While you wouldn’t necessarily know it watching episodes of Hannibal, there are still quite a few restrictions for network television shows. Thanks to strict regulations from the Federal Communications Commission, network shows are forced to operate without the cursing, nudity and other forms of adult content that can be found on cable. This is one of the factors that makes Community’s upcoming move from NBC to Yahoo! Screen so interesting, as it could potentially open the show up to all kinds of new possibilities. But will it?
This was a key questioned asked of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon during the “Community Reborn” panel held as part of San Diego Comic-Con this afternoon. Joined by the likes of Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, executive producer Chris McKenna, and writer/producer/actor Dino Stamatopoulos, Harmon was asked if we can expect the show to start pushing more boundaries content-wise as an adaptation to the new “network.” While he did acknowledge that the potential for including more adult content existed due to being released on Yahoo!, it sounds like it’s something that the show will only lightly be exploring going forward. After making a joke about wanting to really get his anti-vaccination opinions out into the world, Harmon said,
“My philosophy is to attempt to make the same show, and let the lack of boundaries make themselves felt - instead of just going, ‘We can make the episode 49 minutes long, and say the f-word the whole time.’”
So while it sounds like the show won’t be directly aiming at exploring its boundaries, it’s also something that it won’t be completely ignoring. How far they will go with that is unclear, but it’s worth noting that the series has always had dark comedy sensibilities and been targeted at adult audiences – meaning that it likely wouldn’t be alienating younger show watchers to make this move.
In addition to just the content of the upcoming Community episodes many have also been wondering exactly when Season 6 will be premiering. While early reports suggested that the show would be coming back this fall, apparently that’s not the case any longer. Harmon confirmed that he and his team of writers will be writing the scripts this fall, but that we won’t actually get to see the first episode until “after Christmas.” Once the show does start airing, it will be releasing weekly episodes, just like it used to do while on NBC.
It does hurt that we’re looking at least another five months without Community in our lives, but the show sounds like it is heading in some very interesting directions. We’re, of course, fascinated by all of the developments, and will be closely following it over the next few months.