So will Dan Harmon return to the NBC comedy? What does it mean for “Community” if he does?
Sony Pictures Television confirmed talks with Harmon to The Hollywood Reporter, although no new details were revealed.
Harmon was the executive producer and showrunner of “Community” for its first three seasons. Widely acknowledged as the main driving force behind the insane show, problems behind-the-scenes led to Harmon’s firing by Sony at the end of Season 3. Although his name still appears in the “Community” credits as the show’s creator, Dan Harmon was not actively associated with his former show during its recent Season 4.
There is a very good chance that Harmon would not return to “Community” in his old showrunner position. David Guarascio and Moses Port were named as showrunners for the fourth season, but there is no word on whether or not the two would return. Ratings for “Community” remained fairly steady during their tenure, but the show took a critical beating without Harmon. Still, their replacement with a formerly fired boss could spell trouble.
Assuming Harmon does return to “Community” — and assuming that he gets some creative control upon that return — what does this mean for the comedy?
Fans can expect more new plots and twists in Season 5
One of the big problems with Season 4 was that there were few stories that felt new. Instead, the season consisted of tying up and carrying on plots (like paintball, Jeff’s daddy issues, the Darkest Timeline, etc.) from previous years. Harmon is, if anything, creative. New plots could be coming soon.
There is no way Chevy Chase is coming back.
Having left “Community” before the end of Season 4, Chase’s return was always a long-shot. Add in the feud between the actor and Harmon, and there’s no way Pierce Hawthorne is going to be rejoining the study group.
Ratings will not increase.
If there’s one thing we’ve seen from Harmon-run “Community” episodes, it’s that they rarely attract new viewers. Not that “Community” ever attracts new viewers.
Abed will make more sense.
If there is one character who has suffered in the absence of Dan Harmon, it’s probably Abed.
This off-beat and socially inept character is one of the trickiest on television, but the combination of Harmon and actor Danny Pudi made Abed brilliant. Great emotion could be channeled through a seemingly emotionless and sideways filter (re-watch the Season 2 Christmas episode if you don’t believe this). Without Harmon, the unemotional emotions didn’t work as well.
The show will go out with a bang.
This is possibly a literal prediction. Dan Harmon is totally crazy enough to end his show by blowing up Greendale Community College.