In the 12th century during the Inquisition, hundreds of people were burned alive for witchcraft. One of the most serious charges at that time was necromancy, the practice of using magic to raise the dead. In the 1100’s people were not on board with raising the dead but here in 2015 it’s pretty much all we talk about. As long as the dead in question are TV shows. Ever since Netflix breathed life into the moldering corpse of Arrested Development, TV fans have prayed to the digital gods for salvation whenever a favorite show is in danger of cancellation. So when NBC pulled the plug on Community the show’s fanbase gathered around, lit their prayer candles, and wished as hard as they could.
It wasn’t Netflix, or Amazon, or even the Blue Fairy Hulu that answered their prayers. It was Marissa Mayer and Yahoo Screen. Yahoo has been beefing up their video offerings over the last year with projects like a year-long concert series co-sponsored by Live Nation and broadcast online for free, improvements to Tumblr’s notorious video player, and even an aborted attempt to rescue another fan favorite show. However, while Yahoo’s efforts at video domination have been a little scattershot compared to rival YouTube and up-and-comer Facebook, they did manage to get a whole season of Community in the can and they’re about to unleash their beloved zombie on the world.
After a long wait during which many fans died of exhaustion or dysentery, Community will return to the land of the living on March 17th. Unlike its competitors who have chosen to enable binge-watchers by releasing whole seasons at once, Yahoo will release the show one episode at a time. Two episodes will drop March 17th and the rest of the season will roll out with regular episodes every Tuesday. It’s an interesting experiment that sticks closer to broadcast television than most digital platforms. While it might not appeal to bingers, holding back the season gives Yahoo a chance to build some buzz around the show, something their video wing clearly needs.