‘Community’ saved by Yahoo

By Bill Carter / New York Times News Service

Published Jul 4, 2014 at 12:01AM

As might be appropriate for a cult comedy, “Community” has been saved again from the cancellation crypt.

Sony Pictures Television, the studio that owns and produces the show, announced a deal Monday to bring the comedy back in the fall for at least one more batch of 13 episodes on Yahoo Screen, the company’s streaming video service.

The deal with Yahoo was something of a surprise because most reports had Hulu as the probable destination if “Community” managed to be saved again.

Yahoo Screen offers reruns of many shows, but Yahoo has been putting more emphasis on adding original shows.

“Community,” which uses a study group at Greendale Community College as the jumping-off point for its self-referential storylines and pop culture obsessions, comes with a core audience of passionate fans. Those fans helped save the show from a previous threat of cancellation two seasons ago. At that point, the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, returned to the series.

After one more season with Harmon, the fifth in the series’ run, “Community” was canceled by NBC in the spring.

Sony, however, has a history of bringing shows back from the dead — or near-dead. The studio managed to keep the comedy “Rules of Engagement” going for several additional seasons on CBS even though it was not put on fall schedules. And it placed the drama “Damages” on the satellite service DirecTV after it was canceled by the cable channel FX.

“Community” is expected to retain all the regular cast members who appeared last season.