Comic-Con interview with The Office writers

After The Office panel let out at Comic-Con Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the press room to chat with some of The Office writers, one on one.

The Office

Talking to Jen Celotta and Mike Schur in the press room after The Office panel. Credit: Matt

Jen Celotta and Mike Schur talk about the Season 5 premiere

tanster: I was wondering what, if anything, can you tell me about Season 5? We know that the season premiere is an hour long …

Jen: It is an hour long.

tanster: Can you tell me who the writer is?

Jen: Gene [Stupnitsky] and Lee [Eisenberg] wrote it. The Emmy-nominated Gene and Lee now, from ‘Dinner Party.’ And actually, for the first time ever, we’re going to see what happens over the summer.

You know how we usually jump forward in terms of the documentary and we skip a gap? We’re going to see the summer. Every act is a different week. So the first episode will be eight weeks long. It’s week 1 of the summer, week 2 of the summer, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8.

And it’s weight loss. It’s a group weight loss competition. They’re competing against other branches in a weight loss challenge. And we’re going to check in with them. So instead of our traditional …

tanster: What?! Wait, wait, are you tell me a storyline?

Jen (laughing): Yeah. It’s going to be super fun. And very office-relatable. A lot of offices go through weight loss challenges.

At this point Mike joins in on the conversation.

Jen (to Mike): I was just telling tanster about Summer and the fact that it’s going to be an 8-week episode, and that it’s about weight loss.

Mike: Oooh. Look at you spoiler spoilery spoiling.

tanster: Is this episode called “Weight Loss”?

Jen: It’s between being called “Weight Loss” and “Summer.” My guess is it’s going to be called “Weight Loss.” Because later, when you think back, what was that episode, if we name it ‘Summer,’ it won’t make as much sense.

tanster: Are there six acts?

Mike: Eight if you include the cold open and the tag.

Jen: And right now, the tag is more of a traditional tag, so most of the focus is on the first seven weeks. And the cold open is a regular-sized one.

tanster: Is it going to be apparent to the audience that it’s a week per act?

Jen: Yes.

tanster: This is really unique!

Jen: It’s really cool.

tanster: Whose idea was that?

Jen: Greg’s.

Mike: Mine. (Laughs.)

Jen: Was it?

Mike: No, it was Greg’s.

Jen: I’m pretty sure it was Greg’s. And of course we’re going to check in on other stories … but that’s stuff I can’t tell you. (Laughs)

tanster (laughs): I know. I wouldn’t even dream of asking.