EXCLUSIVE: Community is set to be the next long-running comedy to hit the SVOD marketplace with Sony Pictures Television taking out the Dan Harmon-created show following mega streaming deals for shows such as Seinfeld, which is distributed by Sony TV, The Big Bang Theory, Friends and The Office
Deadline understands that Community, which starred Alison Brie, Donald Glover, John Oliver, Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, Jonathan Banks, as well as Gillian Jacobs and Chevy Chase, is being taken out by the studio in the coming weeks.
Exclusive global rights to all six seasons, which initially ran on NBC from 2009, before moving to Yahoo! Screen, are available from May 2021 with both streaming and linear rights available. The show, which is based on Harmon’s own experience at community college, currently airs on SVOD on Hulu in the U.S. and via Amazon in Canada, Australia and the UK and Netflix in Ireland and New Zealand as well as on a number of SVOD services such as C4-backed All4 and Australia’s Stan.
Sony likely will be hoping that the show, which consists of 110 episodes, can attract attention at a time when the rights to classic scripted comedies from the past couple of decades is at an all-time high. HBO Max recently won the rights to stream The Big Bang Theory from next spring, while the WarnerMedia service is thought to have paid around $425M for Friends and NBCUniversal paid north of $500M for The Office. Last month, Netflix bought the global streaming rights to Seinfeld from Sony Pictures Television, which will be looking a similarly off-the-wall comedy like Community could land a big streaming payday.
Warner Bros. and HBO Max originally discussed the acquisition of both Chuck Lorre comedy series The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men before focusing on the former. A 2.5 Men SVOD pact also could be in the cards in the near future.
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