Countless fan campaigns and articles pressed for a revival on obvious choices like Comedy Central, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. But like The Cape that sparked the #SixSeasonsAndAMovie catchphrase, Yahoo has suddenly swooped in from the darkness and saved its damsel in distress just in the nick of time—that is, the very day the actors’ contracts were to expire. It’s possibly the strangest option that doesn’t quite make sense, but that itself makes perfect sense for the legendary little oddity that is Community.
If Yahoo seems like a totally random option, it should; Yahoo quietly announced its foray into original programming last April, but this is the first announcement that’s really made any sort of splash. And that’s surely what’s intended; like the explosion of coverage Netflix received from reviving Arrested Development, Community will definitely put Yahoo Screen’s name out there for the first time for most.
As for the show itself, Vulture’s initial article indicates that it will be for “at least 13 episodes.” It also notes that all principal cast members will return from season 5, minus the already-departed Donald Glover and (unfortunately) new addition Jonathan Banks, though the latter reported last year that he’d only be on for a single season. Creator Dan Harmon is definitely on board again, with executive producer Chris McKenna in talks.
It’s a major win for rabid Community fans, though the impact of a move to webseries—perfect as it is for a show that was already watched predominately on the internet—remains to be seen. Vulture’s article reports that Yahoo’s budget is actually on par with NBC’s, which means we might not see much by way of cost-cutting measures. That’s a very good thing, considering the show was already budget-slashed a few seasons ago, and sixth-season actor contracts aren’t exactly cheap. This also hopefully rules out doing a cost-cutting variation of Arrested Development season four’s one-character-per-episode structure, because let’s be honest, even those of us who loved Arrested Development season four don’t want that.
This also means the oversight of NBC and general network censorship are out of the picture, so a Community free of those chains could either be a massive creative renaissance for the show, or an untameable self-referential monster. Whatever happens, Community remains to be one of the weirdest shows in television history, both on-screen and off.
For our thoughts on what’s now NBC’s final season, check out our review of season 5 of Community.