In a repeat from last year, NBC‘s perennial bubble comedy Community just snagged a 13-episode renewal. There have been some significant changes on the show over the past 12 months though. When NBC renewed the show last May, it still had creator Dan Harmon as showrunner and Chevy Chase as co-star. Immediately after the upfronts, Harmon was replaced with David Guarascio and Moses Port. Then in November, Chase too departed. The bitter feud between Chase and Harmon was a major factor in destabilizating of the show for a couple of seasons, leading to public outbursts and profane voice messages. Now that Chase is gone, emotions have cooled down and all sides involved have had time to reflect, there is speculation that Harmon may come back, especially if this turns out to be Community‘s final chapter. (I’d heard that, with the show’s future at NBC in limbo, there were a number of suitors clamoring to pick up Community for a final installment.) There are no deals in place but I hear there certainly is interest in bringing Harmon back in some capacity.
Charlie Kaufman and his producing partners — former Community showrunner Dan Harmon and Dino Stamatopoulos — do not want to deal with Hollywood, and now at least for one project they don’t have to. A stop-motion animation adaptation of the Kaufman-written play Anomalisa raised $406,237 for the film’s production in 60 days via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. “We want to make Anomalisa without the interference of the typical big-studio process,” according to a pitch video that Harmon and Stamatopoulos’ Starburns Industries put up on the project page. The film raised more than double the money the producers were asking from 5,770 Kickstarter backers.
“The only thing we care about is keeping it the weird wonderful gem it always has been, said new producer David Guarascio to applause from the packed ballroom. “We’re not going to screw it up,” the other new showrunner Moses Port added later. Guarascio and Port became Community’s showrunners after Harmon was fired by NBC in May. Cast members Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, series writers Megan Ganz, Andy Bobrow and executive producer Russ Krasnoff joined the showrunners on the panel. Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong, Donald Glover and Jim Rash were not there.
“It’s a strange transition time” at Community, series star Joel McHale said this morning on the sidelines of Comic-Con ahead of the NBC show’s panel presentation. The sudden departure of series creator-showrunner Dan Harmon from the comedy …
Shortly after news broke that he will be replaced as showrunner on his NBC comedy Community by David Guarascio and Moses Port while he was becoming executive consultant, Dan Harmon took to his blog to clarify the circumstances around the switch. In brief: he says he was fired and doesn’t mince words about his employers. Here is his post:
HEY, DID I MISS ANYTHING?
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.
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. 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.
I do want to correct a couple points of spin, now that I’m free to do so:
On Saturday, I posted a story about the feud between Community creator Dan Harmon and co-star Chevy Chase, which included a recording of a profanity-laced Chase voicemail to Harmon, which Harmon had played at a show he does at a comic book store. This afternoon, Harmon addressed the incident. In a blog post, which I’ve reposted in its entirety below, Harmon apologized to Community fans for playing the voicemail publicly without Chase’s consent, something he now calls “a dumb, unclassy, inconsiderate move on my part.” However, he doesn’t address the rift between the two or the action that allegedly prompted the voicemail, Harmon doing a “Fuck you, Chevy” speech at Community‘s wrap party last month in front of Chase, his wife and his daughter after Chase had walked off the set of the show without filming his scene.
Not That it Helps, But:
I’m really not supposed to be commenting on the situation, which I think is great advice, because anything I say will extend the story’s life and cause more fans discomfort. But as a guy who blogs or tweets every time he wipes his butt, hugs his cat or hurts his girlfriend, it’s conspicuously weird of me to say nothing at all about the giant fart with my name on it that you’ve been inhaling. It feels dishonest not to acknowledge it, it feels rude to the caring fans of the show, people who are tweeting me their concerns that I’ve jeopardized something they fight to protect, those are the sentiments that are [rightfully] the most painful because every choice I make, I try to make for the good of the show, and the show is not an expression of my ego or entitlement, it’s an expression of my desire to make strangers happy. When that’s not happening, when I’ve done something that hurts an audience, it’s always an accident. So I have to just acknowledge my mistake and apologize for it to the fans. Even the people that hate the show that are tweeting heckles at me are right, I’m a selfish baby and a rude asshole and not a person to trust with your feelings.
UPDATE SUNDAY: Since I posted the story yesterday, several people working on the show have come forward to confirm Chase’s version of the events. One noted that the show indeed was “suffering through a ‘non-script day’” when Chase walked off. Another claimed that most of the cast and …
Here’s is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy comedy races:
Deadline/TVline: 2011 Comedy Series Overview
Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits …