Cut off the head, as the saying goes, and the body will die. Tear a beating heart from a living being and you will not get any result other than the death of that being. As I see it, this is just as true in the world of creative fiction whether it takes the form of a book series or a television show. Remove the voice of that series, and you effectively kill the show.
As an example, I would like to point to the television series The Gilmore Girls. For the majority of the show’s run, the series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and husband had a big hand in the making of the show from writing to editing — and the fans ate it up. I know I did. At the end of the sixth season they chose to leave the show rather than have it go a seventh season under their guidance. Without them, the seventh season was, to be honest, the absolute worst — the muse that guided the show was gone and as a result the show lost its passion and direction.
The same thing, I fear, is now happening to the television show Community which recently lost its creator and guiding spirit, Dan Harmon when Sony decided they did not want him running the show. There is much speculation as to why he was fired, but none of them matter because they are letting the show go to a fourth season without him.
Thinking about it, it makes less and less sense. The show was conceived on the experience that Harmon had when he attended community college. Every single episode that has aired has only been as phenomenally good as they have been as a direct result of Harmon’s influence. When the show got an extended hiatus in the middle of this last season, fans rallied for bringing it back and giving it a fourth season but now that it is known that Harmon will no longer be on the show I imagine that most fans would rather it end.
It is entirely possible that the show will continue to be fantastic but I really doubt that will be the case.