Just a few weeks after learning that Community had been renewed for a fifth season, fans are getting more news to brighten their timeline: The return of creator Dan Harmon.
The mad-scientist showrunner is in negotiations with the show’s studio, Sony TV, to rejoin the community college-set NBC comedy, after being fired last May following a tumultuous tenure that included clashes with series star Chevy Chase (who exited six months later amidst controversy). The just-concluded fourth season, which executive producers Moses Port and David Guarascio were brought in to run, wound up drawing similar ratings to season 3’s, though there were certain grumbles from fans and critics that the off-beat cult series didn’t feel like it was operating at the same creative level.
Harmon, who is revered by Community fans, made mention of this possible reunion with his beloved show on Sunday during a taping of his podcast, Harmontown: He said that NBC had asked him to return and quipped that he would do it only if Chase came back too, according to HollyWookiee.com.
In discussing his ouster in a few interviews last summer, Harmon admitted, “I would have fired me too, because it’s a business” and “Maybe I am just a jerk. To people who work above me I am a liability that isn’t worth the benefit. It’s a low-rated show that’s not generating much revenue.”
UPDATE: Harmon tweeted on Friday night: “Returning to Community, Day One: Hiring of directors hindered by an apparent promise from Sony to Jason Alexander. My deal: not yet closed.” On Saturday morning, in response to a fan requesting a “straight answer,” Harmon tweeted: “Yes yes yes! I’m back I’m back I’m back. You can thank @joelmchale.” Sony and NBC declined to comment.
Of course, Harmon has already plotted a TV comeback (and we’re not talking about his cameo in the new season of Arrested Development): Last October, Adult Swim ordered 10 episodes of his animated series Rick and Morty, which is slated to debut in 2014.
Community will return for a 13-episode run as a midseason show on NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule.