Yahoo saves 'Community,' gives sitcom a sixth season

Yahoo made a bold move to bolster its lineup of original programming Monday, announcing it would revive the cancelled NBC sitcom “Community” for at least one more season. Yahoo and Sony Pictures Television said a 13-episode sixth season will air this fall on Yahoo Screen.

“Community,” the critically praised but ratings-challenged comedy about a band of misfit community college students, had reportedly been seeking new life with Netflix, Amazon or Hulu following its cancellation in May. Though it constantly struggled to maintain ratings over five seasons on NBC, the series developed a loyal and vocal fan base who pushed their agenda with the meme #SixSeasonsAndaMovie.

“The fans spoke and we listened,” Zack Van Amburg, Sony president of programming and production, said in a statement. Yahoo, too, gave a nod to the show’s fanboys and -girls: ” ‘Community’ has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base who have fought hard to keep this amazing show alive. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Dan, Joel, and the entire cast, as well as Sony, to deliver a great season 6,” Yahoo chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt said.

“Community” will retain series creator Dan Harmon and its main cast members, including Joel McHale, Gilian Jacobs, Danny Pudi and Alison Brie.

“I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo,” Harmon said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online. I vow to dominate our new competition. Rest easy, Big Bang Theory. Look out, Bang Bus!”

“Community” should give a high-profile boost to Yahoo Screen, the company’s free streaming-video channel. It will join two other buzz-worthy original Yahoo sitcoms, “Other Space” from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, and “Sin City Saints,” from “The Office” director Bryan Gordon, which are both expected to debut in early 2015.

Under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has made a big push into original content over the past year, including a streaming live-concert series and the hirings of New York Times tech columnist David Pogue and veteran broadcaster Katie Couric as its “global news anchor.” It has also reportedly sought to acquire video sites such as Hulu, France’s DailyMotion, and NDN Video.

Meanwhile, somewhere on the high seas, Troy Barnes is crying tears of joy.

 

At top: The cast of “Community.” (NBC photo)

Mike Murphy Mike Murphy (355 Posts)

Mike Murphy is a web producer at the Mercury News, and also writes for Good Morning Silicon Valley and 60-Second Business Break.