Community fans were saddened by NBC's cancellation of Dan Harmon's little meta sitcom that could, after five seasons. The low-rated series seemed to perpetually sit on the edge of the network axe for most of its run, but many TV pundits had pegged the show as a safe bet for renewal, due to how poorly most of NBC's new comedies had been received. Yahoo Screen soon stepped in, picking up the series for a 13-episode sixth season, and nearly fulfilling Community's fan-mandated "six seasons and a movie" destiny.
Has Community's stay of execution ended at last? Well, it's difficult to say for certain right now, based on what the show's longtime cast members are saying about the prospect of a seventh season (or even - gasp! - a movie).
During a recent interview with Metro Weekly, Joel McHale was asked about Community's future prospects with Yahoo, and seemed to conclusively shut the door on another semester at Greendale:
"[Yahoo] wanted to. But all of our contracts were up after six years. All the actors on the show, almost without exception — their stock has risen significantly and it’s out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show. So you’re not going to be able to get Alison Brie or Gillian Jacobs at a normal television salary anymore. There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show."
Community would be far from the first show to get canceled due to the cast becoming too expensive. After playing the lead in a cult hit for six years, McHale is likely fielding multiple offers for other TV gigs, and has already accepted a recurring role on FOX's revival of The X-Files. Also, standouts like Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, and the aforementioned Brie and Jacobs are no doubt as in-demand right now as McHale is.
Sony reps say that talks concerning Community's future are still ongoing, although it would obviously be hard to continue the show without its cast members. After all, nobody wants a Coy and Vance Duke situation, where new character Jack Springer is introduced at the outset of Greendale's seventh semester.
McHale has likewise back-tracked on his Metro Weekly comments about Community's future:
Easy sugar-bear, Community is not canceled. #QuestionMarkSeasonsAndaMovie
— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) August 4, 2015
There are a few possibilities here to consider. The first is that known deadpan snarker McHale is simply playfully toying with the emotions of Community's fanbase. The second is that maybe Joel was invoking the "exact words" rule of answering questions and while Community is done on Yahoo, it's possible the series will continue on via a different network or streaming platform. The third is that he simply means that Community will be back as a movie, meaning that the franchise is technically still alive. (Jeong, for his part, recently admitted he's "completely in the dark" concerning the show's future, but would be game for either a seventh season and/or movie.)
If Community is well and truly done as a series, fans will no doubt begin asking the following question: Will Dan Harmon, cast, and crew return for the long-teased Community movie? A Community follow-up film would not have to head to theaters; to be honest, the idea that Sony would view that as being a potentially profitable endeavor is almost laughable.
Still, if a movie happens, where would it air? Would the internet giant be willing to shell out the cash for a one-time reunion? Or would a Community movie perhaps go direct to DVD and Blu-Ray? At the very least, we know it's probably not headed back to NBC.
How about it, Greendale Community College fans? What do you think/hope the future holds for Community (if anything)?
Source: Metro Weekly