Sony Pictures Television has declined to renew its contract with producer Dan Harmon, ending his tenure as showrunner of NBC's "Community."
UPDATE: On his personal blog, Harmon wrote extensively about his ouster from "Community." Click here to read his comments.
Daniel Fienberg at HitFix explains the move:
In a traditional Friday news dump, word of Harmon's exit -- you can call it "firing" or just "Sony Pictures TV opting not to renew his deal" -- hit the Internet late evening Eastern Time along with the added information that "Happy Endings" and "Aliens in America" veterans David Guarascio and Moses Port will take over as showrunners for next season.
Under Harmon, "Community" became an Internet favorite. However, ratings were subpar throughout its first three seasons, leading many to speculate that the show might be cancelled by NBC. Additionally, New York magazine's Vulture blog reports frequent clashes between Harmon and Sony, and persisting questions about his managerial style. A high-profile spat with Chevy Chase, one of the show's stars, as well as "defections" on the show's writing staff, only intensified that scrutiny.
Vulture's Josef Adalian writes:
According to multiple people familiar with the production of Community, Harmon's flaws as a showrunner were at least partially responsible for much of the turnover the past few years. As one person familiar with Harmon's strengths and weaknesses told Vulture, "Dan is a brilliant at ideas, but he's terrible at [management]."