‘Community’: Joel McHale Talks Season 6 and Movie; NBC Explains Cancellation

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Community S5 Cast Community: Joel McHale Talks Season 6 and Movie; NBC Explains Cancellation

Back in May, Community fans everywhere were shocked and saddened by NBC’s upfront announcement that Dan Harmon’s ratings challenged sitcom had been canceled. With the largely underwhelming commercial performance of most other NBC comedies, fans assumed that the fact that Community had a devoted (if small) audience would be enough to save it from the ax again.

Alas, it was not to be. All truly seemed lost, with prospects of Community’s revival looking nonexistent. Then, earlier this month, upstart video service Yahoo Screen saw fit to ride to Community’s rescue like a knight in shining armor.

With that harrowing journey fresh in mind, Community star Joel McHale recently sat down with THR to discuss the show’s fabled season 6 and tentative plans for an “epic” follow-up movie. As you might imagine, McHale feels very positively about Community’s future with Yahoo, who he says “really believes in the show.”

Said McHale:

“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.”

When asked whether he was nervous about Community moving to an untested content provider, McHale was unfazed, and feels that ” ‘Community‘ fans have proven that they will find the show.” McHale also noted that the entire principal cast is contracted to appear in all 13 sixth season episodes, which stands as a contrast to the cost-cutting “single character focus” model employed by Netflix’s revival season of cult sitcom Arrested Development.

As far as the fan-demanded Community movie is concerned, McHale says that Harmon and producer Chris McKenna’s plan is to make a potential movie “epic” in scope, and more than just a longer version of a normal episode. However, a script has yet to be written, and it is by no means set in stone whether the movie would be shown on Yahoo Screen or in some other venue.

Donald Glover and the cast of Community Community: Joel McHale Talks Season 6 and Movie; NBC Explains Cancellation

In a sharp contrast to all that upbeat positivity, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt recently saw fit to shed light on exactly why the Peacock chose to finally cancel Community after five seasons. Predictably, the short answer is that the ratings weren’t good enough. That said, Greenblatt went on to elaborate on the decision making process, in a way that might serve to annoy Greendale devotees everywhere.

“That sixth season thing was created by [the fans] — I’m surprised they didn’t say ’10 seasons and a movie. And [the mantra started] before my time [at NBC]. It didn’t just make sense for us to have another season of it at that level of audience.”

Well, Bob, don’t hold back, tell Community fans how you really feel. While we all know television is a business, it seems a bit counter-productive for Greenblatt to take a backhanded swipe at the passionate fanbase of one of his network’s longest-lasting comedies since the heyday of “Must See TV.” Those same fans may now be a lot less willing to take a shot on a new NBC comedy this fall. After all, nobody likes being talked down to.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter why NBC did what it did. Community will go on, and Jeff, Annie, Britta, Abed, Shirley, Chang, and Dean Pelton will be back for another semester at Greendale soon enough. Results like this may not be typical, but they really do illustrate why fans of a show should never be quick to give up hope. For now, let’s all look forward to six seasons and a movie.

Community season 6 will stream on Yahoo Screen, but has no current premiere date.

Sources: THR, EW

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  1. I don’t really find what Bob said annoying… I love Community but the ratings had been dropping each season, and adittedly so was the quality of some of the story lines. Season 4 was a big set back unfortunately but it had it’s moments (Brie Larson will forever be in the positive column). NBC gave Community a lot more chances than other shows would get, so I couldn’t be angry when they finally cancelled it.

    Looking forward to season 6 and seeing how the new format will revive the show’s creativity :)

    • You’re aware of why season 4 was so terrible..right? The show’s creator and writers were fired so that season ended up being a poor imitation of the real show. Harmon was rehired for season 5.

    • What annoys me about his statement is that, during the marketing of season 5, NBC fully embraced the #sixseasonsandamovie gag. They basically gave fans a false sense of hope thinking ‘NBC are really backing Community’ just for them to come around and pretty much say ‘Yeah, it was a pretty stupid idea’.

  2. I wonder, since this is not on TV anymore, are they exempt from censorship.
    Like will they be able to swear and show nudity?
    Netflix does, what about Yahoo? Any ideas guys?

    • yahoo is an internet-based service. why would they be censored? it’ll be like netflix

      • Im worried that too much freedom will affect the quality of the scripts. the show didn’t need swearing or nudity before and i fail to see how it will make it better. for me its best comedy is powered by observation, commentary and character humour not shock humor. That is possibly why pierce irritated me especially in the later seasons.

        It looks like Troy isn’t coming back and as sad as i was to see him go i actually enjoyed Abed without him in season 5. I don’t think they could achieve that troy abed excitement of the first two seasons again and i would actually like a season or two without him.

        • I agree – but I wouldn’t be adverse to one episode where they swear a bit – as a meta reference to their current format. Community has always been about trying new things – now the canvas is bigger. After seeing what Dan Harmon is capable of with a little more flexibility on Rick and Morty, the idea of him completely unhinged is very exciting!

  3. it needed to end anyway

  4. The general idea that the show became worse after season 4 & 5 is waaay out of proportion. Dan himself said that initial problems with season 5 couldn’t just be blamed on season 4 as they were already going that direction at the end of season 3.

    I feel like the simpsons effect is making everyone just assume that a show needs to be put down immediately after the 3rd season, like any shake-up at all means everything is over. Sheez. In every Community article everywhere there are always a group of fans saying “Just let it die already.” Hell, even longtime Simpsons fans aren’t that quick and eager to say it that bluntly.

    Not that there aren’t people out there that really have that opinion, of course there are, I respect that, but it seems like a lot of that is also just jumping to conclusions. As for me, Community season 4 had a few important episodes, and season 5 had a few great ones as well.

    I’m just glad for the movie, and I hope they don’t have to be obligated to introduce every single character again for audiences in general.

  5. I don’t really see how it makes sense for a network, in this supposed struggle against piracy and online streaming slowly but seemingly steadily shoveling the earth from under the big networks, to cancel shows with such a devoted following, even if it is small. It seems to me, keeping fan favourites around is a pretty good idea actually.

    But then again, I am from Iceland and I have honestly never really understood how ratings and such work. Every time something like a cancellation of a show happens I think of the time Homer went to space, ‘And how’s the spacecraft doing?’ ‘I don’t know. All this equipment is to measure TV ratings.’

    • It’s done by measuring the watch behavior of a (big) test group. The reason why ratings are important: the more viewers, the more companies want to pay for advertising in the commercial brakes.

    • But isn’t that exactly the thing? So many so-called fans of Community just torrented or illegally streamed it, contributing nothing to the viewership (and product placement money only goes so far).

      • I used to believe that, but I kind of think it’s weird that there is nothing that can be done to at least make it hard for the dudes whose goal in life seems to be to rip or steal any form of material and share it for free. There has to be some way of preventing this… at least one would think so

        I try to minimize my pirating as possible, but there are times when I simply have to download stuff worth watching, thanks to the genocidal fascists in control of foreign programming in the land of ice and snow, the midnight sun where the hot springs blow :)

        Mabe I’m a hypocrite, but I do agree that those particular fans have little right to complain when the show they’re stealing gets cancelled. I would sacrifice my own access to tv shows like community, if all the pirates would retire, and just wait for the DVDs, which I buy anyway.

        Of course there are arguments for both sides, maybe piracy has forced networks and studios to maybe try a little harder, yet nothing can sustain if no one pays so…

  6. So will Season 6 be available to everyone or do you have to pay? Will there for sure be a movie? And will season 6 be the final season?

    • Uhm, how are we suppose to know all that? Did you NOT read the article. None of that stuff was announced, so pay attention and do some research!!

  7. I thought the show ended really well, I’m a fan but I feel it should stay a ‘cult following.’. Plus NBC Chairman Mr. Greenblatt sounds like a whiny loser who wishes he could find a another hit like ‘Community.’

  8. It was only about 2 weeks ago that I finally broke down and cancelled my DVR Season Pass for Community.
    Simply put, I was in denial. So it goes without saying that I’m beyond thrilled that Yahoo saved the show and on a side note I’m glad there’s a Yahoo App for my Roku so I don’t have to watch the show on my laptop.
    I don’t mind watching some stuff online but I prefer watching movies and T.V. the old fashioned way.

    As excited as I am for more Community I kind of hope we get one more season then whatever movie or special they want to make and then that’s it.
    Go out strong and with a bang and leave folks wanting more.

    • And I’m so glad for piracy and the ability to watch the show on my TV via my ps3 playing the converted 720p .mkv file. So I can avoid some dumb app all together!!

  9. “which stands as a contrast to the cost-cutting “single character focus” model employed by Netflix’s revival season of cult sitcom Arrested Development.”

    Wait, I thought the main impetus for that was the scheduling for each actor since they’re all (well, mostly all) pretty busy with other shows/movies. This just makes it sound more nefarious.

  10. Will Yahoo get the entire series or just this season?

  11. “Well, Bob, don’t hold back…Those same fans may now be a lot less willing to take a shot on a new NBC comedy this fall. After all, nobody likes being talked down to.”

    @Michael Kennedy – have you watched any new NBC sitcoms in the last handful of years…one had a monkey working in an animal hospital. Another had Whitney Cummings. Even Michael J. Fox couldn’t make it work on NBC. The best sitcom NBC has had in a long while had its 13 episodes burned through during the first month of summer (Undateable)…that show had some really funny comedians with comedic timing, but the show could have benefitted from better writers. MUST SEE TV is dead. I’m pretty sure that the internet killed it.

    I don’t like how Bob basically took a shot at Community’s viewers, but can you blame him? Who is really going to watch a sitcom on this network? Unless they take the plot of School of Rock and throw in a funny actor like Craig Robinsion, I will not be watching NBC sitcoms.

    • Well I’m personally very excited about “intensive Karen” and “Mr. Egypt”…

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