Community–the curious and much-loved sitcom about a group of unlikely friends who meet at a community college, that is also frequently a swords-and-sorcery fantasy show, a western, a video game, and other things that have nothing to do with its premise–was rescued from the jaws of cancelation by a similarly unlikely community member: Yahoo Screen, which picked up the show after NBC canceled it last spring.
The rallying cry of Community fans has long been “Six seasons and a movie!” And while the movie’s fate is, er, not under serious consideration–although it’s impossible to count anything out when talking about a show that fired and later rehired its creator, and got canceled only to be revived as a webseries with the cast intact–that sixth season now has a release date. In a self-referential promo video, the show’s stars Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Gillian Jacobs, and Jim Rash (along with newcomer Paget Brewster and creator/showrunner Dan Harmon) stand in front of a white background and tell us what to expect from season six (including cameos from Keanu Reeves, Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, and Meryl Streep that will absolutely not be happening), while subliminal messages flash encouraging people to watch when the show premieres online.
That premiere date is March 17, but it’s very unlikely that they needed their “watch this show!” messages to be subliminal to get people to tune in–the people who made it enough of a cult favorite that it somehow made it to six seasons are assuredly already going to be watching, while the viewers who rejected it so firmly that NBC fired Harmon and eventually canceled the show are probably not going to be swayed. Still, it’s very much Community, very much on a screen, and that’s even better than an Inspector Spacetime marathon. And the small-but-dedicated community of fans who get that joke should be thrilled about that.