After many brushes with death, NBC finally axed the show Community earlier this month. It couldn't have been that shocking to the show's hardcore fans, who had seen their beloved cult hit walk that delicate tightrope before. Still–some things still hurt the same, even if you see them coming.
But now, a glimmer of hope (big emphasis on the 'glimmer' part). Deadline is reporting that Hulu is currently in talks with Sony Pictures TV to revive Community for a new season, which, as fans of the show know, would put it back on track to complete its destiny.
"Sources stress that conversations are preliminary and it is unclear whether they would lead to a deal, but I hear there is will on both sides," says Deadline.
Remember, "in talks" is much different than "in negotiations"–and these are just preliminary talks. The news here is that both sides may be open.
The show's cancelation wasn't just hard on its fans, but must've also weighed heavy on showrunner Dan Harmon. Following the news, Harmon made a lengthy blog post in which he discussed his feelings on the future of Community–mainly, his trepidations about taking the show elsewhere:
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 won’t bore you with them. I mean, of course I will bore you with them. Boring you is my job, my hobby and my passion. But it doesn’t matter right now WHY I’d be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid, what matters is, I won’t be lukewarm. I’ll heat up. 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," he continued.
Clearly a lot of mixed emotions there. For most fans of the show, however, I'd assume that there's not that much of an emotional conflict. This "glimmer of hope" has hit possibly the largest online Community community–the r/community subreddit–and the reaction is positive, but skeptical. The most common message seem to be don't get your hopes up.
But there are "hopes," and that's the point. Naturally, not everyone wants to see a sixth season of Community hit Hulu.
"Community doesn't need to be revived. This isn't a Freaks and Geeks situation – Community had five seasons on air, more than most cult shows, and it isn't as if the show was only now hitting its prime. Sure, it's one short of its six season hashtag, but that's no more reason to bring it back than any other Twitter joke. The show left very few story lines unwrapped at the end of the fifth season. There's no cliffhanger to resolve. This wasn't a premature death. A sixth season on Hulu would be nothing but pandering fan service," writes The Wire's Ben Cosman.
While this evolutionary (it had it's chance!) take on the situation does have its merit, it's important to remember that ultimately, it's not going to be the fans (for or against) deciding Community's fate. And if the showrunners are on board, it'll come down to whether or not Hulu thinks it's a good move.
And the good news for Community fans is that, on the surface at least, it seems like a more-than-logical move for Hulu.
As you probably know, Community is already on Hulu–that's where previous seasons are streaming.
But the biggest reason that Hulu may want to take a stab at resurrecting Community? They need it. Or at least, something like it.
Just last month, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said that his company was going to throw more money into original content. A lot more. Sure, Hulu Plus has a handful of originals, some of which are coming back for second seasons already (Deadbeat, The Awesomes, Quick Draw, and East Los High, to name a few). But have any of them made the splash that, let's say, House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black have? Of course not. Even Amazon Studios' original content is more buzzed-about than Hulu's. Hulu needs some sort of game-changer.
Well, Community already has the diehard fanbase built right in.
"Personally, I don't care where it lands as long as it lands somewhere. If that means buying a hulu plus membership to watch it, I'm in," says one redditor.
That's the kind of thing Hulu wants to see.
A new season of Community would be popular on Hulu–there's absolutely no question about it. But would it be popular enough for Hulu and would the other side (the creative one) have enough motivation to make it happen?
Preliminary talks. That's all. But when you think about it, it sure does make a lot of sense.
Image via Community, NBC, Facebook