Harmon Initially Apprehensive to Take ‘Community’ to Yahoo - Broadcasting & Cable

Harmon Initially Apprehensive to Take ‘Community’ to Yahoo

Made comments during panel about show’s jump to digital at Content Industry Connect LA
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West Hollywood, Calif. — Community creator Dan Harmon said he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to work with Yahoo at first but then came to a realization.

“I am on the wrong side of history if I don’t cooperate,” said Dan Harmon, creator, writer and executive producer of Community, after he got a call from Kathy Savitt, Yahoo's chief marketing officer and head of media.

Yahoo's offer to pick up the sixth season of the recently canceled NBC comedy came just hours before the actors' contracts were set to expire.

“I either do the show with them or I am full of crap and I love being miserable,” he added.

Max Aronson, VP of development for Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind Community, also said he was initially apprehensive.

“I would be lying if I said we first didn’t need some selling, too,” said Aronson.

Harmon and Aronson spoke about the transition from broadcast to digital Wednesday during Content Industry Connect Los Angeles. They were joined on stage by Ian Moffitt, senior director of programming, strategy and acquisitions, Yahoo Screen, Yahoo.

Moffitt, who joined Yahoo shortly after Community’s sixth season order was announced, said that Yahoo wanted to find a show that represented the direction the company wanted to take. Community fit that bill, said Moffitt, in part because the show appealed to millennials and the show had a very large and vocal audience.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—As the end of the first season of Community approached, ratings were “poopy” and reviews were “kind of meh,” said Harmon. Because of that, Harmon said he decided to turn the last three episodes of the season up. “I definitely felt like this was my time in the pulpit...What do I want to play on the organ before I leave the church?”

—Aronson asked Harmon about not having to worry about ratings. “That part’s just a relief,” said Harmon. “It made room for so much other sh*t to worry about.”

—Harmon was asked since the show got a sixth season “is and a movie coming?” “I have been told not to talk about that,” he said, adding that he didn’t know anything one way or the other.

Content Industry Connect, which is presented by the Banff World Media Festival, also featured sessions on multichannel networks, multi-platform content opportunities, RocketJump’s partnernship with Lionsgate and Hulu, and a conversation with Mark Gordon, CEO of The Mark Gordon Company.

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