EXCLUSIVE: Having just revived NBC’s Community, Yahoo might be looking to do the same with another recently cancelled cult broadcast comedy series, Fox‘s Enlisted. I hear talks are under way between the online giant and Enlisted producer 20th Century Fox TV for a second season of the military series, created by Kevin Biegel, on Yahoo’s streaming service Yahoo Screen. Sources cautioned that the conversations are preliminary and it’s unclear whether they would result in a deal.
Much like Community, Enlisted has a passionate and loyal following, something that is attractive to digital platforms which crave core groups of passionate fans. Interestingly, following the news of Yahoo’s deal for another season of Community, Enlisted fans targeted Yahoo Screen with a major save-our-show campaign, pitching the service a Community/Enlisted double feature.
Enlisted – a slapstick single-camera comedy revolving around three brothers and a group of misfits on a small Army base — was well received but mired in low ratings. It never got a fair shake at Fox, slated on the low-trafficked Friday nights. Although then-Fox chairman Kevin Reilly vowed to stick with the show for its 13-episode order, it was pulled prematurely. Biegel rallied the fans to recruit more viewers for the final four burn-off episodes but that didn’t help clinch a renewal at Fox for the series starring Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young.
20th TV has experience in successfully bringing back cancelled cult comedies on a digital platform, teaming with Netflix for a new season of Arrested Development last year.
Yahoo has been investing aggressively in original content, signing deals with Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue to create original programming that could draw in regular viewers. But unlike subscription-based Netflix and Amazon, Yahoo has been betting on advertising to generate most of the revenues for its programming of all kinds.