Community had a rough patch in the middle of its tenure when Dan Harmon left and the writing was less spot-on than it had been in previous years, but then the show moved to Yahoo, where it had more creative freedom and a nice budget, and gave us a sixth season that we could invest in. Unfortunately, it now looks as if Community has ended, at least according to Joel McHale. The actor recently spoke out in an interview to explain that Yahoo simply can’t afford another season of Community.
No. They wanted to. But all of our contracts were up after six years. All the actors on the show, almost without exception — their stock has risen significantly and it’s out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show. So you’re not going to be able to get Alison Brie or Gillian Jacobs at a normal television salary anymore. There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show.
While it’s great that Community has helped the likes of Alison Brie to elevate her career, it also sucks that Yahoo couldn’t entice the actors to come back for one more round. Still, six seasons (and a movie) was always the goal for the niche comedy, and it’s nice to know Yahoo helped the show to attain that goal.
McHale’s explanation makes sense, too, as Community’s lineup has changed a lot over the years as actors and actresses have left to pursue other projects. Chevy Chase left following some on-set drama, but Donald Glover has taken movie roles and continued to flourish in his rapping career. Yvette Nicole Brown also left after landing a gig on CBS’ high profile comedy The Odd Couple. While McHale is clear with Metro Weekly when he notes Yahoo “paid tons” for a sixth season of a series, the streaming service still can’t compete with the monetary draw and prestige of the movie industry or the whole different ballpark that is the music industry.
As recently as June, Sony Pictures TV was reportedly in talks with Yahoo about doing another season of Community. However, McHale’s comment indicates that even if Yahoo had figured out a way for Season 7 to happen, the cast would have eroded even further, making the show less appealing for fans. It’s all a moot point now, anyway, as the contracts are up and the cast doesn’t seem to have been resigned.
Adding Community was a way for Yahoo Screen to jump into the original programming game. Now, Community might be over, but the subscription streaming service is already looking for ways to expand their content, including new comedy Other Space.