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The Reason Why Community Was Cancelled By NBC After Season 5

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 up until Community season 5 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 and 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.

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When Community started, it followed disbarred lawyer 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 differences in personalities. While experiencing their core college years together, the crew faced many personal challenges. While season 4 focused on their graduation year, Community season 5 featured the majority of the study group returning to Greendale to save their school.


Related: Community: Every Halloween Episode

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 gradually declining viewership, NBC officially pulled the plug after Community 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 Community season 5 certainly didn’t work in the series’ favor. The show 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 for “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 huge amount of money on 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 shut down, so it’s likely that 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 with regard to a sequel movie being in development.


Ever since Abed’s prophecy, rumors surrounding a Community movie have been buzzing. Since Community season 5 marked a wrap for NBC, people have been looking for a more satisfying ending to the series than the conclusion Yahoo’s season 6 provided, and preferably with the entire cast intact. While a Community movie hasn’t been officially announced as yet by Dan Harmon and company, the cast has been very outspoken about their interest in bringing the TV show to the big screen. The latest news regarding the feature film comes from Alison Brie (Annie Edison), who confirms that there are legitimate talks happening at the moment.

Related: Community True Story: How Much Is Based On Dan Harmon’s Real Life

On the WrapWomen‘s “Unwrapped” podcast, Brie revealed that there’s been some movement on the movie front. “There’s been some talks. People are talking and certain things — wheels are turning. I said it!” she responded. So, although Community is no longer on the air, season 6 may not mark the end of the series. It’d certainly be an opportunity to satisfyingly wrap up a low-key, quirky, and much-loved sitcom oddity.


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