NBC's cancelled sitcom Community may have new life, with Hulu and the show's producers, Sony Pictures Television, entering preliminary talks for a sixth season on the streaming service.
We reported in March that Sony Pictures Television would shop Community around to other outlets such as Hulu, which retains the digital rights to the series. Comedy Central has the off-network rights to the show, which could complicate negotiations for Sony and Hulu. However, Hulu would be a perfect fit for Community, since it already retains the full library of its first five seasons.
Shortly after the show was cancelled earlier this month, series creator Dan Harmon revealed on his blog that he would be interested in bringing the show elsewhere, although he wasn't terribly enthused the day he found out Community was given the axe.
"I will confess, however, that when Sony called me on Friday with the news, there was brief discussion at the end of the call about the concept of the show living elsewhere, and I was definitely in the "eh" column. For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric... I said "eh" on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a "sure, let's talk" on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. I'm not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled Community.
I'm scared to tell you how little a difference I think my enthusiasm will make. I know fandom, when it gets this deep for this long, becomes almost religious, including the urge to stone the less than faithful. But there are lots of reasons a Community resurrection could be difficult. So be prepared for that. Which brings us to the other thing, the first thing, that most of the anxious tweets are about...
If you want to know the God's honest truth, part of my "eh" was coming from the unsettling thought of your passion for campaigns being once again exploited by this rather unfair, somewhat backward system, one that now treats you like it's your responsibility to keep a show alive, like a corporation is doing you a favor by feeding you low grade opiate through a regulated tube. Like you owe them an apology when they can't measure or monetize you to their satisfaction. You deserve better."
Community would be a very high-profile addition to Hulu's original slate, with the company vowing to quadruple their original content output over the next year. Hulu Plus currently has more than 6 million subscribers.
Sony Pictures Television has had a knack for bringing shows back from the dead in the past. Along with securing renewals for NBC's Community and CBS' Rules of Engagement for several years, shows that were both constantly on the bubble for renewal or cancellation, the studio also found a way to resurrect Damages, Drop Dead Diva and Unforgettable after their initial cancellations, with all three shows running for multiple seasons after they were brought back.