Dan Harmon, the creator, show-runner and creative force behind the NBC show Community, has been unceremoniously fired from his position. This came as a sort-of-shock to most people, as his feud with Chevy Chase (one of the stars of the show) and his intense way of running a show didn’t score him a whole lot of points with NBC. News of this broke even before Harmon himself knew. His status with the show now, as either a creative consultant or other wise, is TBD. Oh, and Community just recently got picked up for a fourth season. So firing the show-runner makes sense, right?
While you can get into the specifics of who is right and who is wrong in this situation, the main issue with this is: Networks believe that if you have a problem with viewership, talent, or any other type of issue, replace the man in charge. Even if the show is a critical hit. Community has the problem of being a very-specific type of show. It has its own sense of humor. Networks hate this because it doesn’t appeal to everyone, so it doesn’t do as well in the ratings. Networks need to understand that if one person is the driving force of a show, it is going to be a specific-type of show. Taking something that is unique and trying to make it broad just makes it like everything else on TV that is decided by committee: Boring. Just ask the people over at another NBC show, The Office. In an age where sticking to source material seems to be a perfect way of catering to your audience, firing the individual with the vision and doing something new seems like the worst possible idea.