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Dan Harmon

Community has become a roller coaster of emotions. The show continues to produce incredible episodes but behind the scenes the show is steeped in drama. With their ratings declining, NBC decided to bench the show in its third season. This drove fans out of the woodwork to fight for their beloved study group. After winning fan contests and cover contests, NBC gave the show the second half of the season. Giving fans a brilliant end to a season which has been slowing building a more destructive Chang. (as if that could even be possible).

Community ratings have been steady since its come back but no where near where NBC would like. With the fate of the show on the line, catastrophe hit. Dan Harmon, at one of his shows Harmontown, leaked a voice message from Chevy Chase. This sped through the interwebs, which prompted Harmon to release this message, which you can read here.

While I do not condone what he did, I think this message was well written and very appropriate. Harmon needed to show that he was in the wrong while still explaining to the fans what was going on. This brought him back into the good books with fans and showed that he is on their side and not the networks. Chase is not an easy person to get along with, this has been reported for years, but the show is very important to its fans and this shook things up.

Community is one of the best shows on TV. It rivals Arrested Development and Firefly in that they are brilliantly written and perfectly cast. If Community had been cancelled mid season it would enter the canon of shows misunderstood by the masses but beloved by the fans. The one problem with Community is that it doesn’t have wide appeal. The jokes are darker, the situations are more complex and the parodies require a lot more research. This may sound pretentious but thats what gave Community its cult like fans.

Recently, it has been reported that Dan Harmon is no longer running Community. NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt said this about Harmon “I expect Dan’s voice to be a part of this show somehow; I’m just not sure if that means him running it day-to-day or consulting on it.” Hours later fans of the show got the real story. Harmon was never informed about any of this, he had been fired. NBC had decided to give the show to Happy Endings writers David Guarascio and Moses Port without talking to Harmon. This changes everything, the creator of the show can now be removed from their post if executives don’t like what he’s doing for their network.

With Community’s shortened last season, it is unclear how well the show will do. The constant drama and changes are not inspiring much confidence in fans. How can a show survive without the person who created the show and the characters. Look at Gilmore Girls without Amy Sherman Palladino. Community’s third season has been fantastic and I hope they can continue their streak of great, well written episodes.

Below the cut I have included Harmon’s blog on his firing. It is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the show.

Kids:

A few hours ago, I landed in Los Angeles, turned on my phone, and confirmed what you already know. Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on Community, with two seasoned fellows that I’m sure are quite nice – actually, I have it on good authority they’re quite nice, because they once created a show and cast my good friend Jeff Davis on it, so how bad can they be.

Why’d Sony want me gone? I can’t answer that because I’ve been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally haven’t called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business. Community is their property, I only own ten percent of it, and I kind of don’t want to hear what their complaints are because I’m sure it would hurt my feelings even more now that I’d be listening for free.

I do want to correct a couple points of spin, now that I’m free to do so:

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.

The same contract also gives me the same salary and title if I spend all day masturbating and playing Prototype 2. And before you ask yourself what you would do in my situation: buy Prototype 2. It’s fucking great.

Because Prototype 2 is great, and because nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago. I’m sorry. I’m not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, I’m just saying that whatever they’re going to do for season 4, they’re aiming to do without my help. So do not believe anyone that tells you on Monday that I quit or diminished my role so I could spend more time with my loved ones, or that I negotiated and we couldn’t come to an agreement, etc. It couldn’t be less true because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me. Also don’t believe anyone that says I have sex with animals. And if there’s a photo of me doing it with an animal – I’m not saying one exists, I’m just saying, if one surfaces – it’s a fake. Look at the shadow. Why would it be in front of the giraffe if the sun is behind the jeep?

Where was I? Oh yeah. I’m not running Community for season 4. They replaced me. Them’s the facts.

When I was a kid, sometimes I’d run home to Mommy with a bloody nose and say, “Mom, my friends beat me up,” and my Mom would say “well then they’re not worth having as friends, are they?” At the time, I figured she was just trying to put a postive spin on having birthed an unpopular pussy. But this is, after all, the same lady that bought me my first typewriter. Then later, a Commodore 64. And later, a 300 baud modem for it. Through which I met new friends that did like me much, much more.

I’m 39, now. The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics, like, oh, I don’t know, sending out press releases to TV Guide at 7pm on a Friday.

But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us. And the good friends, the real friends, are finding each other, and connecting with each other, and my Mom is turning out to be more right than ever.

Ah, shit, I still haven’t called my fucking Mom.

Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I got fired.

Yes, Mom. AGAIN.

Credit, Credit

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Categories: Actor, Actress, Television, Writer

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