All of Community‘s rabid fans (myself included) were absolutely ecstatic when the cult comedy, cancelled by NBC back in May after five low-rated but critically-adored seasons, found a new lease on life at the absolute last moment when Yahoo Screen swooped in to pick up the show for its long-anticipated sixth season. The darkest timeline, which once seemed like the one we’d have to live with, had been averted – and the good news just kept coming, with word that Dan Harmon and the whole main cast would be returning, and that “early and preliminary talks” were happening about the “movie” part of “#sixseasonsandamovie,” Community fans’ long-time rallying cry.
Now, star Joel McHale is speaking up about his hopes for Community‘s future on Yahoo Screen, where it will begin to air this fall. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about the show’s new home online, McHale expressed incredible excitement for what the future may hold, saying:
“I’m so excited because now there will be no commercial breaks, the restraints I’m assuming will be way less and it’s like this just playground now for [show creator] Dan [Harmon]… Unencumbered Dan Harmon is very exciting.”
It’s true that, with Yahoo Screen, Community won’t need to deal with NBC’s strict content sensors – so expect the Greendale gang to get a bit filthier in the sixth season. While I doubt the show would ever go to the extremes of premium cable shows like Weeds and Californication, it’s certainly excited that Harmon will be able to write the stories he feels are right for his show… without concern for whether NBC will approve. That channel’s execs famously had so many difficulties with Harmon, his personality and his crazy episode ideas that they sacked him at the end of the third season, bringing in Aliens in America showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port to replace him on the fourth season before inviting him back after the ratings didn’t improve.
That type of conflict won’t be a problem on Yahoo Screen, said McHale, noting that Yahoo execs “really believe in the show.” He also doesn’t worry about Community adapting to life online – “I think Community fans have proven that they will find the show,” he said.
On Yahoo Screen’s plans for the series, McHale confirmed that Sony Pictures Television has committed to 13 new episodes of the series, and more will happen “if [the first group of episodes] goes well.” Interestingly, he won’t be taking a pay cut. “I really like money, so it works out great,” McHale said jokingly.
According to the actor, everyone in the show’s cast is excited about moving to Yahoo Screen:
“I know the cast is excited because it’s a whole new frontier, and we wont be up against Big Bang Theory, and we know Yahoo’s really excited to get us out there, and that is incredibly helpful when the people who are paying for you to make it are excited about it.”
As for that long-anticipated movie, “people are already talking about” streaming a feature-length film on Yahoo Screen to fulfill that promise to fans, McHale said. He added that Harmon and executive producer Chris McKenna want an “epic” movie that’s not just “like an episode” extended to a feature-length running time. However, Community‘s writers are focusing on the sixth season for right now, leaving the movie plans until later.
Community will begin airing on Yahoo Screen this fall.