With Yahoo Screen's announcement yesterday that it would pick up NBC’s “Community,” a comedy based in a community college starring Chevy Chase and Joel McHale, the series' fans are one step closer to their “six seasons and a movie” dream coming true -- but what exactly is Yahoo Screen?
Yahoo Screen used to be Yahoo Video, a video-sharing site that was similar to YouTube. When it rebranded to Yahoo Screen in 2011, it disabled users from uploading videos. Yahoo Screen streams original content and content from partnerships with entities such as ABC News, CBS, Hulu and others.
Yahoo already produces original content with weekly episodes, but it seems to be mostly Web series. "27 Dresses" actress Judy Greer hosts a Web series called “Reluctantly Healthy,” while "Full House" alum John Stamos asks all kinds of inappropriate questions on “Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos.” The platform's scripted comedy “Burning Love” was even picked up for television by the E! network.
But production costs tend to be much higher for TV. While an episode of “Community” is much more expensive than a webisode, it doesn’t look like there will be any budget cuts, at least according to Zack Van Amburg, president of programming and production at Sony Pictures Television. “The budget won’t be cut one dollar,” Amburg told Entertainment Weekly. “We didn’t want to be producing the show at any less of the quality or production value that we had been producing. Yahoo came in with finances that were undeniable.”
Amburg also said that they hadn’t discussed the length of each episode yet. Based on what Yahoo Screen does with its Web series, "Community" fans will likely have the usual week between episodes.
Yahoo Screen does have an advantage over competitors like Netflix and Hulu Plus: It does not require a paid subscription. Yahoo Screen acquires funding through ad revenue, so anyone with an Internet connection will be able to watch the show.
No official premiere date has been set for the sixth season of "Community," but Kathy Savitt, Yahoo CMO, said fans could expect 13 episodes in the fall.
Will you watch “Community” on Yahoo Screen? Let us know in the comments.