Office hour-longs air early in Season 4

Zap2it reports that the first four Season 4 episodes of The Office will each run an hour long:

The network announced Monday that the comedy’s season premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27 would be an hour long. Later in the day, though, executive producer Greg Daniels noted that the show would run long for its first four weeks, eating up four of the five extra half-hours NBC trumpeted as a rerun-busting strategy at May’s upfronts.

Link: ‘Office’ Hours Coming Early

31 comments

  1. Benihana and The Job were great episodes so I feel that The Office can pull this off

  2. Very cool. The more Office the better. But does that mean ONLY the first four will be extended shows and the rest of the season will be regular half hour episodes?

  3. This is kind of odd, I’m just afraid it’ll build up a familiar pace and then pull the rug out from under it.

  4. i agree. i have a feeling i might get used to the hour long episodes and then all the episodes after will feel unusually short.

  5. Maybe they’re preparing to surprise us with the announcemenent that all the episodes in Season 4 are an hour long, but they’ll wait to tell us until a few weeks into the season…

    …I wish.

  6. Well originally I heard that there are 30 total episodes, 5 of them being hour-longs. So I guess this means that the first 4 are an hour, the next 25 are half-hours, and the season finale is an hour. That makes the most sense to me.

  7. This is strange. If the episodes are all a half hour after the first month of the season, then this makes no sense to me. Why not spread the hour longs out? I had assumed the hour longs would include the season premiere, the finale, the Christmas episode and maybe a pivotal episode somewhere in the middle to late part of the season.

  8. Correction: 25 total episodes. So that would mean 4 hour-longs followed by 20 half-hours and an hour season finale. Same difference.

  9. Yeah this is kind of weird. So based on this:

    “The network has ordered 30 half-hours of the hit series “The Office,” including five hour-long episodes”

    We have 4/5 hour long episodes at the start, and then probably the 5th hour long episode for the season finale. That leaves 20 half hour episodes in the middle.

  10. I don’t like it. I think an hour for the premiere, finale, Christmas, first episode back from a long break in January, and an addional random episode would be the best scenario.

  11. Yeah, this is bizarre. I would much prefer the hour-longs to be spread over the entire season. I have no doubt they’ll be great episodes, but they’re such big treats that I like them to sprinkled here and there throughout the year. But beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.

  12. very strange…
    Question: has the time been changed from 8:30pm to 9pm on Thursdays (for season 4)? Because i have an evening course that day until 8:30pm and i’m suddenly very scared.

  13. They’re probably trying to steal Grey’s fans who won’t tune in because they’ll miss part of their hour.

  14. Yes – The Office will air at 9 PM EST/8 PM CST.

    I guess this news also explains why Scrubs doesn’t premiere until later on in October. I agree that after the hourlong episodes right upfront the rest of the season is going to feel too short! But whatever amount of The Office I can get, I’ll take! I’m looking forward to the hourlong episodes in any event.

  15. Wasn’t there a recent interview that said they’re trying to make sure the hourlongs can all be divided into two half-hours for rerun purposes? That makes it easier for syndication later. I do agree that it’s frustrating that they’re “blowing the wad” early. But, it’ll make up for the long hiatus. :-)

  16. Perhaps the first four episodes will be like Office Season 3.5 or Office Summer special.
    And then the remaining 25 episodes will be season 4. That could mean we would get DVDs of this “short” season earlier.

    I am just trying to speculate wonderfulness.

  17. Well I do know that Scrubs is only 18 episodes this year, and its not premiering til like the end of October. So until that starts back, the Office is filling that slot. (that’s what she said)

  18. “Perhaps the first four episodes will be like Office Season 3.5 or Office Summer special.
    And then the remaining 25 episodes will be season 4.”

    Officefan, I like the way you think! That would be great to cover a bit of the summer when the show starts back and then come back to “real time” later. Maybe ;) That does bum me out though. I doubt Greg Daniels is real tickled with that scheduling. Is this due to the impending strike?

  19. I think they’re doing 4 consecutive one-hour shows because they want to test the waters and see if people will tune in for a one-hour long sitcom. If it’s a success, they might adopt this for all of season 5. Just my 2 cents.

  20. More Office at any time of the year is fine by me.

    Plus, I think what many of you have said right on target — they’re probably testing it to see if the one hour format would work for the whole season.

  21. I hope the first 4 hour long episodes are like a mini season–as someone else already said. It would be so much fun to see the office in the summer–4th of july, labor day, road trips, Jim and Pam’s first dates, Kelly freaking out like crazy until she decides to seek vengeance. I think that would be fantastic to see how Michael is on the 4th and it would be different–since we’ve already had two christmas episodes and all. And then the season can start as normal once the half hours kick in. I hope!

  22. I think NBC realizes that this show could break out at any moment and it has 4 people could have real careers in just film

    they probably think they have one or two more seasons at the most of Rainn John Jenna Steve.

    although these are 5 hour epsiodes and 20 regular in syndication they are 30 half hours which equals $$$$

  23. I think the decision to put almost all the hour long eps at the beginning is disappointing but I’ll take whatever I can get…and starting off with strong hour long episodes would definitely bring in the new fans and get them hooked faster and take fans away from greys (myself included).

  24. I think it is a good idea idea. The writer’s are fresh and can start with a full head of steam. I have faith they can do five very stong one hour episodes. I don’t think they could maintain it for a whole season. Glass half-full.

  25. I hope it does lead to the show becoming permanently 1 hour. As it is currently, the show has to live up to expectations of being a sitcom but at an hour it can more naturally be the dramedy it should be.

  26. “premature elongation”

    That’s funny. I almost had awesome blossom coming out of my nose.

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