Classes at Greendale Community College may be canceled forever, at least as far as television goes: Community won't be returning for a seventh season, said star Joel McHale in an interview with Metro Weekly, though Yahoo wouldn't confirm the cancellation to Polygon.
Community production company Sony Pictures Television and broadcast partner Yahoo Screen wanted to do another season of the series, according to McHale. But he said the main castmembers would now command higher salaries than the show's budget could support.
"All of our contracts were up after six years," McHale told Metro Weekly. "All the actors on the show, almost without exception — their stock has risen significantly and it's out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show. So you're not going to be able to get Alison Brie or Gillian Jacobs at a normal television salary anymore. There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show."
Community aired for five seasons on NBC from 2009 to 2014 before the network pulled the plug in May 2014. The following month, Yahoo announced that it had picked up the series for a 13-episode sixth season, which premiered in March 2015 on the streaming site Yahoo Screen.
"There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show"
Citing anonymous sources, The Hollywood Reporter says Sony hasn't yet decided whether to produce another season of Community. But Dan Harmon, the series' creator and showrunner, told The Hollywood Reporter last month that a Community movie is more likely to happen than a seventh season of the show — and like McHale, Harmon singled out the actors' contracts as the reason.
"We've got a lot of very talented people whose contracts have run out, and they get to explore the world and see what comes of it," said Harmon. Noting that a movie would provide the actors with a "hard out in terms of schedule," rather than the ongoing commitment that a TV series would require, Harmon added, "I think the idea of a movie just sounds more fun."
Either way, there's still hope for Community fans, for whom #sixseasonsandamovie has long been a rallying cry. Reached for comment, a Yahoo representative told Polygon that the company and Sony are still in talks about the show's future.
"We've seen tremendous value in our partnership with Sony and are continuing to discuss future opportunities for Community," said the spokesperson. A Sony Pictures Television representative did not comment, but instead pointed to Yahoo's statement.