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Community Boss Harmon Talks Being Fired by NBC
The world has become a dark place now that Sony and NBC have fired Dan Harmon as showrunner of Community, but we didn’t realize just how bad things were until Harmon explained the situation in more detail. Until now, all we’ve known is his contract was up, and instead of negotiating with Harmon; Sony opted to hire David Guarascio and Moses Port, producers of Happy Endings, as co-showrunners. NBC president Bob Greenblatt has been saying they expect Harmon to be involved in some capacity, possibly as a consultant producer or writer, but clearly everyone at Sony and NBC completely misread the situation.
Harmon took to his Tumblr to explain his position on his firing. He explains nobody at Sony or NBC had contacted him after the Season 4 renewal, going ahead and replacing him without his knowledge. He couldn’t explain why things happened this way, though to be fair, it’s no secret Harmon can be very difficult to work with. His management style is extremely aggressive, with him often threatening to quit unless he gets his way. And then there’s the publicly documented feud he had with Chevy Chase, one of the actors on the show. But it’s also Harmon’s insistence that things be done his way that led the show to be the way it is. But then again, it’s not exactly the most welcoming show on air. Part of NBC’s reasoning of replacing Harmon is to create a more mainstream and appealing show.
Harmon was the heart and soul of Community. Forget how he treated people; the show would have never gotten to the point excellence it did without him. And he’s straight up said he won’t return in any capacity because he won’t be able to create the show according to his vision. The show will be different now. The only question is whether it’s a good different or a bad different. I think it might be safe to say we’ll be saying goodbye to the genre-bending episodes and meta appeal.
Upon Harmon’s exit, producers/directors Anthony and Joe Russo, produer/writer Chris McKenna, and writer/actor Dino Stamatopoulos left the show as well. Exec producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan had left earlier, leaving a very different team producing the show. Season 4 will be a new era for Community. It’ll either tank or soar under the new management, but only time will tell which one.