You gotta give NBC this much: they understand how the concept of the “news dump” works. Back in May, the news of Dan Harmon’s unceremonious ousting as Community’s show runner broke late on a Friday evening, when most of the entertainment press had called it a week; similarly, word leaked of Community co-star Chevy Chase’s exit from the show on the night before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t an unexpected move — Chase’s run on the program hasn’t exactly been rainbows and puppy dogs (more on that presently) — but the timing was downright peculiar; this is the kind of thing that usually happens between seasons, and though the finale to the show’s abbreviated, 13-episode fourth season is in the can, at least two episodes remain to be shot, meaning Chase’s Pierce Hawthorne will weirdly disappear for at least part of the year.
Then again, would anybody really notice? Chase’s presence on the show — his first regular television work since the notorious late-night Chevy Chase Show fiasco back in ’93 — was something of a sell point, or at least a curiosity factor, when Community premiered back in 2009. But as the show’s ace ensemble gelled, Chase saw less screen time, which prompted him to grouse in the press, which probably led to even less screen time, as his character’s arc and plotlines began to reflect his own alienation from the show’s cast and crew. Now that he’s gone altogether, where do he and the show go from here?
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Ousted Community showrunner Dan Harmon has a lot of irons in the fire, from Fox and CBS sitcoms to a Kickstarter-funded stop-motion collaboration with Charlie Kaufman, but here’s some good news about one of the projects we’re most excited about: Adult Swim has ordered a full season of Rick and Morty, a half-hour cartoon about… Read More
We didn’t get the season premiere of Community last Friday, as originally planned, and we imagine the show’s vocal fans are growing restless. So, here’s the next best thing: a half-hour documentary on Six Seasons and a Movie, PixelDrip Gallery’s recent exhibition of art inspired by the sitcom. The film features interviews with everyone from Community writers and cast members to participating artists to Suzanne Scott, a critical studies PhD and the author of Revenge of the Fanboy: Convergence Culture and the Politics of Incorporation. For anyone who’s interested in fan culture, Six Seasons and a Movie is fascinating. It also boasts one thing the upcoming season of Community doesn’t have: Dan Harmon. Watch the doc below, and visit Splitsider to see extended interviews with Harmon and writer Megan Ganz.
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Community showrunner Dan Harmon has always been candid with his fans. At one of his regular Harmontown events, he told the audience about his feud with Chevy Chase (a disclosure he came to regret). And when he was unceremoniously fired from the show he created, he shared his uncensored reaction with viewers on his popular Tumblr: “Why’d Sony want me gone? I can’t answer that because I’ve been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally haven’t called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business.” So, what’s left for Harmon to open up about? A lot, actually. He answered fans’ questions in a Reddit AMA this afternoon (in fact, the conversation is still happening as of 5:30pm ET), and we’ve posted the most illuminating (and entertaining) responses below.
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1. The first official image of Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln — a biopic which will focus on the last four months of the President’s life — has arrived online, and we think the resemblance is pretty uncanny. The film hits theaters in November, which hopefully means that we’ll be seeing… Read More
1. Famed writer Gore Vidal — whose prolific output included some 25 novels, two memoirs, and several books of essays, as well as plays and TV screenplays — has died at the age of 86. “Mr. Vidal was, at the end of his life, an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of… Read More
1. The lineup for this year’s Venice Film Festival has been announced, and among the 17 films in competition are new works from Terrence Malick (To The Wonder), Brian De Palma (Passion), and Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers). [via ArtsBeat]
2. If you didn’t grab a copy on Record Store Day, you can stream… Read More
TV Guide reports that we may be seeing Dan Harmon working on a new comedy project at Fox soon. The Community creator — who has been busy trying to fund a stop-motion animated movie with Charlie Kaufman and developing animated comedy Rick & Morty for Adult Swim — is close to finalizing… Read More
Charlie Kaufman and Community’s Dan Harmon are teaming up for a stop motion animated film, turning to Kickstarter for your dollars and cents. Anomalisa is written by the Eternal Sunshine scribe and Harmon — who recently said he might just really be a “jerk” — and directed by Duke Johnson. You may remember him as the name behind the Community special Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas. The A.V. Club tipped us off to the project, which already has its plot mapped out:
“The film follows a celebrated motivational speaker travelling the country, changing the lives of countless people. But in the course of transforming others, his life has become hollow and meaningless. It’s a grey and monotonous existence where people literally look and sound identical.
Suddenly one day, a girl’s voice pierces through the veil of nothingness. She fills him with such a rush of “aliveness”, he’s willing to abandon everything and everyone, including his own family, and escape with her to a better life.”
The duo wants to make sure we can “enjoy this brilliant work the way it was originally conceived,” so watch the trailer after the break, and check out the Kickstarter rewards on the project page.
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In a new interview on G4′s Attack of the Show, Marc Maron (of WTF fame) introduces Community creator Dan Harmon as “one of the most notable unemployed man in the country.” So begins a candid network television postmortem in which Harmon is open about the fact that NBC execs hated him, despite being “in the Emmy business” and respectful of critically acclaimed shows that couldn’t compete with American Idol for viewers. “I feel like I’m a good person and a professional, a very able leader of men,” Harmon told Maron. “But I also feel like I’m 25. So I guess that slowly changed without me realizing it. Maybe I am just a jerk. To people who work above me, I am a liability that isn’t worth the benefit… a low-rated show that isn’t generating much revenue.” Watch the full interview after the jump.
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