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Feature
10 TV Showrunners That Left Before Their Time
Did they jump or were they pushed?

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In a surprise move, Community creator Dan Harmon has announced that he’s coming back to the sitcom he was unceremoniously fired from. It’s a rare thing to make a show, be fired from a show, then come back to a show, but it’s not unheard of, as this list-of-producers-who-were-pushed proves…

WORDS JAMES WHITE
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10 TV Showrunners That Left Before Their Time  | Dan Harmon
Dan Harmon

Show: Community (Seasons 1-3, Season 5)

Previously… Community has always been more of a critically adored show than a ratings monster. But its dedicated (if relatively small) fan base has helped it – along with the troubles of US network NBC – stay alive for years. Harmon forged an iconoclastic blend of meta references, wacky slapstick, emotional bonding and witty wordplay into a sitcom that felt fresh even as it traded in tropes. Unfortunately, he was also difficult and demanding to work with (and for), frequently clashing with his bosses and cast member Chevy Chase. Harmon was eventually removed at the end of the third season and Moses Port and David Guarascio (who happen to be the guys behind the American IT Crowd pilot) replaced him for the fourth, but their attempt to create a sort of Harmon-lite Community didn’t catch on with fans or the cast, who lobbied for Harmon’s return.

Next time… Aside from wallowing online and touring with his live Harmontown show, Harmon began developing pilots for both Fox and CBS, but has surprisingly returned for Season 5, tweeting, “Yes yes yes! I'm back I'm back I'm back." The big question now is whether he can bring Harmon-y to the show and get it back to former glories.
 

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Your Comments

1 West Wing
Sorkin was on Season 4 too. More

Posted by varoh on Sunday June 9, 2013, 15:05

2 Not So
roddenberry did approve arcs in s1 that led to reveal of a 'conspiracy' within Starfleet and the return of the romulans in the finale. More

Posted by spark1 on Saturday June 8, 2013, 12:28

3
I think Clyde Phillips should also be on the list: ever since he left Dexter after S4 it took a huge dip in quality. More

Posted by OrganicLifeform on Saturday June 8, 2013, 10:22

4
The Harmonless Community Season 4 was the greatest single drop in quality I have ever seen in a TV series. It was virtually unwatchable. Chase got Harmon fired then left anyway. Good riddance. Thankfully Harmon is back for the next season. More

Posted by jazzyjules63 on Saturday June 8, 2013, 09:54

5 TNG
Pushed or not TNG definitely never reached its potential till he stepped aside. He never saw the potential in the long story arcs that would provide some of the best stories not only on TNG but also on VOY, ENT and especially on DS9. Odd when you consider that the movies took the unusual but genius step of having a multi movie arc right in the middle of the series to great success. More

Posted by bobson13 on Saturday June 8, 2013, 04:38

6 Doctor Who's greatest ever producer: Phillip Hinchcliffe
Phillip Hinchcliffe, along with script editor Robert Holmes, oversaw what I consider to be the golden era of Doctor Who: the first three Tom Baker series, with Sarah Jane as companion (and subsequently Leela towards the end). Virtually every story was a classic: Pyramids of Mars, The Talons of Weng Chiang, Genesis of the Daleks, Terror of the Zygons, The Brain of Morbius, The Deadly Assassin, etc, etc... The problem was Mary Whitehouse, who stirred up such an outcry against the programme supposedly being too scary that I think Hinchcliffe was if not pushed then gently prodded. Of course the kids loved it, but this being a pre-internet age had no real voice at the time. More

Posted by sdilku on Friday June 7, 2013, 11:34

7 TNG
some say roddenbery was gently 'pushed' out of showrunning that series and it improved under new writers/producers. More

Posted by spark1 on Friday June 7, 2013, 10:30

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