Fear not, Community diehards. Greendale Community College is making a comeback after all. Yahoo is giving new life to the cancelled NBC cult comedy.
The Sunnyvale, Calif. tech giant-come-content-whisperer has partnered with Sony Pictures Television to bring back Dan Harmon’s clever ensemble satire for a sixth season this fall. Thirteen all-new episodes will be available for streaming exclusively on Yahoo Screen, the company’s ad-supported free streaming video platform.
Yahoo scooped up the show after cable, Hulu and Netflix didn’t bite.
The 11th-hour move -- which came down yesterday, the day the show’s cast contracts were set to expire -- is all part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s battle to lure back users and revive ad revenues with decent on-demand video programming.
NBC canned the meta-humor hit (hit with fans, not so much in prime-time ratings) last month. Community devotees successfully waged a campaign to save Community a year ago and their efforts have paid off again. Disappointed fans took to social media to protest, organizing petitions on Change.org and retweet-storming the rally cry hashtag #sixthseasonandamovie on Twitter. (Sorry, no deal yet on a movie. Six new episodes will have to do for now.)
“#SixSeasonsAndaMovie is real,” Community star Joe McHale said in Yahoo’s official announcement. “Thank you Sony. Thank you Yahoo. Thank you Dan Harmon. And thank you to the greatest f%$#ing fans in the history of the human race. It’s the Internet. We can swear now."
So, yes, as Ken Jeong (who plays evil genius Ben Chang on Community) tweeted yesterday, “the band’s getting back together.” Class is almost in session again in Greendale and the wait won’t be long. Yahoo chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt told The Hollywood Reporter that Community will debut on Yahoo “before the end of the year.”
Sixth season. #CommunitySixthSeason— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) June 30, 2014
Community isn’t the only comedy offering up Yahoo’s sleeve. The company said it will premiere two original programming comedies, Paul Feig’s Other Space and Mike Tollin’s Sin City Saints, some time in the first quarter of next year.