We always knew it would come to this. No show can last forever, and a show like Community is certainly no exception. In many ways, it feels as though we’ve reach this point before. The final episode of its third season carried with it a very final tone, with showrunner Dan Harmon on his way out the door at the behest of NBC. But after a misguided fourth season and a tenuous fifth that marked its final one on network TV, it felt as though that would finally mark the end.
But then Yahoo! picked it up yet again for its long-ago promised sixth season, and all hope seemed restored. Back in Season 2, a joke was made about “six seasons and a movie,” and many thought this would finally come to fruition in the hands of the show’s new home. A very final-feeling Season 6 finale though brought up the question for the umpteenth time: Is this the end of the road for Greendale Community College? We’ve had false alarms before, and in the hands of a service not accountable to outdated ratings metrics, Community could continue indefinitely as long as Yahoo! can continue to sell ads on top of each episode.
Early rumors swirling around the last few days are promising to say the very least, despite the tone of the latest finale. According to a statement a Yahoo! rep gave Deadline:
With the season six finale of Community airing today, we’re continually excited by how much fans are engaging with the series. Now that all episodes are available for binge viewing, stay tuned for how we keep Community delighting its fans.
This seems just vague enough to be the “movie” part of “six seasons and a movie,” given that they haven’t simply gone ahead and promised a seventh season. The implication seems to be that something new is on the horizon.
Further confirmation came straight from show lead Joel McHale, opining that “I think we will do a movie, if Dan [Harmon] will write the script.” Harmon’s mercurial nature and packed schedule make that a fairly big “if,” but all the same it’s reassuring to know that the wheels are turning to at least make an attempt at continuing the Community legacy. What exactly that will entail remains to be seen, especially given the time and effort a feature-length movie would take, especially compared to shooting 13 self-contained 30-minute episodes.
So what would a potential Community: The Movie look like? The first step would likely be bringing back original cast members, meaning Donald Glover and Yvette Nicole Brown would return to the fold. The biggest benefit to the movie format for both actors is that it takes away the problem of time restraints; they can some in, shoot all their scenes in 2-3 weeks, and then go back to their previous commitments. A full season shooting schedule can take months to get through, and usually limits the ability to do just about anything else.
All this would be rendered moot if Harmon doesn’t move forward with a script, cast members opt not to sign on, or any number of wrenches find their way into the spokes. Thankfully, Yahoo! isn’t obligated to work on the rigid schedule of a network like NBC, giving them time to get all their ducks in a row should a move actually come to pass. Now we wait to see what form the next stage in the lengthy saga of Community will take.
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