Dan Harmon Cops a Plea

We think. Well, actually, he’s bragging but phrasing it as a kind of mea culpa. Which proves Dan’s a helluva writer. (But his statement could have been funnier, you know?) Anyway:

‘Community’s’ Dan Harmon Opens Up about Being Fired, Being Lured and His Big Regret – by Lacey Rose

“I would have fired me.”

The statement was uttered Monday by Community creator Dan Harmon…Harmon appeared on a segment of KCRW’s The Business to voice his ongoing frustration with Sony, the studio that produces his little-watched critical darling, which will move to Fridays this season with new producers, David Guarascio and Moses Port, at the helm.

To hear Harmon tell it, he’s in a more enviable position now that he’s off the show. “All of the networks came a-calling. Everyone in basic cable, especially,” said Harmon of the courting process, with recent reports that he has multicamera projects in the works at both Fox and CBS. “Once you have a three-season show, it really doesn’t matter that there’s some rumor circulated out there by the people who made the strange decision to fire you — of course they’re going to create the idea that we were difficult to work with.”

When pressed, however, Harmon faults himself and his own “self-destructive” behavior for creating this perception that he was “difficult,” one he claims Sony latched onto. He argues that he hurt himself by starting speeches and blog posts with statements about how he isn’t very good at the job. Not that the studio was particularly pleased with his output. “Sony was always so bummed out about the way I wrote and thought, and they always fantasized about doing the show without me,” he told The Business’ producer Darby Maloney, adding that he recognized that the studio had little choice to do what they did once NBC moved his series to TV’s graveyard.

As Harmon sees it, the latter was the network sending a clear message to those involved with the show: “We’re going to smother it with a pillow very quietly,” he said, noting that the 13-episode order would bring the series to 88 total, which would allow those with an ownership stake to make a little bit of money and be done.

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In a nutshell, Danno is acknowledging what TVWriter™ pointed out the other day: “NBC did Dan a favor” by firing him. Stgrategically speaking, he got what every TV creator-showrunner craves: A better deal elsewhere while also being freed of the responsibility for his creation. It’s a win-win situation in that if COMMUNITY survives, Dan continues to reap the financial benefits. If it tanks, well, it won’t take much spin to pin that on NBC. The new showrunners will make out just as well. If the show is picked up they can step into the spotlight as saviours. If it doesn’t, “That Dan Harmon guy already had the show so deep in the toilet nobody could plunge it.”

That’s one of the wonderful things about TV: If you squint the right way you can put a positive light on…anything.