After cheating death several times, Community‘s luck came to an end today. Ironically, Community‘s previous eleventh-hour renewal, clinched in that four-series deal producer Sony TV was able to negotiate with NBC last May on the strength of its buzzy new show The Blacklist, came with the presumption that the fifth season of the show would be its last. It was a fitting last chapter, with creator Dan Harmon returning to the helm. But as NBC’s comedy woes began last fall, the end game plan was shelved. Community didn’t hit it out of the park in Season 5 but it didn’t blow it either, staying very close to the Season 4 average, which had earned a renewal. It averaged a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49, down 0.1 from last season, and actually gained viewership — 3.7 million vs. 3.5 million last season. It outrated NBC’s other returning Thursday comedy, Parks And Recreation, which has been renewed, despite facing much stiffer competition in CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. It also has a passionate following.
“I think that we’re old reliable, like a Tupperware in the fridge,” Harmon said about NBC’s stance on a Community renewal in March at PaleyFest. “We’ll find out when the network is the hungriest.” Would the show find a home elsewhere? Harmon addressed a possible future on a VOD service like Netflix or Hulu if NBC passes, saying that he’s heard “whispers from dark corners” about such a scenario.