Yesterday, "Community" fans were thrust into the darkest of all possible timelines when it was announced that creator Dan Harmon would no longer be the showrunner. Instead, David Guarascio and Moses Port will be taking over the show as it moves to Friday nights for its fourth season next fall.
At the time, the reasons for Harmon's departure were left to conjecture. However, we now have at least part of the story from Harmon himself, who didn't hold back in a post on his tumblr account.
"I’m not running 'Community' for season 4," noted Harmon. "They replaced me. Them’s the facts."
Harmon seemed to place most of the blame for the situation on Sony Pictures TV for making arrangements to replace him without even contacting him about a potential new deal.
"Why’d Sony want me gone?" asked Harmon. "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."
Harmon also shot down the reports that he would remain on "Community" as a consulting producer, specifically pointing out NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt's assertions that Harmon would still be involved with the series.
"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," noted Harmon. "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," continued Harmon. "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," added Harmon. "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."
According to Harmon, he saw the writing on the wall before Sony made their move to replace him.
"[Because] nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago," admitted Harmon. "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."
On a more conciliatory note, Harmon had some kind words for his replacements, Guarascio and Port.
"Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on 'Community,' with two seasoned fellows that I’m sure are quite nice," said Harmon. "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."