NBC Exec Breaks Silence on 'Community' Cancellation

Network entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says a sixth season "didn't make sense" due to low ratings

The cast of 'Community'
Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
July 14, 2014 12:25 PM ET

NBC officially expelled Community back in May, canceling the eccentric cult comedy after its fifth season. Fans rallied to keep the series on the air with a web campaign based on the mantra "six seasons and a movie," but the network wasn't interested in heeding those audience demands. According to entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, the decision to pass came down to ratings, plain and simple.

'Community' and the Best TV of 2014 So Far

"That sixth season thing was created by them — I’m surprised they didn’t say '10 seasons and a movie,'" Greenblatt told Entertainment Weekly. "And [the mantra started] before my time [at NBC]. It didn’t just make sense for us to have another season of it at that level of audience."

Community has since transferred to a new network, Yahoo! Screen, and Greenblatt said he's "curious if [the network] will have a bigger audience with it than we did." Elsewhere in the interview, Grenblatt commented on NBC's newfound focus on the family sitcom format, adding that "Modern Family could have easily been a show with a studio audience."

Sony executive Zack Van Amburg recently discussed plans for a Commuity spin-off movie with The Hollywood Reporter. "There's no way we're not making the movie now!" he told the publication. "I think once we make the movie, let's look up and decide how much more Community the world wants. We promised six seasons and a movie, how much more do you want?! [Laughs.]. . . I'd be lying if I told you that we have not had some very early and preliminary conversations that are very exciting about what a potential movie could be and who might direct it."

In the EW interview, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke also touched on the upcoming, still-untitled new show starring Bill Cosby, which she says will feature the 77-year-old comedy legend in a familiar role: "the patriarch of the family, dispelling his classic wisdom on relationships, parenthood, everything in life." Salke added that the project, which is currently being written by Mike O'Malley (Yes, Dear; Shameless) and Mike Sikowitz (Rules of Engagement) and is expected to premiere in the summer or fall of 2015 – will be a "classic family sitcom" focusing on Cosby "with three daughters with husbands and grandchildren."

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