“Community” showrunners David Gurascio and Nick Port assured fans on Friday at the show’s Comic-Con panel that it would not drop off in quality without Dan Harmon, the show’s creator and showrunner who was fired in May.
Harmon's exit caused a great deal of consternation among its devoted fans who couldn't imagine the show without its talented but difficult leader.
NBC soon brought Gurascio and Port aboard to take over. TV Guide’s Michael Schneider began the panel by asking, “It’s going to be OK right?”
“Listen, a couple months ago we were a lot like most of you — just huge fans of the show who thought it was one of most special things on TV,” Gurascio said. “Suddenly now were here helping to keep it going. The only thing we care about is getting it the weird wonderful gem it’s always been, and that’s not going to change.”
Gurascio and Port returned to discuss their own love of the show on several occasions, joking that they were acting out scenes when NBC called them about running it.
They also insisted they would not determine its success or failure.
“It’s not us coming in and taking it on by ourselves. We’re walking into a situation where it’s the best cast on TV,” Port said. “Many people could come in and write for them.”
“We could be really really crappy, and it’d still be a great show,” Gurascio joked.
What might they change? They promised a visit to Pierce's mansion, an Inspector Spacetime convention and a graceful transition out of college and into adulthood for some of the characters.
The panel of cast members generally avoided the subject of their new showrunners, but they did make a point of noting how lucky they were to even be coming back. “Community” is critically well-received, but it does not receive high ratings — its rabid fan base has saved the show.
“There wouldn’t have been a season 4 without you guys,” Joel McHale said. “Your flash mobs and fake beards and blood sacrifices and all those things culminated in the greatest fan base that any TV show has had in the history of all TV.”
McHale quipped that Eddie Murphy would be joining the cast as his father.
Though many speculated that its new Friday timeslot is a death sentence – Friday is not a big night for TV – the panel opened with the crowd chanting a common refrain: “Six seasons … and a movie!”
Only time will tell, and it’s up to Gurascio and Port to make that happen.