Community experienced two cancellations during its broadcast run, but the first axing decided by NBC was unavoidable. Dan Harmon’s sitcom first debuted in September 2009 on the network, and it lasted five seasons before moving to Yahoo! Screen for a sixth and final season. The comedy series centered on a study group at the fictional Greendale Community College obtained a loyal fan following, but that wasn’t enough to convince NBC to continue following season 5. Interestingly enough, Community has found a resurgence in popularity due to the fact that it’s currently available on both Netflix and Hulu.
When Community started, it followed a disbarred lawyer named Jeff Winger who was forced to enroll at Greendale to obtain a legitimate bachelor’s degree. While there, he joined a study group that included Britta Perry, Annie Edison, Troy Barnes, Abed Nadir, Shirley Bennett, and Pierce Hawthorne. The group quickly grew into a solid group of friends despite their obvious difference in personality. While experiencing their core college years together, the crew faced many personal challenges. While season 4 focused on their graduation year, season 5 featured the majority of the study group returning to Greendale to save their school.
Ahead of season 4, Harmon was fired as the showrunner of Community, which hurt the quality of the series. While the show was essentially on life support, NBC went back on their decision, allowing the creator to return to Community for season 5. Despite his presence, ratings continued being a major issue in the eyes of the NBC executives. Community never found its footing in primetime, but it didn’t help that the network had a tendency to move the TV show around in its schedule. With gradual declining viewership, NBC officially pulled the plug after season 5 ended in April 2014. Based on the various issues regarding Harmon and the show’s ratings, other networks, including Netflix and Hulu, refused to bid on its continuation. The initial cancellation wouldn’t last long, however.
The loss of stars Chevy Chase and Donald Glover during season 5 certainly didn’t go in Community‘s favor. The series then cast Jonathan Banks as Buzz Hickey and brought back John Oliver’s Ian Duncan in a limited role, but the pair couldn’t fill the void left by the loss of two central study group figures. While the hope for any type of revival looked doubtful, fans continued to campaign so that Community could run “six seasons and a movie,” an inside joke from the series. The push worked, and the series was moved to Yahoo! Screen as a headlining program for the young streaming service.
Unfortunately, Yahoo! Screen lost a ton of money with their investment in Community. With the core cast’s contracts expiring, the service decided not to move forward with future seasons, resulting in the show’s permanent cancellation. Shortly after Community ended for good, Yahoo! Screen shutdown, so it’s likely future installments would have been scrapped either way. Though the series didn’t end exactly how Harmon and the cast envisioned, there’s still a chance for Abed’s “six seasons and a movie” hopes for Community to come true: With increasing streaming popularity, more rumors are surfacing in regards to a sequel movie being in development.
Next: Community: What Troy’s Text Message To Britta Said