NBC Boss on Community's Friday Move and Possible Departures of Dan Harmon, Chevy Chase

Community Chevy ChaseAlthough the show’s diehard fans may disagree, Community‘s relocation from Thursday to Friday is a good thing, maintains NBC president Robert Greenblatt.

“The show has its faithful audience and they will follow it to the ends of the Earth,” the exec insists. “And I really wanted to do something to invigorate Friday because we love Grimm. So I thought, let’s move a show where the audience will move with it. I actually look at the positive side of it, although no good deed goes unpunished.”

Greenblatt, meanwhile, would neither confirm not deny buzz that series creator Dan Harmon may step down as showrunner. “I’m not up to speed on that yet,” he said. “I think he’ll be involved in the show to some degree.”

And what about Harmon’s “nemesis” Chevy Chase? “My assumption is [he will be back],” he said of the veteran actor, whose behind the scenes war with Harmon was recently made very public. “But I haven’t had any conversations about that this week, so I don’t have a definitive yes or no.”

Greenblatt elaborated on the imbroglio in a call with reporters Thursday afternoon, maintaining that should Harmon exit it would not be as a result of tensions with Chase. “I don’t think that would determine him running the show or not – based on one of the actors,” he said. “I think it’s larger issues that have to do with a lot of things.”

Other takeaways from the Greenblatt conference call:

* Despite reports to the contrary, 30 Rock isn’t necessarily heading into its final season.

* Smash‘s sophomore season (which will consist of 16-18 episodes) is being held until midseason so it can run uninterrupted and rerun-free through May.

* With the exception of Fox-bound Mindy Kaling, the Office cast will remain intact next season.

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81 Comments
  1. Elizabeth says:

    So Community is getting the Chuck treatment?

    • MIchael says:

      ANd you think that is a bad thing? Chuck lasted well-beyond it’s rating’s threshold. If this allows Community an extra season or two, I’m all for it.

    • Jason C says:

      I think they said the same thing about Chuck too, that it’s fanbase would follow no matter what. Chuck declined in the ratings though, as do the ratings for almost any show moved to Friday night. (See Fringe)

  2. Leah says:

    Doesn’t seem like Friday is a good timeslot for a comedy with a younger cult audience.

    • Marta says:

      I think that young people who watch Community aren’t so much a party type ;)

      • Leah says:

        I can agree with that. As an 18 year old Commuity whorsiper.

      • W says:

        hahaha totally. if you watch TV live when it airs, you probably aren’t partying. fans think it’s a death sentence, but honestly i can see why they schedule the show this way. beside, there’s that whole mess with the uncertainty of Harmon and Chase.

        • Sam says:

          As another 18 year old Community worshipper I went from being disappointed that it was on a Friday night to realizing that now I’ll have something to make my Friday nights exciting. I think this fanbase is definitely lacking in the kind of people who go out partying on Friday nights :)

          • Babybop says:

            I can agree with this statement as another 18 year old Community worshipper. My Fridays this fall just got more exciting. I’d follow the show wherever they put it!

          • E says:

            Now I’ll speak for the other half of Community fans. I’m 22 and I love Community too, but I go out all the time on Friday nights ~~ and Thursday nights, and Saturday nights. I hardly ever watch it when it first airs.

          • Marta says:

            why party when you can’t go to STD’s Fair ;)

  3. kavyn says:

    IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS.

    This is the most stupid schedule I have ever seen. IDIOTS. Pairing WHITNEY and COMMUNITY on FRIDAYS? That is a complete insult to Community fans. Community at 8:30pm Thursday would have worked perfectly, right after Big Bang Theory. But no. FRIDAY? Oh man…

    • Jessica says:

      It’s only an insult because it’s on Fridays following a not-performing-well comedy (and one that doesn’t exactly “mesh” with the type of comedy Community is). I’ve yet to see anyone bash Whitney to the degree most commenters do if they bothered to watch beyond the first two or three episodes of Whitney (which were poor). And I’m saying this as a die-hard Community (favorite comedy) and Fringe (favorite drama): I enjoy Whitney (mainly Chris D’elia) immensely.

      • kavyn says:

        It’s an insult because they paired it with Whitney. Ask just about any online Community fan and they will tell you that their least favourite NBC comedy is Whitney. Pairing the two and putting Whitney as its lead in is a total slap in the face.

        • Jessica says:

          I don’t have to ask. I’ve seen fellow Community fans act ridiculous about it. That’s what my entire post was about. Maybe I should’ve been more direct: When people in a fandom actively bash other shows, it tends to make the entire fandom look like immature brats. I don’t personally appreciate that, because while I find most shows on today to be rather subpar, I have a personal rule to not just sit and bash something publicly – especially something innocuous like a television show – when other people obviously enjoy it. Why poop on stuff for people, especially when claiming to speak on behalf of an entire group of people? I just don’t see how that does anyone any favors.

          • josh says:

            whitney is the worst. it’s not funny and i dont see why it was renewed. supposedly it was renewed to be paired with another multi amera show men with kids but that is on wednesday nights… its a joke that whitney got renewed the show was awful and not funny.

          • Angela says:

            Agreed. This has been happening a lot with fandoms lately and it’s really obnoxious. People aren’t “stupid” because they like this show or that, and if one hasn’t ever seen a show to begin with, how can they say it sucks? It’s fine if someone doesn’t like a show, and they can certainly say so, but there’s no need to make others feel like losers for enjoying it.
            Anywho, back to “Community”-well, I definitely will be watching on Friday. I just hope people remember the change in day and time-that’s my big fear. Sometimes when shows get moved around it takes a while for people to remember that it’s on a new night, no matter how big a fan they are. I hope this will help the show and it can get a good, strong season out of this change.
            And I hope Harmon and Chase can still be involved in some capacity. Harmon knows this show inside and out, he’s the one with the big vision, so it would make sense for him to stay on, I can’t think of who else out there would have the same sort of crazy sensiblity as him. And Chase…even if his role is diminished but he still pops in every now and again, that’d be okay. This show has a good thing going with the people it has now, hopefully everyone can continue on together next fall and make the fourth season great :).

        • Sawyer says:

          @kavyn – Please don’t speak for me…how could you possibly know that ‘fact’? I love Community and I love Whitney.

        • VMANN? says:

          HELL YEAH!!

      • Cary says:

        You are right, Jessica. I am actually looking forward to Friday nights now.

    • darklady says:

      Wow somebody needs to take a chill pill geez be glad that you still have your show at least you get one more season -_- get a life it’s just a tv show -_-

    • Bob says:

      Sorry, but they don’t deem Community as “must see” Thursday night TV any longer. Just be happy you got a final season order instead of outright cancellation. It’s the new thing for networks to do. Saves them lots of grief, FB petitions, nasty emails, etc.

      • Agreed. I love the fact that very few shows are getting axed with complete disregard to the viewers now. Look at Awake, that was getting numbers that a cable channel would be ashamed of, and they’re running it right through. Fringe is getting to finish properly, as did Chuck, as did Jericho (to an extent).

        Maybe they’re finally learning from the fact that Pushing Daisies fans and Firefly fans are still giving them grief :) (AD fans don’t count anymore)

        • Jason C says:

          They haven’t said it’s the final season yet, so I say just be thankful that we have another season and keep trying to get people to watch the show. This isn’t the same situation as Chuck, Fringe, etc. We were notified that those were in their final seasons, this time we can still hope for another season…

  4. Jessica says:

    … There are no words. And I thought I was beside myself about the Friday move.

  5. kyle says:

    I enjoy Chevy even though he’s an ass but Can’t have Harmon leave

    • TV Gord says:

      Exactly. I have never liked the arrogant Chevy Chase, but he works on Community, and I would hate for him to leave. As for Harmon, it would be a HUGE blow to the show if he left the show or was any less than he is now. He is the heart, soul and brains of Community. He cannot step away from his baby.

  6. I’d rather lose Chase than Harmon, I feel like if Chase had his way it would be a kiss of death for Community

    • Totally agree. Chase is the weakest link, he should be the one to go.

      • godzilla's_foil says:

        I honestly believe that, if Chase walks and Harmon stays, the team will come up an absolutely strong story to explain that and we will all love what they do. So, the real problem is Harmon leaving, as much as I can appreciate the character and the show’s need of Pierce.

    • rowan77 says:

      Stepping down as showrunner does not mean stepping down as head writer. It just means his sole focus will be the writing of the show and running the writers room, not the day-to-day business and dealing with the cast, studio and network. Jane Espensen stepped down as showrunner from Caprica, but remained headwriter to focus on the storytelling. Harmon isn’t going anywhere.

      Yeah, what Greenblat said about scheduling the show on Friday to help Grimm is crap. The most of the demo that watches Community goes out on Friday nights. Now when the ratings hit the toilet next fall, NBC will blame us – the viewers – for the cancellation saying we stopped watching when in reality we are DVRing at watching it on Saturday. Thrilled the show is getting picked up – not happy that it’s getting buried in the Friday night graveyard. You NEVER put comedies on Friday unless they are aimed at kids or the 50+.

  7. Axe Chevy Chase, keep Dan Harmon! Pierce is an annoying, slimy, sometimes villianous detractor from the cohesiveness of the group. Dan Harmon is the Creator.

  8. amy says:

    I can’t imagine Community without Dan. This is a weird day to be a Community fan. MY EMOTIONS!

  9. Emily says:

    TBS needs to save Community from a horrible time slot and put it together with Cougar Town . . .then we all win . . .COOL COOL COOL COOL

  10. Brian says:

    The move to Friday isn’t that big a deal. We all know this season will be Community’s last. Be glad it’s coming back at all. That said, to lose Dan Harmon would be terrible. I want him to finish the show as he intended, with or without Chase. Community is Dan Harmon’s voice, and I can’t imagine anyone else taking over.

  11. MuzzikLvr says:

    I’m a long time Chevy Chase fan but this is a no brainer…dump him and keep Dan Harmon.

  12. John says:

    Comedy Central should save Community! They already have the syndication rights and it would be great paired with South Park.

  13. Ryan B says:

    I have never really watched the show. I’m sorry to see that it also got the Friday kiss of death that they gave Chuck. See If they kept Chuck we would have had a good line up on Fridays.

  14. Dr Poop says:

    This is why NBC is dying. The CW is looking to make it’s move. Hahaha….er….no!

  15. Lily says:

    He isn’t completely wrong ; I would follow “Community” to the end of the Earth.
    But, in my country, friday nights are for bad/old people shows, so that’s bad !

    Pierce isn’t my favorite charactere but “Community” without him would be weird. But “Community” without Dan Harmon is unthinkable ! So, I’d rather lose Chevy Chase…

  16. Mikaylah says:

    I can’t believe that Chevy might stay and Harmon go. That should definitely be the other way around. As far as Community being on Fridays, it could very well be moved to a different night once NBC sees how their other shows do. If not, they are right to assume the audience will follow. This far into a show, there isn’t much hope for new fans anyways.

  17. Jenn C says:

    I know everyone is looking at this negatively, but this is a positive for me. First of all, Thursdays at 8pm est felt so full, and I always watch The Vampire Diaries live (simply because I’m obsessed and want to watch all the plot twists happen live), so I usually end up DVRing Community, and watching TBBT On Demand the next day. Secondly, I haven’t had anything to watch in the 8pm hour on Friday nights since Chuck went off the air. I adore Fringe, so it will be nice next season to actually be able to watch Community live, and on the same night as Fringe no less (this is assuming that Fringe will air its final season in the same time slot). So this is a win-win for me LOL

    • aleksa says:

      I’m very pleased with the move. No more competition from BBT and Idol, and the die-hard fans will DVR it. This is a good thing for it.

  18. ChicagoDan says:

    Considering that it’s averaging about 3MM viewers and was only given a 13-episode order, it’s lucky to be on the air. Stop complaining – DVR it.

    • josh says:

      look at what nbc puts it up against, The Big Bang Theory, Idol and its on at 8 traditionally the worst time to start on those block comedy nights because it has no lead in. if they werent so keen on whitney and up all night both of those shows would fail miserably at the same time, community has put up surprisingly strong numbers in both the 18-48 male demographic and in total number of views, the stupidity of this will be shown in the fall when nbc does worse in the 8:00pm time slot with up all night or whateer show is getting stuck there

      • TL says:

        To be fair, Community was on Thursdays before CBS moved Big Bang there, so NBC didn’t put it in BBT’s path. Sure, they didn’t move it after CBS made its move, but to say that NBC threw Community under the bus is a stretch. As for AI, Community only had to deal with it for half of the seasons, so Idol had no effect on Community’s fall ratings over the years.

      • mcmax3000 says:

        The “show that’s getting stuck there” is 30 Rock. It’s getting the Thursday at 8p time slot.

  19. Not a Whitney fan. Never liked her comedy and don’t care for her show. I also don’t think Community, which I love, pairs well with it. I think Community fit in perfectly wit the Thursday night comedy line up of Parks & Rec, 30Rock & The Office. I like Grimm, but I don’t see them having the same audience.
    I guess we should be happen the show got another season, especially since it appears that most of the networks are cleaning house this year.

  20. Anne Ansible says:

    Neither of them are going anywhere. This is a bunch of baseless rumors that Harmon himself has said have no truth to them.

  21. AnniesBoobs says:

    “The show has its faithful audience and they will follow it to the ends of the Earth,” the exec insists … this, I think, is mostly true but does Mr Greenblatt not realise that for most people Dan Harmon IS Community. To make this statement whilst not being able to confirm Dan’s involvement seems ludicrous.
    The only positive spin on the move to Friday is that NBC might be trying to move Community out of the shadow of Big Bang Theory and let it fly on a Friday? Oddly here in England there’s no particular “themes” to particular nights on TV but traditionally Friday night does air the best comedies on most channels!

  22. Reality Check says:

    Community fans need to take a breath. A Friday time slot means lower expectations. And if NBC was truly trying to kill the show, why did they renew it? Given the ratings, it could hardly have been considered unjustified. The first episode that aired after the hiatus had nearly 5 million viewers and a 2.2 in the adults 18-49 demographic. The last episode (less than two months later) had just under 3 million viewers and a 1.4. That’s a huge drop off. Face it, the show is just too weird to ever have anything more than a cult following at this point, and fans should be grateful it is back at all.

    • AnniesBoobs says:

      I agree that Friday nights won’t be as competitive, that’s got to be a good thing. You’re also right about the ratings, sadly despite a huge cult following it just doesn’t translate into live tv numbers, that’s always been one of it’s biggest problems.

  23. BonesFringeFan says:

    I will watch Fringe on Friday and nothing else.

    • AnniesBoobs says:

      How is that relevant to this thread in any way?

    • wasabi says:

      I’ll watch Community, then switch over to Fox to watch Fringe at 9. I’ve been watching Community On Demand for the past few months, so now I won’t have to wait for it.

  24. ROB R says:

    I play back “Community” on Saturday mornings, so this move has no effect whatsoever on me. Will continue to do the same.

  25. Jenn says:

    I love Grimm. I like Whitney. Moving Community to Fridays seems like a winning line-up to me.

  26. Rebecca says:

    Dear God, I hope they keep Dan Harmon. He is such a HUGE component of Community’s Cult Following and he is THE voice of the show. I like Chevy, but it is no contest. Dan MUST remain the creative head of the show. Period.

  27. Kyle says:

    Community’s audience doesn’t care what night it’s on; they all watch it on DVR or Hulu. That’s honestly the reason shows with younger/tech-savvy audiences are always on the bubble: the ratings don’t account for viewers that don’t watch it when it airs.

  28. nickp91 says:

    If I was Dan Harmon and I just got slapped in the face by NBC. I would dedicate those 13 episodes to eviscerating all that is NBC

  29. Davey says:

    Agree that the Whitney pairing is just odd. The two shows will not work together. Though I do see the possibility of a Community and Grimm audience overlap.

  30. John says:

    Honestly as a 23 yr old I don’t have a huge issue with the move since most Fridays I don’t go out till after 9 so I’d gladly watch community before I go out on Friday night

  31. TV Gord says:

    I expect my Friday nights will be Whitney, Community, Fringe and Blue Bloods.

  32. Kaa says:

    It’s very interesting to see the different reaction of TV show fans when they hear they’re moving to Friday.

    When Fringe moved to Fridays, fans were terrified. But they quickly rallied, got behind the new night, worked super hard to get all the other fans on board, and the show did well enough that first Friday half-season (Season 3) to earn it a 22-episode renewal. By the time it ends its run, it will have spent two whole seasons (44 episodes) on Friday nights. That’s not a “death slot” story.

    Will Community fans rally the same way? Not sure. Community fans seem to have a bigger sense of entitlement and a smaller sense of possibility. I love the show, so I hope it survives there to get more episodes after the 13 are done.

  33. I like Whitney, Community, Fringe, Grimm, Nikita and CSI NY. I already had to give up CSI to record Nikita and watch Fringe live, but had to give up on Fringe because I missed to many episodes and watched Grimm live. So either this is going to be perfect for me or the death of me. but i know for certain Whitney and Community will be watched on television either live or by DVR.

  34. scorpo says:

    By all means get rid of Chevy Chase, he is NOT funny. ANYONE can trip overthemselves and make stupid faces. I think people were high watching SNL when he was on. He isn’t funny.

  35. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Umm, I need help reacting to something? Seriously though, I will not watch the show if Dan Harmon is not the showrunner. It just wouldn’t be the same show at all. Friday nights aren’t so much important to me as I’ve reached the crazy single cat lady phase of my life, but I don’t think it’s good for the show to be on Fridays. They can’t grow their audience if they air on Friday nights, nor can they grow their audience if they’re only getting a half season. Also, Whitney is a terrible show to pair it with, as I don’t think those two shows really share much of a common fan base. Whitney fans won’t stick around for Community, and Community fans won’t turn the tv on early for Whitney. Also, is this time slot going to be up against Fringe? Because it seems like Fringe and Community might share a lot of fans and this could be a Sophie’s Choice for them. NBC is really taking a huge crap on Community.
    .
    Screw you, Robert Greenblatt.

  36. Bob says:

    Chevy Chase – once an d-bag, always a d-bag. Can him and keep Harmon.

  37. Stacey says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is so up in arms. 1. Most people DVR it no matter what day of the week it’s on, that’s not going to change. 2. Who cares what it’s lead in is? This far in to the series Community isn’t picking up many new viewers, it caters to those of us that have been around since the beginning. So what’s on before it really isn’t going to make a difference. I have no clue what the lead in to it this season is because I only record Community.

  38. Brouski says:

    Isn’t that cute, thinking that people still watch canned shows at the time of broadcast…

  39. Mikael says:

    I love when networks try to justify a move to Friday nights by saying “The loyal audience will follow it anywhere.” Fox said it about Fringe, and yet they still complained about the low ratings. Networks need to realize that Friday nights are not like the rest of the week. People don’t always watch live. I know they hate DVR, but I feel like on Fridays they need to make an exception.

    • Jason C says:

      The problem with your viewpoint is that shows get made because advertisers pay money. Shows can survive on Fridays, look at The X-Files back in the day (the model I think Fox was hoping to follow with Fringe, except they forgot to account for the fact that the mythology was too dense for newer audiences and the former audiences would probably end up DVR’ing) and Blue Bloods is surviving now (Tom Selleck always gets saddled with Friday nights, since the days of Magnum PI, and has always made it work).

      But if advertisers are not willing to pony up money to keep shows in production, then a network can’t afford to keep the shows on the schedule and they have to keep trying to find something that clicks in the timeslot. They move cult shows over because they hope the cult audiences will follow them over because of their fierce loyalty. If the viewers follow so will the advertisers. But in the end networks are slaves to the advertisers because it’s their money that funds the shows. They don’t hate DVR, advertisers just know that their ads aren’t being seen if people are fastforwarding through the commercials.

  40. Jay says:

    Lock Harmon in the writers room as head writer but for goodness sakes keep Chevy. The youthful sure like to dog on Chevy Chase but has a huge fan base and is the only reason I for one started watching the show.