Dan Harmon Fired as ‘Community’ Season 4 Showrunner; Issues Public Response

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community season 4 dan harmon Dan Harmon Fired as Community Season 4 Showrunner; Issues Public Response

The past three months have been a roller coaster ride for fans of NBC’s cult comedy series, Community. First, the show finally returned to the television airwaves after an extended hiatus. Thereafter, it managed to snag a shortened fourth season, even after the series’ producers made preparations for season three to be its last.

However, reports are in that NBC has elected to not bring back creator Dan Harmon as showrunner on the fourth (and final?) season of Community, opting to instead have him serve as a “consulting producer.” According to Harmon, that claim exaggerates how much actual input he’ll have on the show from here-on out.

In the report from THR, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt is quoted as having previously said he expects “Dan’s voice” to continue being a part of Community throughout its truncated fourth season. However, now that NBC has tapped David Guarascio and Moses Port – former co-showrunners on Just Shoot Me!, creators of the short-lived Aliens in America, and consulting producers on Happy Endings – it seems that Harmon’s involvement will be minimal to non-existent, at most.

Harmon has issued a public response on his Tumblr account (called “Dan Harmon Poops” – no joke). Here is an excerpt from his statement:

The important one is this quote from Bob Greenblatt in which he says he’s sure I’m going to be involved somehow, something like that.  That’s a misquote.  I think he meant to say he’s sure cookies are yummy, because he’s never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC.  He didn’t call me to say he was starting to work there, he didn’t call me to say I was no longer working there and he definitely didn’t call to ask if I was going to be involved.  I’m not saying it’s wrong for him to have bigger fish to fry, I’m just saying, NBC is not a credible source of All News Dan Harmon.

You may have read that I am technically “signed on,” by default, to be an executive consulting something or other – which is a relatively standard protective clause for a creator in my position. Guys like me can’t actually just be shot and left in a ditch by Skynet, we’re still allowed to have a title on the things we create and “help out,” like, I guess sharpening pencils and stuff.

However, if I actually chose to go to the office, I wouldn’t have any power there.  Nobody would have to do anything I said, ever.  I would be “offering” thoughts on other people’s scripts, not allowed to rewrite them, not allowed to ask anyone else to rewrite them, not allowed to say whether a single joke was funny or go near the edit bay, etc.  It’s….not really the way the previous episodes got done.  I was what you might call a….hands on producer.  Are my….periods giving this enough….pointedness?  I’m not saying you can’t make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you can’t make my version of it unless I have the option of saying “it has to be like this or I quit” roughly 8 times a day.

Community fans in particular should definitely read the entirety of Harmon’s statement – it’s a fun mix of NSFW humor that’s more self-deprecatory than accusatory, overall – but the above segment outlines the situation pretty well: Harmon doesn’t anticipate having much (if any) influence on Community from this point forward.

community cast dan harmon Dan Harmon Fired as Community Season 4 Showrunner; Issues Public Response

Dan Harmon with the cast of 'Community'

Coming from an admitted Community fan: the show’s third season had its weak spots, for sure, but overall it was a solid season for the series that boasted what are bound to go down (or already have) as some of its most memorable episodes – including, the Hugo award-nominated “Remedial Chaos Theory”, “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”, and “Basic Lupine Urology”, among others. Not to mention, the season finale nicely wrapped up some loose plot threads left dangling from not only earlier in season three, but also previous seasons.

That’s all to say: Harmon’s departure will come as disappointing news for many Community lovers – but not all, of course. Still, despite issues like the show’s rough start, following the mid-season three hiatus – or the much-publicized spat between Chevy Chase and Dan HarmonCommunity, under Harmon’s watch, has continued to satisfy a major chunk of the fanbase.

Of course, the majority of the Community creative team (staff writers, producers) remain onboard, to help ensure that season four maintains a tonal continuity with past seasons – not to mention, the main cast remains intact (and lovable as ever). Maybe adding some new blood will actually benefit the show – ?

More on the future of Community as the story develops.

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Source: THR, Dan Harmon

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33 Comments

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  1. NBC tries to hard again

  2. I’ve never watched the show but I did read about the Chevy Chase incident.
    It looks to me like the brass is trying to placate Chase by de-nutting Harmon in the hopes of getting more involvement from Chevy who probably told their reps that there was NO way that he’d come back to the show as long as Harmon was actively involved.

  3. Chevy is a notorious dildo, impossible to work with. If NBC is going to pull this kind of thing every time Chase is unhappy, they’ll end up gutting the whole show.

  4. Well, there goes the show. Was nice knowing you, Community. That was a good three seasons. Farewell.

    • This is only a good thing! Third season was bad. I stopped watching it after 7 or so episodes this season and just caught up the other night (TiVo started to fill up)… most of the episodes were just miserable. Way too much of Abed.

      • It’s odd to hear somebody call the third (which also happens to be the most heartfelt and ambitious) bad. But it’s your opinion, I guess.

        • Well, obviously I’m not the only one. Just quick look at the ratings and you can see how Community kept loosing viewers during this season. Episodes weren’t fun anymore as they used to be (most of them were just weird). And like I mentioned earlier, too much Abed. I hope writers will sit down and watch the season 1 again and take a note.

          • Finn season 1 was the worst of all three seasons so if they take note of that it will be a drop in quality. I’m sorry that you were not smart enough to understand season 3 it really is a shame.

            • Wow, man. Was that really necessary? Because someone doesn’t agree with you that makes them stupid? The guy is just expressing his opinion, which cannot be right or wrong. I happen to agree that season 3 is definitely the weakest of the whole series so far, though it does have some outstanding moments in it (Pierce showing up in a suite made out of pillows had me rolling on the floor). You have to admit that there is definitely something different about season 3. I can’t quite come up with the words to explain it, but this season has a new “flavor” to it. It doesn’t have that same sense of fun that it did before. There are a lot more episodes that take place entirely off campus (not necessarily a bad thing, but the show is about a community college after all). I’d really like to see John Oliver return to the cast, he was a crucial supporting character. I hope this change up brings back some of what season 2 had, but I will watch regardless.

              • New flavor? Season 2 had zombies, a potential Chang baby, and a whole lot of paintballs. The show has always been different and that’s what makes it so fun to watch. Dan Harmon created a great show that stirred up a fan uprising when NBC shelved it. Now, NBC demotes Harmon so these other writers can create another Whitney? Or is this just an elaborate publicity stunt to drum up more support? I don’t know, but I still think NBC is a bunch of yahoos.

              • The show was never really about community college, it was about the COMMUNITY – the study group. And yes, this season had a different flavour because the series was supposed to (now I don’t know, seeing as Dan’s not there anymore) be following a four chapter structure, where the fourth chapter was the darkest, where all the characters had to deal with issues etc. There was beautiful amounts of character developments in the whole season, and I – along with a whole load of others – felt like this season was hilarious.

                And, I’m sorry Finn, but do you not know anything about the Nielsen ratings?? The ratings fluctuated because the majority of the tv viewers of that time slot watch Idol, or BBT. You should know that.

              • Yes, it gives him all the permission to call Finn dumb.

          • The terms “this season was bad” and “I didn’t like this season” are not the same thing. The season became more exclusive and and really was “the darkest timeline,” but that doesn’t make it bad. As far as attracting viewers you could call this season bad, but in it’s storytelling it was prime, the best on TV for years. I can understand people not liking the season, but saying it is objectively “bad” is just not a true statement.

      • Finn the third season was in no way shape or form BAD. It was absolutely fantastic.

        • Smart enough… oh please. I guess there aren’t many smart people around because the ratings stink.

          If you are that smart then you know why it got renewed. The answer: syndication. After the season 4 this show is done (unless miracle happens and writing changes back to good which I highly doubt). Anyways, I won’t miss it because Community died for me 6 months ago.

          • acually the show was picked up because.

            1. Syndication
            2. It’s not expensive to make
            3. The ratings are terrible for Fox or CBS but not for NBC. It’s higher than a few other shows that it has. It’s higher in ratings than Chuck was for the last two years. It’s doing just as good as most of the NBC comedies the network has been in terrible shape.

            Btw Nielsen ratings do not indicate actual viewership. Ratings can easily dip with out one single viewer being lost. DVR has changed the ratings for ever and really screwed over a lot of shows. Also nielson ratings don’t cover everyone only those who are selected to be a part of it. If some one decides to not be a part of it or some one who is a part of it watches a show 2 days later on DVR their viewership is never counted.

            The truth is community was funny but pretty run of the mill during season 1. It was basic brainless sit con with a few laughs. Season 2 the show took off and was fantastic and IMO season 3 is the best yet. Because its sense of humor was raised intellectually. My top 2 episodes of all three years came from this season alone. Heck one of the episodes won awards even and was praised by critics all over.

            Also I would agree there are lots of people who are not very smart. You want to quote ratings? Look up American idol , CSI , Jersey shore or any other crap procedural or reality show. Ratings for them are great but the shows are crap. I think that proves how many people are dumb. Smart shows typically get cancelled. The majority of this planet gets headaches from thinking and it’s sad.

            • Thank you for stating this.

  5. I am tired of everyone blaming Chevy Chase. I am sure Mr. Chase did NOT want this done to Harmon. In fact, I believe Chase could have gone on working with Harmon like the professional that he is. We have NO idea WHAT was going on behind the scenes with Harmon and the Execs. So I wish people would STOP blaming Chevy Chase. Thank you.

    • Nice try Chevy.

      • :D It could have been his wife. Or his daughter. ;)

    • “Professional” and “Chevy Chase” don’t go together, I’m sorry.

  6. And let’s not forget they’re moving the show to Fridays. So I’m sure season 4 will be it’s last.
    NBC has completely Britta’d this show. It’s to bad because it’s one of my favorites.

    • Britta’d LOL. Well said.

    • Nice.

  7. NBC stands for N*t Bag Central….for their salty behavior.

  8. While i loved the first season i thought that the second and third seasons lost the spark that really made the show special. I continue to recored it every week but as season 3 went on it was taking me longer and longer to force myself to watch the episodes. i still enjoy the show to a certain degree but i have no doubt that season 4 will be its last IF NBC doesn’t cancel the show before then. And although NBC are notorious for doing bad moves and messing around with there tv shows Community has pretty bad ratings/viewership so i think the show has run its course. Maybe when its cancelled they will do webisodes.

    • It won’t be canceled before NBC gets their episodes for syndication. So no worries, you’ll get at least those promised 13 episodes. Then they’ll have around 84 episodes which is a little low for syndication but doable. I would not be surprised if NBC orders full fourth season to get the number closer to 100.

      NBC has made some bad decisions but this was not one of them. You all should be thanking NBC for giving you the third (and fourth) season because any other network would have kicked this show to the curb after the second season.

      • this comment should be directed more towards someone who cares about the show, i only liked the first season the other 2 i think were pure crap that i forced myself to watch on weekends when I’m bored and i personally think NBC should have cancelled it within the first 6 episodes of season 2. its getting around 2 million views that extremely low. the die hard fans need to realise this show is coming to its end. NBC will probably only keep it on for a 4th season to keep the fans happy

  9. NBC fires Dan Harmon….is this surprising? This is the network that screwed Conan. Kicking talented people to the curb is their trademark.

  10. I don’t think NBC really has any idea what they’re doing these days. Harmon was the soul of the show, and with the exodus of writers after him combined with Chevy Chase bein’ an idjit, well, goodbye Community.

  11. This seems to be huge news across the internet. Community is a very low rated show that has been bleeding viewers for 3 season on top of its low ratings. People get fired every day in television. Why is this such big news?

  12. NBC just can’t seem to get it together. They always cancel all the good shows and make room for crappy reality shows. Not to mention screwed 2 of the funniest talk show hosts over, first David Letterman back in the 80′s and then 2 years ago to Conan O’Brien.

  13. I don’t think that NBC has any idea how large their fanbase for Community is. The days of networks thinking they know what people want to watch are over. Networks need to poll their viewership somehow. We NEVER watch our favorite shows on cable. I’d say 90% of the people I know don’t either. Community has so much life left, it’s a bummer if it goes. And WHEN ON EARTH DOES IT START AGAIN?????

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