July 6, 2014
Community Lives On – On Yahoo
It used to be that canceled shows stayed canceled. Very rarely did a show get the axe, only to be revived. It has happened a few times over the years. Futurama was canceled by Fox, but picked up by Cartoon Network; while Family Guy proved so popular on DVD that Fox actually un-canceled it.
More recently, some shows have found extended life online. Networks have used online streaming to complete the run (burn off) episodes. CBS started the trend when it ran the Ray Liota-helmed series Smith online, which gave some sense of closure to fans. NBC opted to do the same with The Black Donnellys, which completed its run on NBC.com. ABC also satisfied fans of the arch-driven Day Break by allowing it to be concluded online.
Then Netflix, which originally had launched as a DVD-by-mail service that competed with Blockbuster Video, ventured into the streaming TV arena. The service tried its hand at original programming beginning in 2012 with the comedy Lilyhammer, starring Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos). While not an out-of-the-gate hit, it did well enough that Netflix opted to produce other original programming, including an American remake of the British series House of Cards and the prison drama/comedy Orange is the New Black. Netflix also took a gamble and gave new life to the cult series Arrested Development, which Fox had canceled in 2006.
Netflix’s move to original content has paid off with House of Cards earning an Emmy nomination for best original drama, but more importantly, it apparently convinced other streaming services to look closely at original programming.
Amazon Prime has introduced several original series, including the comedy series Alpha House; while Microsoft is now reportedly developing an original series based on its Halo video game, which will stream via its Xbox 360/Xbox One video game consoles.
There could be a new player in the streaming arena as well, as Yahoo announced that it has picked up the sixth season of NBC’s recently canceled Community. Yahoo! TV reported creator Dan Harmon and cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong have all signed on for Season 6.
“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, BangBus!”
Yahoo had announced plans to produce original programming back in April, beginning with the comedy Other Space and the drama Sin City Saints, both of which will reportedly have eight episode runs.
What sets the Yahoo move apart from Netflix and Amazon’s streaming options is that Yahoo could use an ad-supported model instead of a subscription.
Ad Age reported, “Unlike ‘Arrested Development’ on ad-free Netflix, ‘Community’ could help Yahoo draw TV advertisers who may have bought ads against the series while on NBC, or those that wouldn’t typically consider web programming. Yahoo has previously had a hard time securing sponsors for its original programming.”
Fans of Community likely won’t mind sitting through the ads, as it is the only way that they’ll get to return to Greendale. Whether this will fulfill the fans wishes of “six seasons and a movie” is still yet to be seen.
Image Credit: NBC