“Community” creator Dan Harmon indicated that his show’s low ratings were a factor in his dismissal as the show’s executive producer last spring.
In a new interview, Harmon discussed the firing, but fell short of going into detail about how he clashed with higher-ups at NBC and Sony, and one of his sitcom’s stars, Chevy Chase.
The feud with Chase was also widely believed to have been a factor in his firing.
In fact, interviewer Marc Maron never asked Harmon about the Chase dust-up when Maron interviewed him on G4’s “Attack of the Show.”
It’s never been officially confirmed, either by Harmon or execs at NBC or Sony (which produces “Community”), that the blowup with Chase was a key reason why Harmon was booted off the show.
The tiff erupted when angry voice-mail messages the two exchanged were leaked and made public.
One thing Harmon has never denied: He was fired, pure and simple. He joked about that at the outset of his interview with Maron. “I felt like I have created enough,” he told Maron. “Three years – I said, ‘You take it from here!’ and Sony and NBC said, ‘Please! Please don’t go!’ … They begged me to stay!”
Maron asked him if he saw the dismissal coming.
“I always joked about it,” Harmon said. “Maybe they got the idea from me. I always said, ‘These guys are going to fire me! I know it … they hate me’.”
“But did they hate you?” Maron asked.
“To [the] people who work above me, I am a liability that isn’t worth the benefit,” Harmon conceded. “Community” is “a low-rated show. It’s not generating much revenue for them. We were getting clobbered by ‘The Big Bang Theory’ [on CBS] and ‘American Idol’ [on Fox].”
“Did that bother you?” Maron asked him.
“I aspire to mainstream success,” Harmon admitted. “Television is a populist, derivative, democratic medium. You’re supposed to make a hamburger that everyone wants in their mouth. That’s when you know you’re doing it well.”
Low ratings for not, “Community” has been renewed, and will be back, but without Harmon.