By Patrick Kevin Day
Los Angeles Times (MCT)
---- — LOS ANGELES — Despite the popular belief that NBC’s “Community” would not last past its fourth season, it was renewed for Season Five. Now, the cult comedy could be aiming to do the impossible once again by having its much-beloved, but recently fired, show-runner Dan Harmon return to the fold.
The nerd culture website Hollywookie first reported Sunday that Harmon let slip that he was in talks to return to the show he created during a recent taping of his “Harmontown” podcast.
The website reported that Harmon first asked for the news to be edited out of the podcast, but then relented, saying, “I don’t care who knows.”
The Hollywood Reporter later confirmed that Harmon was indeed in talks with Sony Pictures Television to return.
Harmon’s departure from “Community” last year was one of the higher-profile show-runner departures of recent years. After much drama with star Chevy Chase, which involved Harmon playing angry voicemails of the star for the audience of his “Harmontown” podcast, Harmon parted ways with “Community.” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt stated at the time that they hoped Harmon would stay on as a consultant, but that didn’t happen.
Harmon took to his Tumblr page to speak directly to fans, telling them, “I’m not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, I’m just saying that whatever they’re going to do for season 4, they’re aiming to do without my help.”
When “Community” returned, it was being run by writers David Guarascio and Moses Port, and many fans felt the absence of Harmon’s distinctive point of view.
Though it was widely believed this was the end for the show, it remained steady in the ratings, with an average audience of 3.58 million for the season, and will return for a fifth season. And now it looks like there’s a chance Harmon could be there in some capacity.
Harmon, meanwhile, sold an animated series titled “Rick and Morty” to Adult Swim. And Chase has left the show for good, after expressing continual dissatisfaction with his role. Harmon had joked that Chase’s return was one of his conditions for returning to the show. But there’s little chance of that happening.