Former Community showrunner Dan Harmon may be getting back into prime-time television much sooner than anyone had expected, as it seems he is currently in negotiations with 20th Century Fox regarding a new, multi-camera comedy pilot. Of course, the details on the comedy are being kept under wraps until a deal with Harmon can be hammered out.
Because of FOX's interest in creating a new, multi-camera comedy block, the feeling is that Harmon is being asked to create something fitting for such a proposed line-up. For Harmon, the idea of doing a traditional sitcom filmed in front of a live studio audience was something he'd expressed interest in after being removed from his position on Community. In fact, Harmon saw it as a bit of a challenge, stating he'd like to do one, "just to prove it's not a cancer."
Harmon was let go from Community after the struggling show managed to pick up a fourth season, despite finding itself on an extended hiatus for a portion of season 3. In the end, Harmon was replaced by David Garascio and Moses Port as executive producers on the show, though Harmon still retains a consulting producer title that even he has admitted means little in terms of influence over the program.
NBC president Robert Greenblatt recently spoke about the showrunner shift at the Television Critics Association summer press event by assuring the audience that despite no longer having its main voice, Community would still be the show that inspired such dedication from its fans.
"Every so often it's time to make a change with a showrunner and you evaluate the creative and how the show is run and how writing staff works. Sometimes you want to freshen a show and we just decided it was time to do that with Community."
Earlier this month, Harmon appeared on G4's Attack of the Show, where he and guest-host Marc Maron discussed his somewhat tumultuous time at NBC, while humorously addressing his pursuit of a good review over ratings.
"If 20 people call you a horse's ass, you buy a saddle. I feel like I am a good person and a professional, very able leader of men. I also feel like I'm 25. That slowly changed without me realizing it. Maybe I am just a jerk. To people who work above me, I am a liability that isn't worth the benefit. A low-rated show that's not generating much revenue."
The news of Harmon's potential involvement in a new sitcom is certainly big, but the creator hasn't exactly been unproductive during his time away from Community. Harmon has also been working on a new animated series with Jeff Roiland titled Rick and Morty. The program concerns a genius inventor's adventures with his grandson, who, mentally speaking, doesn't exactly match up to his granddad. Additionally, Harmon and famed writer-director Charlie Kaufman have been trying to get the stop-motion animated project Anomalisa funded through Kickstarter.
Fans of Community will undoubtedly approach the show's upcoming fourth season with a certain amount of trepidation, but for anyone following the career of that show's creator, the news of his possible return to prime-time TV is a welcome thought, indeed. With FOX not struggling in the ratings department as much as NBC, perhaps that will alleviate some of the pressure on his proposed new show, and provide a more suitable environment for Harmon to do his particular brand of television.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on Dan Harmon's dealings with FOX, as more details emerge.