It looks like the doors of Greendale Community College are closing forever.
Today any hope for intelligent, innovative comedy finding a home at NBC was almost permanently nuked like a microwaved gremlin as the network has announced the long-dreaded yet tragically inevitable cancellation of the cult favorite comedy series Community only a few weeks after the conclusion of its fifth season.
The Dan Harmon-created show has always attracted less-than-solid ratings in NBC’s coveted 8pm timeslot of Thursdays since its premiere in September 2009, but the strong support of critics and fans has kept it on the air far longer than anyone could have thought possible. The recent fifth season finale functioned as an appropriate send-off should the show be refused renewal for next year while keeping alive the possibility that it would return.
Other shows that received the ax from the network include the J.J. Abrams-produced apocalyptic drama Revolution, Believe (produced by Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón), and the sitcom Growing Up Fisher, which drew slightly higher ratings than both Community and Parks and Recreation, the latter of which has been picked up for the 2014-2015 season.
The news of Community‘s cancellation should come as no surprise to the series’ devoted fanbase; NBC has never treated it or the mercurial Harmon with much respect due to its inability to find a wider audience, but for five years it was by far the funniest and sweetest program on a network infamous in recent years for willingly kicking some of its greatest comedic talent to the curb (Remember when Conan O’Brien hosted The Tonight Show for only six months?).
In its five seasons on the air Community has proven time and again to be a show where nearly every episode warrants repeat viewing simply due to its virtuoso ensemble cast, witty and imaginative plotting, and bottomless wells of humanity. My love for it is boundless and like many others I can see myself revisiting each season of Community (with the possible exception of the fourth, where Harmon was replaced by two vastly inferior show-runners and will be forever known as “the gas leak year”) for years to come.
I’m going to miss every thing about this show – the priceless cast chemistry, the brilliant sight gags that made Community a DVR staple, the delightfully loony line-up of lovable eccentrics who roam the hallways of Greendale as if it were their one true home, and so on. Even with the loss this season of core cast members Donald Glover and Chevy Chase and its episode reduction in 2013 from full season to half-season the series has endured in delivering some of the best comedy on network television thanks to the diligent efforts of a talented team of writers, directors, and actors.
There’s always the possibility that a feature film continuation of Community could emerge or an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu could pick up the show for the future – as we witnessed last year with Netflix’s acclaimed revival of another cult classic comedy series mistreated by its network, Arrested Development – but don’t hold your breath.
So close. So very close. #SixSeasonsAndAMovie
September 2009 – May 2014