And now, a pro’s view of the Dan Harmon/COMMUNITY debacle.
By a really good and very, very credible pro.
No, I’m not talking about myself. This is from the great Ken Levine. (Check out his credits and you’ll see what I mean.)
Dan Harmon’s firing: My take
A lot of you have asked my take on the NBC firing of Dan Harmon from COMMUNITY – a show that he not only was running but created as well. First I should mention that I don’t know Dan Harmon, nor have I personally had any involvement with the show. So it’s like when there’s a big news emergency and networks bring on so-called “experts” like earthquake psychics or terrorist cell consultants and they sound incredibly knowledgeable but then you realize they don’t know shit. That’s me in this situation. Ken Levine – former showrunner expert.
That said, here are some random thoughts:
Networks have been firing showrunners for years. You just never heard about it. Before social networks and the internet, showrunners were essentially invisible. Just names in the credits. Now showrunners have become quasi-celebrities themselves, which I think is a good thing. Only 70% of the viewers think Joel McHale makes up those funny things he says instead of 90%. But the point is, this isn’t precedent setting.
It’s always easier to fire writers than actors. People do notice when their favorite star has been replaced by Ashton Kutcher. (Which tells you how off-the-charts psycho Charlie Sheen had to be to get canned from TWO AND A HALF MEN.)