It’s official, Community‘s creator, Dan Harmon, will no longer be the showrunner. His precious job is being handed over to David Guarascio and Moses Port, whose credits include Happy Endings, Aliens in America and Just Shoot Me. Harmon took to Tumblr to express his feelings over the whole situation. He’s not exactly a happy camper.
Vulture reports that Sony struck a deal with Guarascio and Port to act as new showrunners and executive producers. Sony expects Harmon to stay on as a writer and consulting producer, but based on Harmon’s reactions, there has been some serious miscommunication between him and the studio. It seems that Harmon wasn’t told about the new management, and that he found out just like the rest of us. And it’s doubtful that he’ll be sticking around to help.
Sony and Harmon’s tempestuous relationship dates back to the show’s first season. Harmon has always clashed with Sony and NBC over the show’s creative direction and style. Their concern has always been to make the show more appealing to broader audiences. Then there’s all the behind-the-scenes drama with Chevy Chase, and the writing staff changeovers throughout the years. Add to that the low ratings and Harmon’s poor management skills. We’re not surprised Harmon got booted off the show without his knowledge of it.
Community is renewed for a fourth season, but those 13 episodes are probably the last we’ll see of the show. Come to think of it, “Introduction to Finality” is probably the last true Community episode. Without Harmon, things just won’t be the same–sure, he may be a volatile showrunner, and his ratings were never great, but Community‘s quality level has always been exceptional. Goodbye paintball. Goodbye 8-bit video games. Goodbye stop-motion and clay animation. This is cruel, man. Cruel, cruel, cruel.
Below is an excerpt from Harmon’s post on his blog Dan Harmon Poops, check it out:
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.
To read Harmon’s entire reaction, head to Dan Harmon Poops.
What do you think?