creator Dan Harmon has confirmed that he will return to the series, putting an end to two weeks of speculation as to whether he would be offered the job. After confirming last week at a taping of his Harmontown podcast that he was in talks to return to the show, Harmon was asked via Twitter earlier today whether he would be returning. "Yes yes yes! I'm back I'm back I'm back," Harmon tweeted back. "You can thank @joelmchale." McHale is the closest thing the ensemble comedy has to a true lead, and was the personality most of the series' first season was constructed around. The question had come in response to a series of teasing tweets the producer had made earlier in the day, laying out what his "demands" would be of Sony if he were to return to Community.
Here are my "deal breakers" coming back to Community: Rhonda Robinson on props. Denise Pizzini on design. Ruthie Aslan in post. Tell Sony. Also I would very much like it if
@joelmchale @yvettenbrown @GillianJacobs @alisonbrie @dannypudi and @DonaldGlover were somehow involved. And maybe @RashisTVUgly and possibly @kenjeong. I ran out of tweet space. But what have those guys done for us lately.
Harmon left at the end of the show's third season among stagnant ratings and a litany of the show's dirty laundry--most notably an ongoing feud between Harmon and then-star Chevy Chase--was aired publicly. It was reportedly Sony Television (who produce the show) who decided to let him go. Harmon's tweet above seems to suggest it was they who also made the call to bring him back. Shortly before production wrapped on the show's fourth season earlier this year, Chase left the series, having had a conflict with producers about how his character was portrayed. Chase played Pierce Hawthorne, a rich, arrogant, racist baby boomer who spent his retirement at community college for lack of anything better to do. Chase reportedly objected to the racist elements of Pierce's personality, and an on-set outburst that took place shortly before he was announced to have left the show reflected that, with Chase drawing criticism for using the "n-word" to convey his point. Shortly after he left, speculation began that Harmon might return to the series. While he, Chase and the producers have downplayed the conflict between the two and Harmon has suggested there were other reasons why the producers wouldn't want to deal with him any longer, the public feud with Chase--which included Harmon leaking a foul-mouthed voicemail wherein Chase attacked the series--stuck in the public imagination as the principal cause for Harmon's dismissal. Community was renewed for a thirteen-episode fifth season order last month, in spite of the fact that new, more studio-friendly showrunners failed to improve ratings this year. Whether Harmon will resume as showrunner, work with the two new producers or take on another role entirely is not yet clear.