May 13, 2012

THE SKED: Is “Community” About to Become New Coke?

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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We’ve noted the fair amount of craziness in the newly-announced NBC Fall Schedule, which includes renewing COMMUNITY but making it the lead-in to Grimm on Fridays.  Now add this to the mix:  in his discussions with the media today, NBC President Bob Greenblatt made it clear that showrunner/creator/auteur/dreamatorium owner & operator Dan Harmon may not be returning as the series’s Dean.  Harmon isn’t yet under contract for next season, and “shows lose showrunners all the time and do well,” Greenblatt said.  Also, while he expects “Dan’s voice to be a part of this show,” he’s “just not sure if that means running it day-to-day or consulting.”  Asked about the celebrated Harmon/Chevy Chase feud, Greenblatt said that wasn’t it, and “it’s larger issues that have to do with a lot of things.”

This is a semi-serious snarky question:  Has Bob Greenblatt ever watched Community?  As much as any series on television, it’s an expression of the singular mindset of one very troubled man.  Like Community or hate it, bringing it back without Harmon makes about as much sense as Mad Men without Matthew Weiner, or Girls without Lena Dunham.

It’s certainly possible that behind the scenes, Harmon has been committing grave TV producer sins like running over budget or failing to meet production deadlines, and if so, those things have to be dealt with.  But renewing a series that exists solely as the expression of one particular creative vision and then omitting that vision would make as much sense as… well, as scheduling Rock Center at Thursday 10PM.  So there you go.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."