Community showrunner Dan Harmon got fired & no one told him. RIP Community?

I heard this news over the weekend, and my heart just sunk. On Thursday we got to see the glorious three-part finale of the third season of NBC’s “Community.” It was amazing and so funny. “My father is the blacksmith.” I was peeing laughing at that. The video game episode was amazing. There are no other shows as consistently clever and funny as “Community,” and that’s why it’s been given another chance after a hiatus earlier this year for low ratings. So many of us love that show and have rallied for its return. The fourth season is set to premiere this fall, with just 13 episodes, about half of what we’re used to.

Given this latest news, the new season may be radically different than the solid, irreverent “Community” we’re used to. Showrunner and creator Dan Harmon was fired, and according to a new post he made on tumblr, the poor guy found out the same way everyone else did – through the press. That’s cold. From what I can gather, he got canned in a joint effort by Sony Pictures, which produces the show, and NBC, where it airs. They’ve brought on “Happy Endings” writers David Guarascio and Moses Port as “showrunners and exec producers,” according to NY Magazine’s Vulture. “Happy Endings” is a decent funny show, but it’s nothing like “Community.” Here’s more:

Dan Harmon has a message for his ex-boss at NBC: You never wrote, you never called.

Harmon, who was sacked late Friday as the showrunner of NBC’s sitcom “Community,” wrote on his blog that he didn’t learn he’d been fired until he received a message on his cellphone. Earlier in the week, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt had told reporters, “I expect Dan’s voice to be a part of this show [next season],” but Harmon dismissed that as mere spin.

“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,” Harmon wrote. “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.”

Harmon ridiculed the notion that he would stay on in an advisory role — which would give him little power in any case, as he bitterly noted. “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.”

Two NBC representatives did not return emails seeking comment.

Officially, Harmon was let go by Sony Pictures Television, which produces “Community.” But both the studio and the network have butted heads with the opinionated Harmon, who this year was embroiled in an epic spat with Chevy Chase, a member of the show’s ensemble cast. The feud included the leak of a profanity-laced voicemail from Chase to Harmon. The actor reportedly was infuriated after Harmon rebuked him publicly for walking off the set.

[From LA Times]

I just read Harmon’s blog on this, and I’ll be honest I feel like crying. My eyes are welling up. Maybe I’m PMSing or whatever, but this really upsets me. NO one communicated with this guy prior to canning him, they just got rid of him, probably because he defended his vision consistently. That’s why we had such hilarious, outrageous, thoughtful episodes from Community for three seasons: this guy fought every day in order to create such a wonderful show, and of course he got sh*t on for it.

Look what happened to “Walking Dead” after they fired Frank Darabont. It sucked so hard this season. I’m so mad that my favorite comedy is going to be robbed of the visionary who created it. RIP my favorite show. Those six seasons and a movie aren’t going to happen under NBC’s sh*tty watch. F*ck NBC. They mess up everything.

There was a big feud between Harmon and “Community” star Chevy Chase that made headlines a couple of months ago. Star Jim Rash told a TMZ photographer over the weekend that this had nothing to do with that issue, and that Harmon would be missed.

Images via Community Things

Dan Harmon Community NBC

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28 Responses to “Community showrunner Dan Harmon got fired & no one told him. RIP Community?”

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  1. QQ says:

    That Video Game Ep. Was Fking mesmerizing!!

  2. Jackie says:

    so, was he fired due to that arrogant, a**hole chevy chase?

    • Maguita says:

      Exactly! Even though everyone is denying it.

      But it is quite obvious that Chevy still has might in Hollywood. Which truly sucks… Because Chase is beyond a coucou Diva on set.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I know nothing of Hollywood power playing, but is it realistic to think that a day player, one of a cast of seven, at that, who has no current professional presence outside of the show (it isn’t really Chase Breakout: The Sequel, is it?) would have the power and influence to do something like this? One voice of dissent over hundreds and the executives swallow his demands? Again, I don’t know how this stuff works, but everyone knows what ‘quit’ means, and if there wasn’t some kind of contract prohibiting him from doing so, wouldn’t he just leave the show if he were so unhappy? Then again, this the sitcom actor who hates sitcoms and took a job that he knew he would hate, so I’m not even going to try to follow that thought process. Maybe he went broke? That doesn’t seem too likely, but who knows?

      Perhaps his fingerprints are on it, perhaps not, but would you want to work with Chevy Chase after you told the world that he got your boss fired? That would be quite the scene.

    • Erinn says:

      Keeping in mind that the man who publicly played Chevy’s voicemail message to him, and started a “fuck Chevy” chant with Chevy’s wife and daughter… it was not a class act at all. Should he have been fired? No. Chevy is an asshole, but I like him, neither side were right in what they did, but I think firing was a bit out of the blue, and ridiculous.

  3. barbi says:

    I don’t underatand how they can fire the person who created the show?????

    • Emily says:

      I don’t, either. If he created it, shouldn’t he own the characters and Greendale? Surely there are legal reasons why he can’t be fired?

  4. Riana says:

    NBC F*cking sucks. Sigh, I’m so depressed. I’m just so over giving my heart and attention to these well written intelligent shows and then watching them get abandoned in favor of reality shows with F list stars.

    They cancelled Awake. They got rid of Dan Harman, in other news F NBC. I’m never watching another show from them again.

  5. Twez says:

    Thank you eternally for the Jeff Winger: Rock and Roll Magician GIF!!!

  6. Jenna says:

    Why?!?!? I want my Six Seasons And A Movie dammit!

    P.S. Jeff was so damn hot in that eye-liner. Unf. Him and Annie need to bump uglies already.

  7. anti says:

    🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁
    <3 community
    🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

  8. apsutter says:

    Those last 3 episodes were amazing!! And if next season sucks(it will) I’ll always look at the season 3 finale as the end. What’s confusing about the whole situation is that Sony and NBC seem to have two different strategies going on simultaneously. NBC only renewed the show for 13 more episodes and moved it to Fridays which would imply that they were riding out the final season into syndication. But Sony replaces the show runner and is seemingly trying to re-boot it and broaden it so it gets a bigger audience. With that horrible time slot it’s unlikely that it will get any new viewers and will probably alienate the existing and rabid fan base. Lotta mistakes all around. I really really hope they don’t destroy one of my favorite shows.

    • Lee says:

      that is exactly what I thought of when I heard this sad news. If the show is already being pushed over to Friday nights and having it’s order cut in half for the season, it seems to me like NBC is just burning it off so that they can say they gave the fans their last season without actually making any effort to promote the show and push it to greater success. Now, the core fan base that does exist (which, in my opinion, makes up for it’s small size in enthusiasm and key age demographics, but what do I know…) is now going to be completely alienated as well. Terrible move by all.

      Harmon will be greatly missed. I know he’s a bad-ass alcoholic who doesn’t mince words and undoubtedly pissed off the wrong people, but this was purely his show. I fear it will never be the same without him.

      You’re right though, the way the 3-episode finale ended last week definitely made for a satisfying conclusion just in case we’d all rather ignore this 4th season once it has aired. I got the impression that they intended for it to provide some closure since they hadn’t yet been picked up for a 4th season when it was written/shot.

      The Thursday night comedy block on NBC is the only ‘appointment TV’ my wife and I watch. Our Thursday nights will be sad without Community.

      • apsutter says:

        Thursday nights are going to be very sad now because The Office is now, sadly, completely unwatchable and 30 Rock is really no better either. I was sad when I had to delete The Office off my dvr halfway through this season because I couldn’t put up with the ridiculousness anymore. I think the last 2 seasons of The Office and the fourth season of Community will be looked at the same way as the 9th season of Scrubs (aka. Scrubs:The New Class)lol

      • Lee says:

        yeah, we usually take the 30 minutes of the Office to make dinner or do a little housework to be honest. Though we do still watch 30 Rock.

        NBC is really in the toilet without Thursdays though. At least Parks & Rec is still on.

        And that’s a very apt comparison. I feel the same way about the last season or 2 of Gilmore Girls. It’s a completely different type of show, but it suffered a similar fate as community when the creators/writers left for the last season.

      • apsutter says:

        Oh yea…Gilmore Girls went in the toilet too. I hated how what they changed Rory’s character into. She became the spoiled little blueblood brat that she never wanted to be whilst dating rich snobs. And I totally forgot about Parks and Rec!!! If that gets cancelled next year I will cry because it’s the best and funniest most heartwarming show on tv.

      • Lee says:

        yes, i love parks & rec. It really does blend heart and humour (to quote last week’s Liz Lemon) better than any other show. I want to be Ron Swanson’s best friend, though my wife does obtain a few of his most amusing qualities what with her profession as a cabinet-maker and her love of breakfast meats (and I’m lucky enough that she puts up with being married to a vegan).

        and ITA on the characterization of Rory. And Lorelai became uncharacteristically whiny and full of poor decisions.

  9. Kim says:

    For his tirade against Chevy in front of Chevys young son he should have been fired. Regardless how you feel about someone a real man doesnt bag on someone in front of their young children. Totally inappropriate and speaks volumes about his character.

    • anti says:

      CC wouldn’t have been at the wrap party, if fired for walking off the set previously. He had to know that people would be upset and brought his “children” anyway.

      According to wiki = “Chase is the father of three girls…born 1983, 1985, and 1988…

      which makes his youngest “child” 24.

      • Erinn says:

        Still his child, and it’d still be terrible. I don’t agree with the whole thing. Chevy was an ass, but that was extremely douchey on Harmon’s part. There are times you need to be the bigger person, and Harmon couldn’t man up enough to be that. Do I think he deserved to be fired from his own show? Not at all. But I don’t think the blame should be ALL on Chevy.

  10. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Remember the episode of The Simpsons when Sara Gilbert guest stars and while babysitting the kids suggests that they order in?

    The place was called Two Guys From Kabul and their establishment had all but flatlined, and acting very impassively to each other, you hear. ‘Sometimes I think you WANT to fail’, followed by, ‘Shutup, just shutup!’?

    Why won’t anyone remember the lessons of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose?

  11. Lucy2 says:

    Havent watched the last 3 yet, but that is disappointing news. I get the impression he’s difficult, and his behavior has been inappropriate at times, but also that he’s the brain of the show. Bad situation, and it’s lousy they didn’t tell him.

  12. the original bellaluna says:

    I think it was handled very poorly. I’m not one of the rabid fans, because I’ve only seen some of the episodes, but what I’ve seen has been well-written and executed.

    Since I, too, have been “informed my position was no longer necessary” by a letter from Fed-Ex (whilst on medical leave), I think what NBC did to Harmon sucks balls. And CC can kiss my arse – DIVO!

    • Mrs. O says:

      @Bellaluna sorry you had to go through that. It’s already so painful to be laid off, and when it is done so heartlessly it’s like being stabbed in the back. Hope you found something fulfilling and full of people who treat other well.

      • the original bellaluna says:

        Yeah, they packed up my stuff out of my desk and had it UPS’d to me.

        But actually, I pretty much did end up in a job I liked with people I liked working with and being around.

        (Now I get to stay home with my toddler, so I consider myself very lucky.)

        Besides, it was a mortgage-brokering company, and I thought what they were doing was wrong (turns out I was correct!) before the “mortgage/banking crisis.” 😉

  13. Laura says:

    I wanted to cry when I heard the news too! R.I.P. Community. I will miss you.

  14. bea says:

    Every.single.time a show is critically acclaimed, yet doesn’t have the right “numbers” the Hollywood bean counters freak out. They don’t care about the QUALITY of the show, they just want the QUANTITY of viewers to be high. This reminds of Arrested Development. It was AWESOME while is lasted, RIP