Apparently Yahoo likes to live on the edge. Right as Community was on the chopping block about to be axed by NBC with contracts left to expire (we’re talking within hours), Yahoo Screen swooped in picked it up, transforming the show into an online series which will begin this fall with 13 episodes. It’s no secret that Community has been struggling for years (after all, NBC had to know that it couldn’t compete with CBS’s Big Bang Theory), but its cult-like fans have kept it alive for five. And now the #SixSeasonsAndAMovie hashtag-ers have a reason to celebrate—although the jury’s still out on the movie.
While this is obviously great news for Community fans, Yahoo didn’t just decide to take over the series out of the kindness of its heart. Because this is 2014 and a lot of TV-watching doesn’t involve a TV anymore, Hulu was the place to be for Community viewers. Yet when the series was canceled, Hulu declined to pick it back up. So did Netflix. And apparently Yahoo saw its opportunity and took it, so now when Community-obsessed fans flock to their show, they’ll have to go through Yahoo. And from the looks of it, Yahoo will be making its money from all the ads rather than charging viewers to subscribe. So it’s a win-win-win situation.
I think this is a great example of a company knowing its audience. Obviously, Yahoo is an internet company, and Community has a gigantic online fan base, so I think they hit the nail on the head. There’s also the fact that the internet gives actors and writers much more freedom than network television, so maybe the creators can spice it up a bit to attract even more fans and keep the loyal ones. It also seems as if Yahoo is choosing to keep most aspects of the show the same, bringing along creator Dan Harmon, the cast, and the budget, which will make fans rejoice and give Yahoo some much-needed positive publicity (and a special place in every Community fan’s heart).
What do you think about Yahoo saving Community? Do you think the now-online series will do well enough for a seventh season (or a movie)?