital syndication pact with the series. Furthermore, they also recently demonstrated a strong commitment to expanding their original content library (at April’s upfronts, CEO Mike Hopkins promised to quadruple the amount of original programming on Hulu within the next year).
Andreeva was quick to clarify that the talks are only at a preliminary stage, but added that, “I hear there is will on both sides.” That piece is huge for Community, given that showrunner Dan Harmon has been less than consistent about his desire to keep the show going in the wake of the its cancellation.
It would be tremendously exciting for Hulu to bring Community back, but resuscitating the comedy would also be an extremely savvy move on the streaming site’s part. After all, Community‘s loyal fanbase would certainly follow the show online, and fans would happily pick up subscriptions in order to see the series finally reach the season six milestone.
Fans should also take heart in Sony TV’s strong track record with reviving cancelled shows. It helped Damages move to DirecTV after FX cancelled it, kept Community going, pushed Rules of Engagement through seven low-rated seasons and successfully brought back Drop Dead Diva and Unforgettable after they were cancelled (by Lifetime and CBS, respectively).
At this point, if any company can bring this series back, it will probably be Hulu. So let’s hope that these deals go well, and that more Community will be headed our way before long. #sixseasonsandamovie