Dan Harmon, fired producer of NBC’s cult situation comedy “Community,” is ready to return to the series he created. Although he was fired by Sony Pictures Television at the end of the show’s third season, Harmon has confirmed he will back to helm “Community” during its coming fifth season.
In 2009, Harmon created “Community,” which he helmed as head writer and executive producer for three seasons, when it earned cult-classic status. Last May, Harmon was fired as showrunner of “Community” when the show’s production company, Sony, appeared to take issue with his management style. At the time of his firing, Harmon was also involved in a well-publicized feud with “Community” cast member Chevy Chase, who left the show after its fourth season.
Harmon confirmed his return via Twitter Saturday, when he also thanked cast member Joel McHale, apparently for supporting him in a boardroom meeting:
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— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) June 1, 2013
Soon afterward, “Community” cast member Gillian Jacobs congratulated Harmon via the microblogging site, with a nod to a second-season episode:
Welcome back, @danharmon! E Pluribus Anus!
— Gillian Jacobs (@GillianJacobs) June 1, 2013
After his departure last year, even Harmon admitted his obsessive management style could sometimes be a drawback.
“I would have fired me,” Harmon told KCRW’s “The Business” last summer. “Sony was always so bummed out about the way I wrote and thought, and they always fantasized about doing the show without me.”
“Community” returned to NBC as a midseason replacement in 2013 with David Guarascio and Moses Port taking Harmon’s place as head writers and executive producers. Despite critics’ and fans’ less-than-enthusiastic reception of its new season, “Community” managed to keep its ratings above those of many other NBC sitcoms, and it received a half season order for 2013-2014.
It appears that in the wake of “Community’s” renewal, Sony has decided to placate the show’s ravenously devoted audience and bring back Harmon, who many see as the most important creative force on the show. Harmon himself hinted about his return to “Community” last weekend at the recording of his “Harmontown” podcast, but it seemed to simply be a rumor until now.
“Community” returns to NBC in the 2013-2014 season, although it was left off the fall schedule and will likely once again serve as a midseason replacement.