Last week, NBC brought to an end the long-held dream of six seasons and a movie when they announced their cancellation of Community, or at least the chance of seeing that dream come to fruition on their network. Unsurprisingly, the news struck a chord with the show's viewers, who are nothing if not loyal; after all, just a short couple of months ago, NBC seemed to favor the idea of backing a sixth and final Community installment before bringing the series to a close, through one avenue or another.
But fans of Greendale, its colorful cast of characters, and their wacky, meta-textual adventures have for some time lived with the reality that Community might be shut down at any given moment. The show has been dogged by low ratings almost since the beginning of its run on NBC; behind the scenes kerfuffles and the occasional changing of the guard haven't exactly helped the series maintain equilibrium, either. Put another way, stability and Community passed each other like two ships in the night a long time ago, and the show's enthusiastic patrons know it.
That hasn't stopped them from fighting for Community's survival, of course, but in the wake of its unceremonious revocation, that fight has grown wearisome: Netflix passed on picking the series up, a'la Arrested Development, while Hulu seems like too distant a possibility to consider. Now, Community's creator and most recent showrunner, Dan Harmon, is weighing in on the longevity of his own show, and his thoughts on the matter are somewhat tricky to parse out.
Which isn't to say that he's not positive on the idea of transitioning Community to a different network, or of keeping it alive to begin with. But, as one might imagine coming from the person who birthed the series, and who at one point was fired from his duties as executive producer, his feels are complicated and layered; since NBC dropped Community, he's gone through a short version of the twelve stages of grief, making it hard to take him at his word.
Here's a direct quote from Harmon himself:
I will confess, however, that when Sony called me on Friday with the news, there was brief discussion at the end of the call about the concept of the show living elsewhere, and I was definitely in the “eh” column. For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric. I won’t bore you with them. I mean, of course I will bore you with them. Boring you is my job, my hobby and my passion. But it doesn’t matter right now WHY I’d be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid, what matters is, I won’t be lukewarm. I’ll heat up. I said “eh” on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a “sure, let’s talk” on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. I’m not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled Community.
How does one make odds or ends of this? The message here suggests that Harmon is now in a place where he actively wants to pursue taking Community elsewhere with Sony, but if he has enough reasons not to, then maybe he's better off letting go. A sixth season of Community handled halfheartedly would, perhaps, be far worse an outcome than if that sixth season simply didn't happen to begin with. If Harmon isn't "heated up" about it yet, that might serve as a strong indicator that he should consider taking on other projects instead.
Then again, if he does rekindle his passion for the series and if he does find the right home for season six, it'd be a shame to see him let that opportunity go to waste. But pulling this off would be no small feat, something that fans and Harmon both have to acknowledge to avoid further disappointment. The fact that Community's sixth season is still up for discussion means potential for further disappointing fans, but if Harmon can get energized and make it happen, he shouldn't hesitate to take the chance.
We'll keep you up to date on Community as more information becomes available.
Source: Dan Harmon