The 'community' movie finally happens, in Peacock, fulfilling the show's prophecy

The ‘community’ movie finally happens, in Peacock, fulfilling the show’s prophecy

Pop, pop the champagne: Maybe this isn’t the darkest timeline after all, as “six seasons and a movie” finally becomes reality. Peacock has commissioned a film based on Dan Harmon’s comedy ‘,’ bringing back original stars Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong to check out what the Greendale gang have been up to since the show ended in 2015.

Without sharing details, Peacock and Sony Pictures TV, which jointly announced the go-ahead on Friday, described negotiations for Peacock to secure the film as “very competitive.” As part of the deal, Peacock also acquired non-exclusive rights to the full six-season “Community” library, which can also be found on Netflix and Hulu.

“Community” creator Harmon is behind the film as executive producer and writer, along with Andrew Guest. McHale is also an EP, as are Russ Krasnoff and Gary Foster. Sony Pictures TV and Universal Studio Group’s Universal Television shingle are the show’s studios. (“Community” aired on NBC for five of the show’s six seasons, and Universal TV served as one of the show’s production companies, with Sony leading the studio.)

“‘Six Seasons and a Movie’ started as a cheeky line from the early seasons of ‘Community’s and quickly sparked a passionate fan movement for this iconic, hilarious and cool (cool, cool) NBC comedy,” said Susan Rovner, president of entertainment content. , NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We are incredibly grateful that 15 years later we are able to deliver this promised film to fans and we look forward to working with Dan Harmon, Andrew Guest, Joel McHale, Sony and our partners at UTV to continue this epic comedy. .for Peacock audiences.

More details – including a director and an estimated premiere date – have yet to be shared. It’s also unclear if other key “community” cast members, including Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover, might yet make an appearance — or at least an appearance. (It’s probably safe to say that Chevy Chase, who fell out with the show and whose character eventually died, won’t be returning.)

“Community” had a rollercoaster ride during its original run from 2009 to 2015. The show launched in the fall of 2009 on NBC, where it seemed to live perpetually on the bubble. Billed as a comedy about strangers bonding in a community college study group, the show quickly became an experiment in deconstructing the sitcom form, earning critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. for its meta jokes, takes the TV tropes and its unique characters.

Washed-out lawyer Jeff Winger (played by McHale), was the de facto leader of the band, along with Abed Nadir (Pudi), Britta Perry (Jacobs), Annie Edison (Brie), Shirley Bennett (Brown), Troy Barnes (Glover) , Pierce Hawthorne (Chase), as well as teacher-turned-student Ben Chang (Jeong) and Greendale dean Craig Pelton (Rash). Other actors who have played significant roles in the series include John Oliver, Jonathan Banks, Paget Brewster, and Keith David.

After season 3, NBC and Sony, concerned that “Community” had not attracted enough mainstream audiences, fired Harmon and brought on new executive producers. But after Season 4 (dubbed “gas leak season”) alienated fans, Harmon — thanks to heavy lobbying from McHale and the rest of the cast — was reinstated.

Yet after years of dancing around cancellation, NBC finally pulled the plug on “Community” at the end of its fifth season. But that wasn’t the end of the line. Sony pitched a Season 6 to its ad-supported streamer, Crackle, as well as Hulu, which owned the streaming rights to the show. But none of these outlets could make it work financially. Then came Yahoo! Screen, which promised 13 episodes at the show’s previous price of $2 million per episode.

It was good for “Community” – but not so much for Yahoo!, who realized their investment far exceeded any revenue from the show. By the end of season 6 (and after a total of 110 episodes), “Community” had ended for good – just like Yahoo! Filter.

But that deal ultimately allowed the first half of the show’s tongue-in-cheek “six seasons and one movie” prophecy to come true. This phrase was first uttered by Abed (Pudi) in the SSeason 2 episode “Paradigms of Human Memory”.

“‘Community’ was light years ahead of its time when it premiered on NBC in 2009 and we are thrilled to once again visit the brilliant minds of Dan Harmon, Andrew Guest and that impeccable cast,” said Jason Clodfelter. , co-chairman of Sony. Pictures Television studios . “We are grateful to Peacock, our partners at UTV and all of the zealous fans who cherished this iconic show.”

Erin Underhill, President of Universal TV, added, “This franchise is the very definition of community. We are thrilled to reunite the band and continue the journey of these beloved characters.

“Community” won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation during its run and also spawned a tremendous fanbase that even includes its own unofficial fan-run convention. Of course, since the series ended, the “Community” cast members have all moved on to other critically acclaimed projects.

Talk of a movie has swirled for years — since even before “Community” ended. In 2014, before the show’s sixth season even aired on Yahoo! Screen’s then-Sony Pictures Television programming president Zack Van Amburg said a “community” movie, possibly directed by Justin Lin or Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (who all helmed episodes of the show) was likely. “I personally had these conversations,” he said at the time.

In 2020, the cast (along with everyone, including Glover, except Chase) came together for a table read and Q&A in support of Frontline Foods and José Andrés’ Global Central Kitchen, on the tiptoed around the movie issue, but hinted they were all game if a script was written. (Even Glover gave the impression that he would be willing to do so.)

“When I watch the episodes now I have these waves that go over me like, first of all, my writers were amazing and probably didn’t get rewarded as much as maybe I thought the work was” , Harmon told the Times. “But second…the entire cast is like a machine on a basketball court that automatically slams everything you put on the court. We’ve all been successful enough individually to know it’s not getting better.

But speculation about the movie actually taking place has remained just that – speculation. Until last month. It was then that Harmon told Newsweek that there was a plan for the film. “There’s a plan for that,” Harmon told Newsweek. “There is a product assembled and released to the world. I guess that’s how real it is.

Harmon was hesitant to continue teasing fans, adding, “It’s probably enough to drive people crazy when [there’s nothing] a year from now. That still doesn’t mean there will be a movie tomorrow. This means that there will definitely be one.

And now it’s official, human beings.

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