Talkin' Shop: A Q&A With Community's Dan Harmon
TWoP: Do you get the sense that this is the show's make-or-break year?
Harmon: Oh absolutely. If what you mean is that I'm terrified we'll get cancelled this year, the answer is yeah.
TWoP: Yeah, I was trying to find the polite way to phrase that question.
Harmon: When we got picked up for a third season I breathed a sigh of relief because typically in TV, when you get a third season you're way more likely to get a fourth than you are likely to get a second just because you got a first or a third because you got a second. But I think our situation balances that out. We could easily be one of the few shows that gets cancelled in Season 3, because throughout Season 2, we had lots of low numbers. We just hung in there. It's a very strange situation for a show. We're in a killer timeslot on a great night when everyone is watching TV and we're in the kind of Gaza Strip of that block -- just barely holding on, being kicked in the ribs week after week by Big Bang Theory and American Idol. It's really Idol that kills us. You might as well be going up against Major League Baseball, because as that show proceeds, the stakes get higher and people get more addicted to it and our numbers just erode. So on one hand, there we are with those last gasp kinds of numbers, but on the other hand, relative to the hell we're occupying -- which many shows before us have tried and failed to occupy -- depending on who you ask, some people say we're doing a great job. And NBC may be keeping us around because we get good reviews and what the hell else are they going to put in there that can survive? I think their hope is that there can be some kind of sleeper hit phenomenon where things suddenly snowball somehow. It happened with Arrested Development on a small scale. In their second season, they came back and suddenly things were really cooking. We were hoping that would happen for us last year and now we're hoping in the third season that'll happen for us.