Nearly four years ago, in the Community episode "Paradigms of Human Memory," Danny Pudi's Abed Nadir shouted "six seasons and a movie!" in reference to a TV show (NBC's The Cape) he loved, and inadvertently created a battle cry for fans of the much-loved but low-rated sitcom created by Dan Harmon. Every time a season of Community ended, fans waited to see if NBC would drop the hammer on the series and hope for a bigger hit to fill its timeslot, or give it one more season. And every time a new season of Community arrived, we got one step closer to six seasons and a movie.
Now we've hit the first half of the mantra. Despite cancellation by NBC last May, Community lives on at Yahoo! Screen, where it'll kick off season six this week. There are a number of uncertainties going into this new incarnation of the show, including how the new cast members will fit into the series dynamic and how much the show will or won't change now that it's a streaming series and not a piece of network TV. For many fans, though, there's only one big question: We got six seasons, but will we get a movie?
Harmon and the entire season-six cast were at Austin's SXSW Festival over the weekend to discuss the show's return at a panel, and of course Harmon was asked whether a film was in the cards. His answer, like many of his answers, was a bit jokey, but there's optimism peppered in there, too.
“Yahoo seems down for just about anything,” Harmon said. “I don’t know why they’d turn their nose up to a movie about a low-rated show. They seem to be very naive.”
Fans who followed the show's rise from the ashes last summer know than Yahoo! picked up Community for a sixth season after talks with streaming service Hulu fell through. Yahoo! is eager to get into the original programming game along with bigger competitors like Netflix and Amazon, and it seemed a show with an already established fanbase was a good place to start. We don't yet know how well Community will perform as a web-only show, but as Harmon said, Yahoo! seems to be enthusiastic, so "six seasons and a movie" really could become real.
Community returns with its season-six premiere tomorrow on Yahoo! Screen.