Sony Pictures made a #RenewCommunity YouTube video to try to save its NBC sitcom

The fourth season of NBC’s Community is the first without its creator and spiritual meta-guide, but will it be the last for the sitcom that likes to focus entire episodes poking fun at popular TV tropes?

Not if Sony Pictures Television has anything to say about it. Or, at least what this weird new YouTube video from the production studio has mashed up previously existing audio and video clips, then tinkered with Photoshop to make it seem like the show already could be dead. (Clarification! It appears this video originated with “Save Community” fan leader Catherine Boyd, and that Sony co-opted it to spread the word, so credit belongs to her first.)


Superimposed graphic messages read:

  • “All good things must end”
  • “But not yet”
  • “You can help”
  • “Keep Community alive”
  • “Watch”
  • “It”
  • “Live”
  • “#watchcommunitylive”
  • “Community Thursday 8/7c NBC”
  • “Last chance”

All summed up in the description: “Community fans, only you can prevent the darkest timeline! #RenewCommunity and #WatchCommunityLive Thursdays at 8pm on NBC.”

Note: They’re not coming to mourn the death of Community, but to praise it while it’s still alive. And doing so by altering scenes from the season three episode, “Course Listing Unavailable,” which featured a Greendale Community College eulogy for one of its students (Star-Burns).

Roll the clip!

Is this Sony Pictures TV campaign working?

The April 18 episode earned only a 1.3 rating among viewers aged 18-49 on that Thursday night, but jumped 46 percent to a 1.9 rating in the demo when including DVR viewings over the course of that week.

The May 2 episode, airing the night this YouTube video surfaced? Only a 1.2 rating. But that was still good enough for third place among the networks at 8 p.m. Thursday (7 p.m. Central/Mountain), beating ABC’s Wife Swap in the demo.

That might not be enough.

But as I noted in February, Sony already has sold Community into syndication with Comedy Central this fall, so any episodes beyond the current 84 airing over these past four seasons on NBC is a bonus.


Does this re-edited video highlight appeal do the trick for you?

Would it have worked better if the “Keep Community Alive” graphic was on any character other than Chevy Chase’s Pierce?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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