New Season of “Community” Streaming on Yahoo!

community-yahoo-screenSeason six of Community, one of the best shows that used to be on TV, premiered on Yahoo! today (March 17th). The fact that this has happened proves two things: 1.) that Yahoo! is amazingly still relevant in this Google-centric society we live in, and 2.) that the Internet is becoming a definite contender with TV in the battle for viewers.

In case you don’t know the story behind Community, let me fill you in. Community ran for five seasons on NBC, racking up extensive critical acclaim and a legion of devoted fans. Regardless of this, the show was eternally suspended inside a thin bubble of low ratings, which seemed to grow thinner year after year. At the end of its fifth season, the bubble finally popped, and NBC cancelled the show.

But, hope was on the horizon for that delightfully meta, heavily referential hunk of joy. And hope came in the form of Yahoo! who saved the show at the last possible second (the news of the renewal came on the day the cast members’ contracts were due to expire) in a move no one saw coming. And now the show has officially premiered in its new home, and it’s as good as it ever was on network television.

Another good example for this is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show was developed by Tina Fey for NBC, at least until the network sold the rights to streaming giant Netflix, who promptly ordered a second season. Interestingly enough, the head of NBC said that the decision was made because the network felt that the show wouldn’t have a proper chance to flourish had it stayed with them. This is interesting because it shows that we have come to the point where even major network execs admit that Internet streaming is a better place for shows than TV.

We live in a society where we are always moving fast, working on the go, staying busy. Television ratings have gone lower in recent years because we simply don’t watch much television anymore. And sites like Netflix and Hulu have raked in billions of dollars because when we don’t watch TV, we stream it. Our desire has shifted towards on-demand, on-the-go viewing, with no limits to how much we can watch.

This is part of what makes Internet streaming so lucrative – with Netflix, viewers can have access to things to watch wherever they are, and when they finish an episode, there’s no waiting a week for another one. It’s all there, just waiting for them to dive in and consume it. Terms like “binging” have entered into common vernacular because we have put it there, with our insatiable devouring of whatever shows Netflix throws our way.

Even with all of this, TV still clings to life as a common part of our culture. Will we ever reach a point when television is dead and streaming is how we watch all of our new shows? I think not. TV will find a way to keep its head above the water. But, that’s not to say that streaming won’t be standing above its head with a hose.