The fan-favorite and critically well-received series Community has had a complicated history to say the least. Between multiple cancellations at NBC, tension behind the scenes, and the removal (and return) of creator Dan Harmon, it seemed the show wouldn’t make it through another season. However, when Yahoo Screen picked up the series, the fans’ hope for “six seasons and a movie” was renewed.
At the winter Television Critics Association event, Yahoo unveiled the release date for Community’s sixth season and Harmon talked about his mindset while writing season 6 as well as who he hopes to see return to the show.
Yahoo released a video announcement (above) of when Community’s sixth season will debut: March 17th, 2015. Two episodes of Community will air on Yahoo the day of the show’s premiere, and one episode will be released every subsequent Tuesday until the season concludes. New cast member Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) joined Harmon and fellow stars Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Gillian Jacobs, and Jim Rash in the video to make the announcement.
The Wrap is reporting Harmon also revealed at the TCAs that star Yvette Nicole Brown - who previously announced her departure from Community - will be written out of the series in its Yahoo debut and that she is welcome to return. John Oliver and Jonathan Banks, however, likely won’t return due to scheduling conflicts.
On whether or not Donald Glover would reprise his role as Troy Barnes, Harmon said he “prays to the devil” for the actor to return. As for another of Community's original stars, there was a recent rumor that Chevy Chase would return for a cameo in the show’s sixth season. In response to whether or not there is any validity to the rumor, Harmon said, “His character died.”
Though the phrase - coined on Community and made popular by fans using #SixSeasonsAndAMovie to rally around the series - suggests the show will run a finite number of seasons, Harmon said he doesn’t necessarily want to be confined by it.
Read Harmon’s full quote:
“I’m definitely not writing it as if it was the end. In my mind, I have to continue to write the show as if its going to last for 20 seasons.”
Fans may be slightly disappointed if Harmon and Community don’t stick to the six seasons and a movie model, but the sting will likely dissipate should the show return for a seventh season. However, Harmon said he isn’t sure how Yahoo will measure the success of Community now that Nielsen ratings won’t apply.
With the rise of video on demand services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon creating original content (or reviving previously established content), Community’s sixth season will be another example of how television is evolving in the digital landscape. Additionally, Amazon’s recent wins at the Golden Globes for their series Transparent, seems to illustrate other services are finding success aside from Netflix.
Whether or not Community will be more or less enjoyable to fans in its new format, though, may have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day. However, Amazon and Netflix’s success along with Harmon’s confidence in the series should offer fans some hope.
Community returns for its sixth season March 17th, 2015 on Yahoo Screen.