"The Office" is one of the best half-hour comedies on TV — but what if it were an hour-long show instead? That's a move NBC is apparently considering, according to a profile of network CEO Jeff Zucker in Fortune Magazine. (I don't usually read Fortune for my TV news, so thanks to GMMR for the tip.) Buried deep in the story is this little gem:
At NBC's "upfront" presentation to advertisers on May 14, Zucker says he expects NBC to unveil five new programs — three dramas, one comedy, and one reality show — for its fall schedule. Zucker and [NBC entertainment president Kevin] Reilly are considering stretching "The Office" to an hour and canceling the original "Law & Order."
Could it work? The one-hour Christmas episode was among this season's strongest, and the occasional "supersized" episodes and multitude of deleted scenes each week on the show's NBC site prove that there's more in every episode than the roughly 22 minutes that make it to air.
On the other hand, a one-hour show might feel too long, so read more
John Krasinski's popularity has ballooned thanks to his role as Jim Halpert on "The Office," where he plays the everyman with a relaxed, boyish charm. Personally, I never used to think of him as "hot," but now I can't help it: His personality is so appealing on the show that he's become an unlikely sex symbol.
Lucky for me — and countless other ladies, no doubt — our beloved John is going to be pretty much everywhere for the next year. We couldn't escape him if we tried, but then again, why would we want to? To check out all of the projects he has in the works, read more
This week on "The Office," Michael's safety lesson about the dangers of depression turns into a real examination of his life. Meanwhile, the other office employees start taking bets on anything and everything, and Andy (who now wants to be called "Drew") returns from his anger-management leave.
It was an amusing episode with some excellent moments, though I was bugged by how very quickly Michael's joke demonstration became a real thing. It just seemed strange.
Here are some of my favorite bits from this week's episodes. Tell me some of yours in the comments.
- Dwight has decided to shun Andy for three years. He says shunning, an Amish technique, is "like slapping someone with silence." Dwight is familiar with it because "I was shunned from the age 4 until my sixth birthday for not saving the oil from a can of tuna."
- Later in the episode anytime Dwight absolutely had to speak with Andy, he had to "unshun" and then "reshun" Andy, using his hand to indicate a screen opening and closing.
- Everyone takes bets on Kelly's explanation of how to use Netflix, with some people winning more money based on how often she said "awesome" and "romantic comedy."
Lots more if you read more
Great news in the comedic film world today: Ed Helms has wooed Judd Apatow with his script for A Whole New Hugh, about "three guys who try to boost their friend's confidence by making him appear to be successful." Apatow will produce the comedy, and the Variety article reporting the news also includes this unusually sweet display of manly affection:
Apatow enthused about "The Office" thesp, calling him a national treasure, before waggishly adding that "the nation does not know it yet."
How cute is that?
You may know Ed Helms from his role as the annoying Andy on "The Office," as well as for his stint on "The Daily Show." Judd Apatow is known for writing and directing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and he's anticipating a June release for what looks to be this summer's top comedy, Knocked Up, starring Katherine Heigl. Most recently in Apatow news, however, is the super funny trailer for Superbad, which stars Michael Cera and is also produced by Apatow.
Source and Source
This week's episode of "The Office" focused on courage and heroism, with Dwight defending Jim from Roy with pepper spray and Michael realizing that he could demand a higher salary. There were tons of hilarious moments — I'm particularly tickled by the antagonism between Toby and Michael — so check out my highlights from "The Negotiation" and then tell me: What were your favorite quotes?
- "I was lucky Dwight was there. And Roy was lucky that Dwight only used pepper spray, not the nunchucks or throwing stars." — Jim, as Dwight's hidden weapons are revealed
- When Jim offers Dwight a gift of thanks, Dwight replies, "Citizens do not accept prizes for being citizens."
- "Are you wearing lady clothes?" — Darryl
"No, this is a power suit." – Michael
- "Negotiations are all about controlling things, about being in the driver’s seat. And make one tiny mistake, you’re dead. I made one tiny mistake. I wore a woman’s clothes." — Michael
For the rest of the highlights, read more
Not only do we finally get a new episode of "The Office" tonight, but it's also extra-long — as are new episodes of "30 Rock," "Scrubs" and "Andy Barker, PI." NBC seems to do this sort of thing once a year or so, and while it's kind of annoying to realize that all your favorite shows are starting at unusual times, I like having an extra few minutes tacked on to some of my favorite shows.
Of course, if you're only planning to tune in for a couple of the episodes, note that they're airing at the following approximate times: "The Office" at 8, "30 Rock" (guest-starring Will Arnett!) at 8:40, "Scrubs" at 9:20, and "Andy Barker, PI" at 9:50. That's all capped off by a repeat of "My Name is Earl" at about 10:25.
I emphasize the times because, as we've been told for the past few weeks, we are absolutely not supposed to miss the first couple of minutes of "The Office." You can find the recap of the Jim-Pam-Roy-Karen "love square" here. Or if you just want to see the Roy vs. Jim bit, read more
I thought I knew my "Office" trivia, but NBC's new quote game just brought me to my knees. Here's how it works: The game gives you half of a quote — "I don't understand. We have a day honoring Martin Luther King, but he ..." — and you have to fill in the rest. Get it right, and you get a chance to guess the speaker and episode title for bonus points. Get all three parts right, and you'll get to watch a video of the precise moment when it was said.
NBC based the game on a game fans played on the show's official message boards, which is pretty cool. The thing is, this game is really hard. I'm not sure if I should even reveal my score, lest you doubt my TV knowledge, but let's just say it was under 100 the first time around, out of a possible 620. Hint: spelling and punctuation count. Give it a shot and see if you can put me to shame.
Now here's an idea I like much better than the newpeats from a couple of weeks ago. Tonight, NBC is airing five human resources-themed episodes of "The Office," hosted by everybody's favorite HR guy, Toby (whom I love even more knowing that the guy who plays him, Paul Lieberstein, was once a writer on "Clarissa Explains It All"). The block of episodes covers all three seasons, starting with "Diversity Day" and "Health Care" from Season One, then moving onto Season Two with "Sexual Harassment" and "The Injury," and wrapping up with this season's "Gay Witch Hunt." The episodes aren't quite airing all in a row, though: There's a break after "Sexual Harassment" for a new "Andy Barker, P.I.".
I'm not sure how much actual "hosting" Toby will be doing, but I'm excited to find out. Plus, this will be a great chance for anyone who came to the show late to catch up on some of the greatest moments from the under-watched first season. To see a brilliantly funny clip from "Diversity Day," read more
In case it wasn't tough enough to hold out for the April 5 return of "The Office," wait till you see this rather melodramatic video. Most of it recaps the current state of our heartbreaking "love square" between Jim, Pam, Karen, and Roy, including Roy's "I'm gonna kill Jim Halpert" line from "Cocktails." But the last 20 seconds are all new, and they show Roy walking into the office and lunging for Jim, who ever-so-romantically shoves an unsuspecting Karen out of the way. Whoa! Now how am I supposed to make it another 10 days? To see the video, read more