Question of the week: is Community doomed now that Dan Harmon has left?


Today’s news carried the somewhat shocking announcement that Community‘s creator and showrunner Dan Harmon is being replaced (involuntarily). This, of course, has got a lot of people worried. Is Community going to become more conventional and less interesting as a result? It’s also got some people excited: is Community going to become more conventional and more funny as a result?

Which turns us neatly to this week’s question:

Does replacing the creator of a show with a new showrunner ever lead to a better show?

There have, of course, been numerous cases where shows have got rid of their creator/showrunners. Rubicon‘s creator stood down as showrunner during the first episode, because he couldn’t work out how to turn the show into a series. Whether that made the show better or not, it’s hard to say, but it certainly became different. The new series of Doctor Who also became different once showrunner (and in some senses creator) Russell T Davies was replaced by Steven Moffat – some say it became better while others worse.

So can anyone think of any shows that undeniably became better once their creator departed for different climes, or can we simply assume Community is doomed now?

Answers below or on your own blog, please


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.