May 09, 2014 11:38am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Cancels 'Community' After Five Seasons
Dan Harmon's cult comedy Community will not achieved its goal of #SixSeasonsAndAMovie.
The recently concluded fifth season of the Sony Pictures Television series will be its last, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Harmon, who returned as showrunner for season five following a tumultuous run in which he criticized NBC, originally envisioned season five as the show's last, though NBC's comedy woes briefly left the door open for the Joel McHale starrer to return for another year.
The series weathered a rocky fourth season after Harmon and EP Chris McKenna's exit. David Guarascio and Moses Port were brought in to serve as showrunners following Harmon's firing, but devoted fans of the series complained that the beloved show had lost its voice.
The Harmon-helmed fifth season averaged a 1.1 in the adults 18-49 demo and 3 million total viewers, both off slightly vs. season four. But with DVR factored in, the series grew to a 1.5 rating and 3.7 million total viewers -- both modest upticks for a show that was used as a midseason replacement for the second time.
The series also did not seem to immediately benefit from Comedy Central's launch of the show in syndication, which started in the fall ahead of its midseason bow on NBC. Hulu also aired current episodes of the series the day after their original broadcast.
The comedy also saw the departure of original star Donald Glover, who only appeared in a handful of the show's 13 episodes.
Community has been a perennial bubble series during the course of its five-season run. The series was one of only two comedies to return to NBC's schedule for the 2014-15 season (Parks and Recreation was the other). The cancellation leaves Parks as NBC's longest-running comedy heading into the 2014-15 season.
For their part, Harmon and the cast have been vocal about the possibility of a sixth-season pickup. Speaking at PaleyFest in March, McHale joked "We know there's going to be a sixth season or else you'll probably show up with pitchforks and torches," with Harmon saying the only thing weirder than getting a sixth season "would be not getting a sixth season."
Meanwhile, Harmon's animated Adult Swim comedy Rick and Morty has already been renewed for a second season.