The cult hit sitcom Community escaped cancellation once again this season by making an unorthodox move over to Yahoo! TV for its sixth season. So what can we expect from the new TV-turned-web series?
Series creator Dan Harmon, writer Chris McKenna and cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and Dino “Star Burns” Stamatopoulos were on hand at TV Guide Magazine’s “Greendale Forever” panel at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the near-cancellation and what they will (and won’t) be doing at their new online home.
First up, Harmon promises the change will not affect the tone and style of the series. So, basically it’ll still feel like the same quirky, sci-fi-tinged sitcom we know and love. It’ll also continue to be a weekly series:
“The Community that [fans] recognize needs to be there … My philosophy is: Attempt to make the same show, and let the lack of boundaries kind of make themselves felt, instead of just going, ‘We can make the episode 49 minutes long, and say the f-word the whole time.’”
Fair enough, and it's nice to know Harmon doesn’t plan on messing with the formula that has led the show to such critical heights (and, admittedly, ratings lows) over the past five seasons. The show is built in Harmon’s twisted, super-talented mind — and giving him his own (albeit smaller) playground to play in should only make it even better.
When asked what fans can expect next year, Harmon said he has “no idea” at this point, but noted that’s how he kicks off every season of writing. "We're already hard at work on our Pokemon episode,” he joked. As for any more holiday-themed episodes, which have always been a blast, Harmon admitted it could be tough this season since they don’t know their schedule yet.
Considering that their last Halloween episode aired in February due to NBC’s ridiculous scheduling, that’s a fair point. Harmon also vaguely teased that the next season should launch at some point "after Christmas," so here's hoping Santa brings us some shiny new Community this year.
As for the potential return of cast member Donald Glover, who played the lovable Troy, who departed the series last season to go on a soul-searching mission, Harmon teased that the search for Troy might make a great movie concept. Or, you know, they’d also love to have Glover back for some of season six if he’s willing to take the time:
“Troy’s out there somewhere. He may be in peril. That’s what movies are made of … I have no plans of that, but it could be good. A Search for Spock kind of thing. Not that I’m rejecting the idea of him coming back for season 6. Donald, if you’re listening.”
The latest awesome tidbit? The panel included a sizzle reel of the show’s entire run, with highlights for each season. Well, except for the (terrible) Harmon-less season four. The only mention of that abomination found the characters all holding their breath to avoid a noxious gas, before teasing "Ratings? Where we're going, we don't need ratings," for season six at Yahoo!.
Well played, Harmon. Well played.