Got questions for ‘The Office’ writers panel?

I have the crazy honor of moderating The Office writers panel at the Paley Center in L.A. next week.

I’ll be asking questions of the panel; if you have one, submit it in a comment below! Make sure to include your first name (or screename) and city, so I can introduce each question like “This next question comes from Carly in New York, and she asks …”

Scheduled to appear: Charlie Grandy, Ryan Koh, Anthony Farrell, Justin Spitzer, Brent Forrester, Lester Lewis, Aaron Shure, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, Jennifer Celotta, Michael Schur, Greg Daniels

If you have a question for a specific writer, that’s cool, too!

DEADLINE: I’m closing this post to new questions tonight. I’m holing up at the library tomorrow to pick questions and prepare …

Am I nervous and excited? You have no idea. :)

P.S.: Yes, Paley will film the event; unfortunately, they usually put only a small clip of the event online, and you’ll have to physically go to the Paley Center in L.A. to view the event in its entirety. I won’t be able to “cover” this event the way I normally would if I were an audience member; I’m hoping some of you will be there to take notes and file reports for OfficeTally later! :)


  1. Did you guys know from the beginning that Amy Ryan’s character would be temporary?


  2. Congratulations, Tanster! You deserve that honor! My question is really simple…how do the writers determine who writes what episode? (i.e. how do you determine who is writing the Christmas episode, etc.?)

    Thank you so much!

  3. Any word on the Office spinoff?

    How much improvision is made to the season’s storylines? Is the upcoming season heavily scripted up front with no room for changes? If not, provide an example where a past storyline was supposed to go one way but went somewhere else.

  4. Question from Maria in Florida:

    For personal items like Pam’s two engagement rings and Angela’s engagement ring, how much input does the writers and actors have on those items?

  5. Congratulations Tanster! How exciting?

    My question:

    Do you feel the pressure to keep Jim and Pam an item because the fans love them so much together?

    Veronique – Quebec, Canada

  6. What is the influence of the awesome “OfficeTally” website on the writing of the show?

    Clipnotavailablefromlocation from Canada

    [from tanster: i can answer that question right now. 0%. :) ]

  7. Knot in Texas asks….

    When the show started, Steve Carell was a mini-star and the rest of the actors were virtually unknown. Now, Steve is a mega-star. John, Jenna and Rainn are in more and more movies. Even guys like Craig Robinson are becoming more and more well known. Has the success of the actors outside of The Office had any effect on your ability to write for the characters? When you write, do you write things for Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam and Darryl or for Steve, Rainn, John, Jenna and Craig?

  8. Do you all have a long term plan for the next few seasons, in terms of marriages, babies, etc.? Or do you make things up as you go along?

    Long Island

  9. That’s awesome, Tanster!

    I watched “Weight Loss” with someone who only watches every once in awhile and he found the episode extremely confusing. I had to stop and explain what was going on multiple times. That being said, I loved the episode. My question is, are you trying to cater more to the serious fan this year with all the callbacks and fast pace of the episodes? – Eileen, San Francisco

  10. Congrats Tanster!

    My question is – Will the characters ever have to acknowledge that the ‘documentary’ has been shown on TV? For example surely one day they will all find out about Angela and Andy?

    Jessica in Edinburgh (UK)

  11. Nervous and excited? TWSS.

    Is there any character’s dialogue that is best written by a certain member of the staff?

    Jeremiah – St Louis by way of Chicago

  12. Of any episode you wrote or helped write, which “line” are you most proud of? Who came up with the first “that’s what she said”?

    Diana – So California

  13. Congrats TanMonster!

    Because of the spoiler potential of this question, the answer can be a simple ‘yes or no’:
    Do you guys already know of one or two scenes that will definitely be in the very last episode of The Office?

    (I’m hoping that last episode will come at the end of Season 25)

  14. Lauren from Shelbyville, Kentucky:

    Once you have produced a script how much is actually used when shooting The Office and/or how much actually goes into the finished producted (after scene cuts and improvisation)?

    Thanks Tanster! I’m sure you will have an amazing time, don’t be nervous! I would love to be you right now…and okay, I’d probably be nervous…but don’t be, hopefully they won’t bite. :) It’s an amazing honor.

  15. Question from Erin in Kentucky–

    I can’t see this show working without Pam and Jim as part of it, and with Pam pursuing a career that would eventually take her away from Dunder Mifflin, and assuming that Jim still doesn’t want to be a paper salesman forever, how much longer can you see the show continuing? Or do you see the show continuing on without those characters at some point?

  16. wow I really wish I could spell. Finished product…no ‘ed’ I have no idea why I put that.

Comments are closed.