Harmon says NBC plans to snuff out his former show after 13 episodes
Fired "Community" creator Dan Harmon is sounding a bit like Charlie Sheen — saying almost exactly what the actor did after his firing from "Two and a Half Men."
"I'd have fired my ass, too," Sheen told Jay Leno in one of his many candid moments after his exit from his show. Harmon used almost exactly the same phrasing in an interview with Santa Monica-based radio station KCRW's podcast "The Business" released Monday.
“I would have fired me too, because it’s a business,” he said.
Harmon, like Sheen, hasn't struggled to find work. The writer-producer is developing shows for CBS and Fox, and said that after his firing by Sony Pictures Television, which produces "Community," all the networks and basic cable "came a-calling."
Asked on the podcast about rumors that he is difficult to work with, Harmon said his own self-critical remarks helped fuel that impression.
"I think I started them," he said. “I think that I’m a self-effacing, self-destructive person, and I think that every speech I made to my own crew and to the people above me was, ‘Sorry, I’m not good at this.' Because I'm from Wisconsin."
He said his critics "just went with my own words."
Harmon was replaced as showrunner of NBC's "Community" after three seasons as the show was moved to a Friday timeslot for season 4.
Harmon said that, although his show was always on budget, he understood why Sony fired him.
The business plan, he believes, is to make enough episodes of the show for it to be syndicated.
"NBC was moving the show to Friday at 8:30 and giving it a 13-episode order, which is them saying, 'We're going to get this thing to 88 episodes so that we can all make some money… and then we're going to take it off the air. We're going to smother it with a pillow very quietly."
"Sony's job," he continued, "is to take that shot clock and do whatever they can with it. They're not going to hand the ball to the guy that spent three years losing in the ratings race and not turning a script over until I felt it was finished."
He added that "you're allowed to be a perfectionist" on TV if your ratings are high — but aren't given that luxury if your ratings are low.
NBC and Sony declined to comment.