Poor Dan Harmon got canned.
He’s not the first (Think Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing, Amy Sherman Palladino of Gilmore Girls, David Milch of NYPD Blue), and he certainly won’t be the last, as long as network television is concerned.
But there are a couple reasons why Dan Harmon’s firing may signal a long awaited (by me) showrunner shift from a network TV model to a new media model. Say it with me: Online Original Programming. It’s the cult fan’s new best friend.
As major online companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are starting to create original programming and major networks are seemingly playing “Cancel Roulette” with their lineups, it seems like the natural progression of television will turn to online streaming. If you need more proof than a nineteen year old spouting off opinions as facts, as if she even has a day job in TV, Forbes analyzed how advertising and corporations are starting the shift and Newsweek discussed Netflix’s transition into original content. And you just can’t argue with that shit.
It hasn’t been determined how TV on Web 2.0 will affect popular culture but I’m predicting that opening the floodgates of original material into the television business will allow consumers to control content, not advertisers, FCC regulators, or network executives concerned about ratings.
This will naturally allow creators more control over their content and increase ethnically diverse casting, as television becomes more culturally representative. Democrats from every Aaron Sorkin script ever made are pacing the room in anticipation as we speak.
So, Dan Harmon. I’m sure you’re upset and I’m sorry. But if you’re wondering what to do with that noose NBC gave you, I’d say give it to your replacement as a welcoming present (Cough, cough, Friday night is the kiss of death, cough), cash in your unemployment check, and team up to create some great original TV- online.
About the writer:
At nineteen years old I’ve had little time to accumulate the 10,000 hours of experience necessary to be deemed an “expert” in a given field but, as an aspiring showrunner I have tried to do so by:
- Displacing researchers and production assistants alike as a CBS production intern and free day laborer at other small-time production companies
- Listening to hours of podcasts and panels by TV writers
- Reading countless books, articles, and sources about writing, television, and story
- Viewing well over 10,000 hours of television, all amounting to a fairly established canon of American TV
- Writing. A lot.
- Throwing what little money I have at Portland State University’s film program