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‘Community’ Creator Dan Harmon Dishes on NBC Exit, Calls Self “TV-Incompatible”

Community Dan Harmon
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

There goes the neighborhood.  Just earlier today, we were reporting that ‘Community‘ had a bright star on the horizon, now that it’s appearance at Comic-Con 2012 would be accompanied by Dan Harmon-replacing show-runners Moses Port and David Guarascio, no doubt looking to quell fan anxiety of ‘Community’ season 4.  As if on reflex, it seems the exiled Dan Harmon has taken to the soapbox once more…

Speaking to ‘Attack of the Show!‘s Marc Maron, exiled ‘Community’ creator Dan Harmon held very little back in describing his unceremonious exit from the show at the hands of Sony TV and NBC, backers of the cult comedy series.  In the interview, Harmon joked that he had always suspected the studio heads might have fired him, and mentioning so could have planted the idea in the first place.  Still, Harmon remained self-aware of his terse relationship with NBC and Sony, saying:

If twenty people call you a horse’s ass, you buy a saddle, or however that saying goes.  I feel like I’m a good person, and a professional, a very able leader of men.  I also feel like I’m 25.  That slowly changed without me realizing it.  Maybe I am just a jerk.  I think to people who work above me, I’m a liability that isn’t worth the benefit.  Low rated show, it’s not generating much revenue.

Harmon acknowledged the marriage of art and industry, pointing out that NBC definitely remains in the business of highlighting critically acclaimed programs, to the point where it didn’t necessarily bother him that CBS’ ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ or FOX’s ‘American Idol‘ clobbered ‘Community’ in Thursday night ratings.  As Harmon rightly insists, the classic Nielsen model hasn’t been an effective tool for measuring TV-watching habits for some time, in any case.

Still, Harmon maintains that part of him felt relief in ending his involvement in ‘Community,’ expressing his admiration for the fans who make it their own:

Yeah, a big part.  At this point, I was doing it for the fans.  These are people who will make you weep.  These are 16 year-old girls who decide they want two characters to be together, so they make YouTube videos, they spend more time editing them than the people that edit the television show.

But don’t count Harmon out of the TV game just yet.  The ‘Community’ creator humbly admits that concieving of ‘Community’s core premise didn’t take very much of his creative prowess, and it wasn’t until he started shedding the itchy sweater of conformity that the series creatively took off.  In fact, Harmon wouldn’t even mind taking on the conventional three-camera sitcom, if only to prove that it needn’t necessarily prove a “cancer” of intelligent television.

Check out the full interview with ‘Community’ creator Dan Harmon below, and tell us your own thoughts on ‘Community’ season 4 in the comments!

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