All is not well in the land of Greendale. Sony Pictures has hired two writers to replace Dan Harmon as showrunner of Community in Season 4, and according to Harmon, this was done essentially behind his back.
Happy Endings writers David Guarascio and Moses Port are joining Community as showrunners and executive producers. Sony plans to ask Harmon to remain involved as a writer and consultant (with the possible title of “consulting producer”). But whether he remains is very much in doubt.
Harmon and Sony have been at odds since the first season of Community, with him and the studio clashing over the creative direction of the show and Harmon’s management style. And NBC hasn’t exactly shown confidence in the show, moving it to Friday nights, or in Harmon, as evidenced by NBC chief Bob Greenblatt seemingly not caring if Harmon remained when he said at the NBC upfront, “Shows lose showrunners all the time and do well.”
For his part, Harmon insists in his blog that not only did Sony not talk to him about returning for Season 4, but also that reports of him being involved in any way are false.
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.
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.
Why make this move now, considering many people suspect/fear that Season 4 will be Community’s last? Some think that with a change at the top perhaps the show will take a new creative direction and attract more viewers. But Harmon has a strong and devoted following, and his faithful could see his exit as a catastrophe and stop watching the show, either now on principle or when it airs in the fall with significant changes from Harmon’s vision. Or perhaps there are plenty of viewers that don’t even know or care what a showrunner is, and who won’t be affected by the change.
How do you feel, Human Beings? Will you miss Harmon? Will you stop watching the show? Do you fear Community will change now that Harmon is most likely gone? Share your thoughts in the Comments.