One of my favorite TV shows, the NBC comedy Community, got canceled in May, at the end of its fifth season. A joke made during season two, when a character expressed a desire for "six seasons and a movie" (the show was quite meta and self-referential, and this particular character seemed to know he was a character on a TV show) had become a rallying cry for fans, who believed the show would make it to six seasons.
The show's primary production company pledged to try to find another outlet to keep it going, and for a while it looked like Hulu was going to sign on to show new episodes, but no deal was reached. I had given up, and thus was very surprised when I heard yesterday that Yahoo had agreed to stream a sixth season online. It was pretty close to the wire, because if a deal had not been completed by yesterday the cast would have been released from their contracts, and when they start lining up other jobs it's much more difficult to bring them all back together again.
The deal also ensures that the show's creator, Dan Harmon, will be on board as showrunner. Yahoo says it plans to start streaming the new season (which will be 13 episodes, just like its last two on NBC) some time this fall, which means the writers are going to have to get to work pretty quickly. But even though the episodes will stream online, production is likely to proceed in a manner like that of a show produced for a broadcast network or cable channel, with new episodes appearing weekly rather than the all-at-once approach of Netflix.
I'm excited, because I was not ready to let go of Community yet. Now, about that movie...