24 May 2012
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.
Community was an incredibly good show for the first two seasons and then a terribly uneven show for the most recent one. Dan Harmon bears some responsibility for that, of course, but it has not been an easy year: the mid-season hiatus, dealing with Chevy Chase, cancellation threats, and changing the structure of a good show in order to keep it fresh. Still, between the falling ratings and the strange direction that the show has taken, blame would inevitably fall on someone. Dan Harmon may not have deserved it, but he certainly made it easy for Sony Pictures to fire him.
The news did not surprise me. It does not seem as if it surprised him. Here is to hoping that he picks himself up from this experience and goes on to create someone that compares to Community’s beginnings. And, while we are at it, here is to hoping that the new showrunners can revive the show to a modicum of its original brilliance.