While Hulu has never even hinted at diving into feature film production, it may have to start if the web streaming giant revives “Community” for a sixth season. The unofficial moniker for the revival of Dan Harmon’s cult favorite ex-NBC comedy, “six seasons and a movie” looks like it could at least be on the verge of a new season with Sony Pictures Television and Hulu in early talks to bring back the show.
As first reported by Deadline and later confirmed by THR, Hulu and the production company of “Community,” Sony TV, are in preliminary discussions to bring back the canceled comedy. The move makes sense for Hulu. CEO Mike Hopkins promised to quadruple the streaming service’s investment in original programming this year. While we don’t know the numbers for any of its current original series, it doesn’t seem like any have had the impact a new season of “Community” would in terms of site awareness or draw.
Sony TV also seems game. “You can’t get to six seasons and a movie without six seasons,” said Sony Pictures Television co-president Jamie Erlecht to The Hollywood Reporter on May 14th. “We, more than any other studios, fight for shows that we believe in. This show had a remarkable history. […] If there’s any show that should have a future or could have a future, it really feels like ‘Community’ is the one.”
“If Dan Harmon feels that this is the darkest timeline, then we’ll figure out very quickly how to turn that around,” added Sony Picture Television Co-President Zack Van Amburg. “So we need to get to our partner and we’ve had some really interesting conversations and a few incoming phone calls, which was really nice.”
Harmon — along with financial decisions and actor availability — seems to be the sticking point. He’s gone back and forth on reviving the show, an understandable position given his exile after season three and the waiting game he’s gone through each season on whether or not his low-rated but critically-hailed show would be renewed. He’s said, “I’m not going to be the guy who re-cancels canceled ‘Community,'” and that he wouldn’t be “lukewarm” about bringing the show back if it’s given serious consideration.
Harmon’s Adult Swim program “Rick and Morty,” meanwhile, has already been renewed for a second season. Whether or not this will effect his decision to return for “Community” has yet to be addressed, but if exhaustion is an issue, it’s doubtful the labor of another show will push him to do more work.