Showrunning 101: Lesson Learned From Dan Harmon’s COMMUNITY Exit

As our Twitter feed continues to fret over the future of COMMUNITY following the recent removal of creator Dan Harmon as showrunner, we here at thought now might be as good a time as any — you know, in the spirit of the hallowed institution of learning that is Greendale Community College and all — to make the most of this bad situation by creating a teachable moment for any and all future writers, actors, agents and executives hoping to make a career in Hollywood.

Rest assured, we are not about to deliver a sanctimonious diatribe about how one should treat others how they wish to be treated or that flashes of creative brilliance do not in any way excuse ones personal and professional actions. After-all, if a lifetime of both observing and covering the entertainment industry has taught us anything over the years, it’s that the proverbial powers that be will overlook just about any and all indiscretions in the name of profit. (Case in point, the entirety of Charlie Sheen’s career!)

Sadly, the lesson here is that if one is going to act out, one must have the box office track-record or audience share to back it up. And herein lies the crux of Dan Harmon’s problem.

His biggest issue didn’t involve his self-professed lack of showrunning skill, reported penchant for working his writers to the bone, or completely unprofessional feud with Chevy Chase that went viral. Rather it was that fact that nobody — outside of the Twitterverse that is — was watching. If they had been, all would have been forgiven and the only thing COMMUNITY fans would have spent the better part of the past weekend debating is [Spoiler Alert!] how on earth Starburns survived a not-so-killer Meth lab explosion.

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