'Community' Cancelled

May 9 2014, 10:39pm CDT | by

It’s official: quirky comedy Community is finally cancelled. The show has gotten bad ratings even in the face of critical acclaim, and despite a consistently dedicated fan base, NBC has finally pulled the plug. Fans, like myself, will try to remember that five seasons is actually a pretty good score, if just short of “six seasons and a movie,” as Abed would say.

We were almost here before, when the show was put on a hiatus in 2011, but a massive outpouring support from the Internet helped convince NBC to pick up the show for another season after that. The genre-jumping show may have just found that its reams of meta-humor just couldn’t draw an audience with any kind of consistency, even though it kept the gag going for much longer than I would have thought possible. The last season saw the return of original showrunner Dan Harmon.

“Twitter isn’t big enough to hold my condolences and more importantly my gratitude to the best fans, cast and crew in TV history. Excelsior,” he Tweeted.

I, however, would be shocked if Community didn’t find a new home in short order. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Sony Pictures TV is already looking for a new home. The poorly-rated cult-favorite comedy is a perfect candidate for any number of streaming services looking to distinguish themselves with original content — Hulu already owns the digital rights. It would certainly have an easier time making new episodes than Arrested Development, which had to contend with significant demands on the superstar cast’s schedules so long after its original run.

“Community” was always an odd fit for NBC, even if the network saw success with the slightly less strange “The Office.” It’s the kind of show that screams out for cable or streaming — something capable of commanding a certain chunk of the blogosphere’s attention, but struggled with the larger audience. Netflix is an obvious choice, but both Amazon and Hulu might see this as an opportunity to snag a sure-fire winner to compete with Netflix’s already strong offerings.


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