No one thought they were going to be sitting through or reading about this panel just a couple of weeks ago.
One of the most anticipated panels of Comic Con, attendees were howling with excitement when the cast of Community, along with their beloved creator, took the stage to address their upcoming (final?) season.
Addressing the enormous elephant in the room, Harmon stood up, yelling, “Sony and Yahoo are giant corporations. Their tentacles reach — hail Hydra! — into every crevice,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It was only in May that diehard Community fans were crushed when NBC announced they would be pulling the plug on the series -which ran for five seasons on the network- for good, citing poor ratings as the main reason.
Fans were hopeful Harmon and his team would find a new home, many speculating that Netflix or Hulu would be interested in becoming the new destination for the show, but nothing was certain.
Until just weeks ago when Harmon and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, announced they would be teaming up to carry the show’s sixth (and seriously, final?) season out.
Harmon admitted he had no confidence in the the show being picked up by one outlet or another, and didn’t want to say anything out of respect for fans.
“I didn’t feel that this was possible so I didn’t want them to get optimistic. I knew that honestly, it was corporate politics,” he said.
Luckily for fans, most of the cast didn’t feel the same way. Especially the snarky main Joel McHale.
McHale told the hall they were situated in for the panel he never had any doubt they were going to be returning to screens one way or another.
“Much like a Japanese general in World War II, the only option was victory or suicide. As I’ve said a lot, I love the show,” McHale said.
Like Harmon, McHale admitted they were looking into any avenue to complete the series they had all been working diligently on for the past five years. He even jokingly admitted they were ready to take it off-Broadway for fans to come and see.
“I know most of you watch on tiny little screens and now we’re on one. F— you network television! Unless they want us back,” McHale told a roaring crowd (according to Twitter).
It’s a facet of the show Harmon acknowledged at the beginning of the panel, too. Most of their audience are twentysomething’s who aren’t going to purchase any kind of television set, let alone subscribe to a cable company. Harmon has also argued those that do have television sets, aren’t going to be sitting down in front of them every Thursday night to catch the latest episode.
“It’s season six of Community. You’ll be watching it the way you’ve always watched it — only now it’s legal,” Harmon semi-joked.
It’s a conundrum the industry is facing as a whole, and is without a doubt the reason Community wasn’t more successful ratings wise. As all Greendale students know, it’s fandom is on par with Joss Whedon shows like Buffy and Firefly.
It’s a new era that traditional networks are trying to figure out.
Even stars Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) and Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry) admitted to the crowd they found out the show had been picked up through Twitter, just like the rest of us.
For now, though, Community is back and preparing to shoot their sixth season. Harmon announced fans will be able to watch the new season sometime after Christmas, and assured fans the Community they would be walking into on Yahoo would feel like the Community they’ve known all along on NBC.
Just a bit more uncensored.