In the midst of a very dramatic Friday March 13, when Hollywood was coming to grips with the severity of the coronavirus epidemic and news of production shutdowns was coming every few minutes, Netflix made a low-key announcement via a tweet that Community would be launching on the service April 1.
In a non-exclusive deal with Community producer/distributor Sony Pictures TV, Netflix is taking global SVOD rights to Dan Harmon’s 2009 ensemble comedy, sharing domestic rights with Community‘s current streaming home, Hulu.
Sony Pictures TV took out all six seasons of Community, which initially ran on NBC, before moving to Yahoo! Screen for its final season, in October.
Exclusive global rights to the single-camera comedy were available starting May 2021 when the current pact with Hulu was up. Instead of striking such an exclusive global deal — something Sony Pictures TV did for Seinfeld, also currently on Hulu — the studio sold the series to both Netflix and Hulu non-exclusively, an arrangement I hear both streamers were fine with for the price. The pact is said to be in the high eight-figure range total, with Netflix paying significantly more because they get global rights. I hear the deals is for 3-4 years, longer for Netflix as Hulu has another year on its current agreement.
In addition to airing on Hulu in the U.S., the show, which is based on Harmon’s own experience at community college, currently runs via Amazon in Canada, Australia and the UK and Netflix in Ireland and New Zealand as well as on a number of SVOD services such as C4-backed All4 and Australia’s Stan.
Hulu recently made a similar arrangement for another hit series by harmon, Rick & Morty. Hulu is the current streaming home for the hit Adult Swim animated comedy, whose library was sold to HBO Max in October but will also continue to be available on Hulu.
Community stars Joel McHale and Chevy Chase as well as an ensemble of breakout talent, including Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi and Jim Rash.