While fans continue to fret (arguably needlessly) about the future of Community, today offers one promising development: Sony and Hulu Plus have just struck a deal to offer all three seasons of the show in syndication via the premium streaming service, thus keeping the beloved series alive online during its midseason hiatus, while also demonstrating to Sony and NBC that it’s a property viewers are interested in watching, and that networks—if even just the digital ones right now—are interested in buying. Starting today, Hulu Plus subscribers can watch everything from the pilot episode up to last night’s “Foosball And Nocturnal Vigilantism,” while users of the free site can access the five most recent episodes.
Hulu made the announcement in a blog post that begins with an apparently straightforward sentence about “holding your belly and shaking with laughter,” but if you can get past that, it also says some things that are not insipid and off-putting, pointing out that Community remains one of the site’s Top 20 shows of all time in terms of viewership, and that it took top honors in the “Best Of Show” competition two years in a row, meaning Hulu and Community go way back. Meanwhile, in other good news, Community’s ratings went up for the second week in a row, matching its season high with a 1.7 share. See? Little rays of sunshine.