Any of the above statements may apply to NBC’s bizarre and beloved comedy, “Community.” Despite low (although fairly steady) ratings and no news of a Season 5 pickup, there is now a chance that this bubbliest of bubble shows could return yet again.
How is that possible?
One strong reason is oh-so-familiar to TV fans: the ratings. “Community” actually did pretty well in its Season 4 finale numbers — 3.1 million viewers tuned in live for the show. This is one of the highest numbers seen all season and an increase of half a million viewers from the previous week.
But this isn’t the only good news for “Community.” Do you remember a little show called “American Idol”? While the singing competition obviously trounced “Community” by several million total viewers, the two shows actually tied in one key number: “American Idol” and “Community” were tied in one of the advertiser-beloved demos (adults 18-34) when both were on.
Yes, “Community” matched “American Idol.” At least in one statistic.
This achievement is even more noteworthy when you consider what was airing at 8pm on Thursday. CBS’ powerhouse comedy, “The Big Bang Theory,” had a new episode, drawing gazillions of viewers. ABC premiered “Wipeout.” That aforementioned “Idol” broadcast marked the tense semi-finals. Even The CW could have stolen away some viewers for a death-promising episode of “The Vampire Diaries.”
Doing (relatively) well on this kind of night speaks well for “Community.”
“Community” needs only 16 more episodes to reach the mythic number of 100 preferred by studios looking for syndication. Even a shortened season on NBC could secure this for production studio Sony Pictures.
This means that Sony really, really would want at least one more season for the show. If negotiations between the producer and the network go well (it’s all about the cash, after all), we could be looking at a fifth and final season.
It’s actually in Sony’s favor that former “big name” Chevy Chase is gone — no one has to worry about paying him now.
No news is good news
In addition to the other factors, keep in mind that NBC didn’t cancel the show yet. The network has been chopping and renewing with glee for the past couple of days, but no word has come down on “Community.” Although there are always multiple factors at work in these things, the delay indicates a continued chance for the comedy.
So will “Community” return for Season 5? Nothing is certain at the moment, but the prospects are looking a whole lot rosier than they were even a few days ago.