NBC Cancels ‘Community’; Season 6 Still Possible on Hulu [Updated]

Published 11 months ago by , Updated May 11th, 2014 at 5:00 pm,

Community Canceled Season 6 Movie NBC Cancels Community; Season 6 Still Possible on Hulu [Updated]

[Update: Netflix has officially stated that they are not in negotiations for Community season 6. Scroll down for details.]

Throughout years of near-cancellations, showrunner change-ups, and principle cast departures, Community fans have continued to push forward in the “6 seasons and movie” campaign. Unfortunately, it won’t happen at NBC. Despite enduring love for the show from fans, the series’ (consistent) underwhelming ratings have finally forced the network to pass on a season 6 renewal.

For faithful viewers the announcement could come as a shock, especially since recent rumors suggested NBC might lean toward renewal. Nevertheless, the writing has been on the wall for several seasons – in spite of all the goodwill on social media Community‘s problematic ratings have fallen with nearly every subsequent season. Viewers who have stuck with the Greendale Study Group since 2009 will surely be disappointed but, in fairness to NBC, the network kept renewing the series longer than most insiders had expected (mostly because they didn’t have an adequate replacement). Now, the question becomes: Will Sony TV be able to keep the “6 seasons and a movie” dream alive and find a new home for Community?

Variety was the first to report that NBC had officially canceled the series while also suggesting that Community could be resurrected (again) – this time on a different network or TV delivery platform. While NBC has been instrumental in delivering the series to viewers for five years, Community is actually owned by Sony Pictures Television – meaning that NBC does not have final word in the show’s future. The network might not see a place in their programming schedule for Community but others might.

The most likely option, and one that Sony has reportedly been considering ever since NBC began to sour on the series, would see Community moved to an online content provider like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. Currently, Hulu has exclusive stream rights for past episodes – making it the most likely contender for Community season 6 placement. However, the current deal between Sony and Hulu could likely be amended  (to allow another provider access to seasons 1-5) – especially if the online streaming service was not interested in providing funds for future Community episodes.

Community Season 5 Cast NBC Cancels Community; Season 6 Still Possible on Hulu [Updated]

Streaming services are quickly becoming a go-to alternative for shows on the verge of cancellation – and, in many cases, it’s actually a win-win situation. Fan-favorite programs (Arrested Development) find a new home (and money to produce future episodes) while online entertainment platforms are able to expand their available libraries without investing the upfront costs of developing a brand new show (like House of Cards).

In addition, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon receive much of their income from alternative revenue streams – subscriptions, premium services, in addition to traditional advertising. As a result, discarded programs with existing audiences can be especially attractive – since picking up a series like Community would, subsequently, result in an injection of new subscribers. Traditional networks weigh programming decisions heavily on viewer count, whereas streaming services look at a variety of factors – replayability and potential new subscribers, among others.

Community could be a smart addition as original programming at any of the online content providers. Unlike an expensive cult-favorite like Firefly or Almost Human, Community is also relatively inexpensive to film – creating an opportunity to attract new consumers and build brand loyalty with only moderate production costs. After all, while online streaming services have become second nature to certain consumers, there are still a lot of potential customers who are glued to network and cable programming.

Captain America Winter Soldier Community Cast Cameo NBC Cancels Community; Season 6 Still Possible on Hulu [Updated]

For that reason, it’s important that Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, among others, continue to expand their libraries and forge ahead with original programming. Times are changing and, after years of competing against cable and network models, more and more online content providers are attempting to enter the same space – meaning that success isn’t just about the size of a provider’s library anymore, they also need to secure exclusive must-see programs to help maintain interest in their specific brand.

Still, there’s no guarantee that Community will be picked-up by an online (or traditional) provider. These days, whenever a show is cancelled, fans place a lot of hope in an online revival (Terra Nova) but only a handful of series actually receive a second chance – and if we’re being honest, Community has already received more chances than most. Many fans fawned at the return of creator Dan Harmon for season 5 but the showrunner was never able to capitalize on that goodwill outside of the existing viewer base. Harmon has been a steady hand the last year but with the departure of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover even the show’s most dedicated viewers have started to lose a bit of enthusiasm.

community s5 surprise NBC Cancels Community; Season 6 Still Possible on Hulu [Updated]

Talk of a movie has also persisted, but Harmon has previously reiterated that development on a big screen addition to the series is somewhat separate from actual TV development. Cancellation will certainly be a hard blow to the prospect of a Community film but, if the show finds a home somewhere else for season 6, it shouldn’t be too hard to get movie development back on track.

Some fans may have dropped off and others might grumble from episode to episode but plenty of viewers remain committed to the Greendale Study Group. Until we hear otherwise, there’s reason to keep hope alive that we could still see the “6 seasons and a movie” campaign realized. If not, the season 5 finale was a decent place to end a series that has endured one hell of a roller coaster ride at NBC.

Update: Variety claims, via a Netflix rep, that the streaming service isn’t in negotiations for the series. As a result, and as stated in the article, Hulu remains the best chance of an online renewal. Hulu is actively expanding their original programming library, Community‘s high-profile cast would make the show one of their most expensive projects. Still, if prior seasons of Community have performed well on the streaming service, it is possible that Hulu would be willing to help give the series a proper send-off.


MORE: Dan Harmon Talks Community Season 6 Ideas


Community could return in the future – somewhere other than NBC.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Community, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Variety

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
TAGS: Community
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  1. It needs to be on hulu cuz i don’t have netflix

    • This needs to be on Netflix because I don’t have Hulu.

    • This needs to be on…..I dunno but I don’t have Hulu or Netflix, nor subscribe to any other service (I’d rather it stay on the SONY channel myself).

    • I have both and am about to cancel my cable service with Time Scammer, because like Insight before them, they like to raise their prices. They raised my bill an extra $5 this month for the same basic crap I’ve had the last couple of years. $16 a month for both services versus paying over $100 for cable? Yeah time for it to go. I can save that money or use it for something else. Soon as my dvr is clear it’s gone. I would suggest just have both services and screw cable. If you can’t find your show on either service there is plenty of websites where you can find them.

  2. I was thinking about shaving my depression beard for a while now but since the cancellation of Community confirms that we are now in #TheDarkestTimeline I will continue to let it grow until Netflix, Amazon or Hulu pick this up. ;(

  3. This show sucked.

    • Good for you. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…

    • I hope you wasted your precious time by reading the entire article about a show you dislike before you posted that comment.

    • Then why are you here? Don’t watch reruns and don’t talk about it. And don’t troll.

  4. Revolution also cancelled, double whammy.

    • Revolution is not a big shock……

      • Definitely is to me, I enjoy watching that show. Got dumb at times (last week’s episode for example) but overall, I liked it. Also had no idea Giancarlo Esposito had appeared in Breaking Bad until a few months ago.

        Ironically, he was also in Community too.

        • That show has been spinning it’s wheels since the middle of last season. They seemed to ignore half of what they established early on and just started doing another thin story that has gone nowhere. The characters are also overall some of the most unlikable I have seen on a show in awhile.

  5. What a major bummer! Loved this show from day 1 and to this day it’s funnier than the majority of comedies out there. Dear God please let Netflix pick this up!

  6. It seems like a crime that Community would be cancelled when it was so close to Six Seasons and a Movie. This would be great for Hulu or Amazon to swoop in, gain some new subscribers and earn some goodwill. It would be great PR as it would be seen as being a savior for cult comedies. Ever since Netflix revived Arrested Development, it is brought up with every cancellation and this could do the same for Amazon or Hulu. Relatively cheap way to gain new subscribers and get your name in the headlines

  7. Take a look at Parks and Rec’s numbers and then tell us why they got an early renewal while NBC decided to play stupid with Community. The thing about money is an excuse since they decide to keep around the other shows that also have low ratings – P&R has lower numbers than Community.

    • I honestly think it’s all about doing favours to people that are friends with the higher ups in TV. That’s the only possible explanation I can have for Chuck Lorre’s shows being aired and lasting as long as they do while much better shows are tossed asunder.

    • P&R however brings in Emmy noms and a Golden Globe wins. Plus, Amy hosted the Golden Globes for the past two years, an award show that airs on NBC. Coincidence? Also, all the stars on P&R are much bigger than the stars on Community. Ie. Poehler, Pratt (GUARDIANS!!!!), Plaza, Ansari.

      • Same can be said for Modern Family. That show was ok/good in its 1st season and has been terrible since, yet get renewed every year.

      • So you haven’t figured out that most awards shows are complete BS and full of back-slapping more than rewarding actual talent?

        I’d also argue the “bigger stars” thing too since Poehler’s the only slightly recognisable face/name in the cast for most people outside the US (although saying that, show her picture or tell someone her name and you’ll receive a blank look and a “sorry, don’t know who that is”). Pratt’s only becoming slightly known now and will become huge after August.

        So that’s a cast on P&R only recognisable to sections of America versus Chevy Chase, who is known around the world. Unless you go by the Hollywood way of thinking and assume the world ends along America’s borders.

        • Jim Rash – Oscar winner + Ken Jeong – Hangover films + John Oliver… all fairly well recognized as well (outside of US, let alone within US). The “bigger stars” point is mute…

          • ‘moot’

            • No, I originally meant ‘mute’. The example I gave deadened the original examples/point. Moot means impractical or irrelevant point(‘s)- the issue brought up was both but has now been countered (therefore muted).

              • *wasn’t both.
                I.e it was practical and relevant.

      • The award shows like the emmys or the golden globes are all a popularity contest. its sad to think that danny pudi never got a nom yet he has one of the most diverse characters (Abed pretends to be a different character in almost every episode) while people like jim parsons (no hate intended) win practically every year even though sheldon acts the same in every episode of the big bang theory.

        im betting that in a few years people will start realizing how good of a show community was and claim that they were always into it.

    • P&R is the equivalent of CBS’s Two and a Half Men & ABC’s Modern Family. I.e dumb simpletons comedy to appeal to the masses. Community is a niche smart comedy that is the opposite.

      • +1
        I’m relieved it will be available on Hulu in the future. Meantime, I’ll buy the DVD series collection

  8. Why???? And just when the show was getting funny again. In the past season literally every episode was funny, and I hope Netflix picks it up.


    • to you and everyone else suggesting it, netflix will not pick this up. it’s in syndication on comedy central and airs exclusively online on Hulu. Why would netflix pick it up if airs on other platforms like that? netflix loves binge watchers, but that’s kinda difficult when it airs on hulu and CC as well.

      • Wouldn’t be surprised if Sony makes deals in foreign markets (even other countries Netflix’s) to get the #SixSeason&aMovie mantra achieved. It’s inevitable it’s getting it. My disappointment is now having the unknown long wait for it all.

        • Could always go with international funding I guess.

          I dunno though, it’s always aired on The SONY Channel over here. Comedy Central UK’s biggest current shows are The Office season 9 (we had episode 3 a few days ago), Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly, Friends re-runs and Frasier re-runs.

          Guess we’ll have to see but I hope there’s one more season.

      • Not that I completely disagree with your point, but AD is shown in syndication on the new FXX channel as well as playing the new season on Netflix. There are also some programs that are available on a combination of Hulu, Netflix, and/or Amazon Prime. It all depends on the types of deals Sony has worked out. I think Community went to Hulu because it was part of the NBC family. Now that it’s not, I don’t know how all that plays out. Fingers crossed that something can work out for a few more episodes to at least give a more satisfying conclusion instead of the closing party scene we got after not becoming a Subway Sandwich College.

  9. I wonder if anyone is going to sue them over the season 3 finale #. It would be like those kind of funny, pointless cases you always read or hear about all the time.

  10. Long overdue! It was good the first two seasons but it was getting to office Season 9 level bad by the end.

  11. This sucks. NBC sucks. Community is way better than the no-brainer comedies out there.
    Netflix Hulu don’t let us down.
    #6seasonsandmovie #communityfanforever

  12. NO!!!

    Why is this happening???

    Please NBC, renew Community for at least another season!!
    Or at least Netflix.
    Harmon is back and the episodes are getting better!

    Don’t do this :(

  13. I am a huge fan of Community fan but I feel its run its course. I find P&R giving me more laughs than community, when before P&R was miles behind community. Having Harmon back it just still isn’t as good, especially with characters Troy and Pierce having left.

  14. There has to be 6 seasons though

  15. NBC LOVES to cancel shows….Its what they do best

  16. #DarketsTimeline

  17. I’ve been a fan of this show since it first came out. I am sadden to see it go, especially because I think had it continued Danni Pudi would have become bigger, but it has run it’s course. Season 5 the writers saw what NBC had planned for them. It’s a shame but that’s how it goes.

    In closing I’m just glad that as a nerd there was a nerdy tv show. Not a show like BBT where it’s mocking nerds and the stereotypical mannerism. Community was a nerd show that celebrated being a geek, spaz, and outsider. Besides even with community gone at least we have Rick and Morty which is awesome.

    • TBBT is fine for what it is but I agree that it’s not for nerds or real comic book geeks. It’s for poser nerds and geeks.

      Rick and Morty has deadened the blow a bit. Love that show!

  18. Jesus, whoever wrote this should do a tiny bit of research first. Netfilx would have no interest in producing a 6th season because Hulu has the exclusive rights to the online streaming of the first 5 seasons community. Netflix isn’t going to invest in making just one season of a show if they don’t even have access to the back catalogue. Hulu is the only one that would/could pick it up and it would be a good business move with an outside horse being comedy central because they have the tv syndication rights. If they move fast and maybe cut the ep count to 8-10 I think it’s got a real good chance at a comeback thru hulu


  19. Hmm. Something else I got out of this news is that Joel McHale won’t have any contractual tie up with NBC. So maybe him being a possible replacement for Late Late Show is possible now…

  20. I’m curious, is it really true that “Community is also relatively inexpensive to film”, as the article says? I mean, in terms of production costs maybe that’s true, but it seems to me like the cast are REALLY underpaid if it’s actually “a cheap show”, especially now that they have 5 seasons under their belt. I’d love to see the show continue, but I’m not going to ask the cast to work for peanuts to make it happen.