Yahoo's Stab at Original Shows Bombed

Company announces $42M lost on 3 shows, including 'Community'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2015 8:32 AM CDT
Yahoo's Stab at Original Shows Bombed
Jim Rash, left, as Dean Pelton, and Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in a scene from Season 5 of "Community."   (AP Photo/NBC, Justin Lubin)

Yahoo's foray into original content has been a costly one. In a Q3 earnings call on Tuesday, CFO Ken Goldman said the company had taken $42 million in write-downs in its video division in creating three shows: sports comedy Sin City Saints, Other Space, and Community, which it picked up after NBC canceled the show last year, per the Hollywood Reporter. All three aired this spring, but Yahoo "couldn't see a way to make money over time," Goldman said, per the Wrap. "Where we had spent money and had some assets on our balance sheet, we elected to write those off." Goldman added more original shows are possible in Yahoo's future, but "in three cases at least, it didn't work the way we had hoped it would work."

Yahoo—whose earnings fell below expectations—seemed to follow Netflix's lead in reviving Community, just as Netflix produced a final season of Arrested Development. But unlike Netflix, which is a subscription-based service, Yahoo needed to rely on advertisers, reports the Verge. Back in August, Yahoo said it was "continuing to discuss future opportunities for Community," though star Joel McHale was simultaneously essentially ruling out a seventh season. "All the actors on the show, almost without exception—their stock has risen significantly, and it's out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show," he said in an interview. "There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show." (More TV shows stories.)

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