A few months following his ouster as showrunner of Community, Dan Harmon says he understands why he was removed from the series he created.
"I would have fired me too, because it's a business," he said on Los Angeles radio station KCRW's The Business. "I think I'm a self-effacing, self-destructive person, and I think that every speech I made to my own crew and the people above me was, 'Sorry, I'm not good at this.'"
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Harmon was replaced with two new showrunners — Happy Endings alums Moses Port and David Guarascio — shortly after Community was renewed for a 13-episode fourth season and the comedy was moved to a new timeslot (Fridays at 8:30/7:30c). Although NBC chief Bob Greenblatt said at the time that conversations were happening about the Harmon's continued involvement as a consultant, Harmon posted a lengthy blog post when he was officially replaced saying he had never heard from NBC. "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."
Greenblatt defended his decision at the Television Critics Association's annual fall TV previews last month. "Every so often it's time to make a change with a showrunner," he said. "Sometimes you want to freshen a show, no disrespect to anyone."
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In his radio interview this week, Harmon said Sony, which produces Community, was "bummed" about how he wrote the show. "They always fantasized about doing the show without me," Harmon said. "They're not going to hand the ball to the guy that spent three years losing in the ratings race and not turning a script over until I felt it was finished. If your ratings are high and there's money being made, you're allowed to be a perfectionist in television."
However, despite his messy split from Community, Harmon already has two new script deals at Fox and at CBS, and is also producing an animated pilot for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. "All of the networks came a-calling. Everyone in basic cable, especially," Harmon said. "Once you have a three-season show, it really doesn't matter that there's some rumor circulated out there by the people who made the strange decision to fire you. Of course they're going to create the idea that we were difficult to work with."
What do you think of Harmon's latest comments? Are you planning on watching the new season of Community?