The Office to become one-hour show?

CNNMoney.com posted an article today on NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. Toward the end of the second page of the article is an intriguing tidbit about The Office:

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 Reilly are considering stretching The Office to an hour and canceling the original Law & Order.

Link: Life imitates TV

Tipster: Luke

133 comments

  1. Hopefully they do! Even the One Hour Episodes seem too short. I love this show and I want a full Hour. I demand a full hour. I also am constipated.

  2. I was just thinking about this. I always said that the Office should be 40 minutes. As well as Earl and 30 Rock. That way they could maybe increase their viewers with three well known shows and not have to carry or add another show.

    Earl: 8-8:40
    Office: 8:40-9:20
    30 Rock: 9:20-10:00

    Scrubs I heard could be picked up by ABC that’s why they are not included.

  3. someone should start a petition.

    no seriously.

    if i had any kind of web knowledge i’d be on it.

  4. They’re finally listening to the fans. It’s what we’ve all been asking for. Let’s hope it happens.

  5. Hell, half of the episodes this year have been an hour or supersized, and those ones are some of the best. Casino Night, Benihana Christmas, The Merger, The Negotiation. At least one of these is in every office watches top 10, maybe even 5.

  6. Hey, snowballa, I think your idea sounds like the best compromise. I love Scrubs, but it’s been past it’s prime for a while now. I’d love for The Office to be longer, but even with the deleted scenes included, that’s not a full hour. I’m afraid that it will result in them having to put in filler stuff. Stuff that’s not up to par. Also, the writers have to run out of ideas eventually. A one hour might just result in us getting less seasons. Not to mention, that’s a lot more work for the actors. They already work very hard and long hours!

  7. I love that the higher ups (or highest ups?) are so supportive of the Office. You’d expect them to ditch it for some high rated crappy reality show, but no-they stick by quality. Yay. :)

  8. it’s sad because law and order is so good, or at least back when jerry orbach was on. the actress playing the new female detective isn’t convincing and I believe too young.

    @ mayonegg: I agree that the writers would run out of ideas, that’s why i think 40 minutes is best. that would still make the hour long episodes (albeit only 7 to 10 minutes longer than 40) a special event. win win!

  9. this would make waiting around all summer totally worth it. they had better be pretty fricken sure that this is a real possibility cause teasing us is just mean.

    and i agree with snowballa…if not an hour then at least 40 minutes. this. would. rock.

  10. Sweet Jiminy Miminy that is the greatest thing I’ve heard all day.

  11. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!!!!!!!

    WOOT-WOOT!

    It’s sad that they are considering cancelling Law & Order, it’s such a great show, but hasn’t been the same since Jerry Orbach died.

  12. One hour would make a lot more sense for The Office. The end up having to cut out so much and a lot of the cast doesn’t get to be in some of the episodes. I disagree with some of you who have said that they will have to use filler or that they will run out of ideas sooner. The ideas that they use already could all be more easily done in a one hour show and some of the secondary cast could get to be more involved.

  13. How freakin’ cool would it be to get an hour of The Office every week? Wonder if there would be less episodes per season though…

  14. No one cares about Law and Order more The Office!!!! WooHoo Let’s go Zucker let’s go, let’s go Zucker let’s go WOO!!!

  15. For everyone who is saying that it should be 40 minutes instead of an hour, that is what an hour long means. A Benihana Christmas was promoted as an “hour long episode” because it was on the air for a one hour timeslot, for example 8-9. But downloaded off of itunes it runs 42 minutes, that’s because you factor in commercial time. So all in all, if The Office was in an hour long timeslot, the episode would be 40 minutes long.

  16. I sure hope it comes to pass. The deleted scenes show how much they have to cut to fit a 30-minute slot.

    On an unrelated subject, Office Tally just hit 400 votes on the Blogger’s Choice Awards vote count!

  17. I second what #13 said.

    An hour long episode every week would be really long hours for our favorite cast, plus they’d have to stretch some times.

    29- I think everyone else is referring to the length with commercials. They’re saying that an hour with commercials (40 minutes without) would be possibly too much. I like the “Supersized” (40 minutes with commercials, 28ish, without) idea better because those episodes feel like a perfect length and they wouldn’t get stale.

  18. I think what a lot of the proponents for a 40-minute show is saying is that the timeslot should be 40 minutes, which works out to be around a 30 minute episode each week. This is never going to happen on the US primetime network grid, given how the Nielsens are built around hour blocks (and half hour blocks for comedies). Super-sized episodes from time to time? Yes. Each and every week for the entire TV season? Extremely unlikely.

    Either “The Office” stays at 20 minutes per ep in a 30 minute timeslot, or it goes the full distance to a 40 minute ep in a 60 minute timeslot. From the article, this is far from a given fact at this point, but personally, I am really hoping that Zucker and Reilly does make “The Office” an hourlong each week. Come on folks, stop looking the gift horse in the mouth! Twice as much “Office” each week is awesome in my book! Let us trust the writers to make the show work as an hourlong program if NBC does give the greenlight. I have complete faith in Greg Daniels and Co. Here’s hoping for the best!

  19. I don’t think they’d have to do TOO much extra work…the scenes that are already cut are hilarious, and you hear on commentaries and stuff from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur how hard it is for them to cut down 40 minutes blocks to 30 minute blocks to 22 minutes blocks ready for airing. I think The Office is the perfect candidate for an hour-long show OR — at least — an HBO-style half hour comedy (aka, no commercials). But the later won’t be happening any time soon, haha.

    And also, MAYONEGG, I can’t stop laughing at your names. It’s as Ann as the plain on egg’s face.

  20. Finally! And it only took 10,000 message board posts from Office fans saying “this show should really be an hour long”

  21. That’s fantastic news – I just hope they don’t have to trim down the number of episodes they do ih a year to make it work. That may mean more 6 week hiatuses.

  22. Oh my goodness. An hour long show? I think that would be so good for “The Office.” It could keep all the plots its been having this third season with all the craziness, while having time to insert all those small, painfully hilarious moments that usually involve awkward silences, looks to the camera, and minor characters. I’ve missed that as this season has seemed so rushed.

    The writers and cast could definitely fill up an hour with stellar stuff. Just look at the deleted scenes!

  23. Great idea. Good staff of writers and a very talented and large ensemble cast

    Bring it on!

  24. Yes! I’m finally a tipster! I feel like I’ve in some way contributed to the Office fandom now.

    On topic, an hour long would be heaven. It just seems so short right now! (TWSS) To have the highlight of my week be 30 minutes long is kind of sad. But a whole hour? That’s bliss. I’m onboard with any sort of petition or any way we can help make this happen!

  25. Awe-some! So much good stuff gets cut out every week. I think an hour would be perfect.

  26. Wow-I always dreamed this would be a possibility…I don’t have much to add that hasn’t been said, but this would just make me deliriously happy…

  27. luke….

    a petition would be a good idea, so that NBC knows that the fans are all about it.

  28. WOW. That would be freaking awesome. Bananas indeed. I really hope they do it. I admit I thought A Benihana Christmas was a bit slow in places but I really think The Office could pull it off. It’d be great not having so many of those deleted scenes going to waste. And agreed on not having the supersized episodes every week, not only Nielson’s but then it’d have to compete against two shows. I would LOVE having an hour though, more Office equals a more happy me. I can never get enough of this show.

  29. Ah after reading this I haven’t stopped smiling! Just the possibility makes me want to scream with delight!

  30. mmm…i’m actually hesitant to say that it’s a great idea because i’ve noticed the writing in season 3 hasn’t been stellar compared to season 1 & 2. but i am psyshed that they’re even considering it.

  31. Yes! This is such a brilliant idea! Let’s hope “considering” means they’re definitely going to do it. Making The Office an hour long and getting rid of one of the antiquated Law & Order shows (which there are like 17 of anyway) would be a really smart decision for NBC, for so many reasons.

  32. Super-super-super sized office…More character development – maybe we’ll get more background on why Michael hates Tobey so much.

    Considering this is prob the best Office site, someone from the show or NBC is hopefully checking these boards

    Anyone know how many years the primary cast are contracted for (Jam & Dwichael)? With the show getting bigger, I’m fearing someone may leave for big-money movie roles or something.

  33. I really hope they do make it an hour. One more half hour for me to look foward to in the week :)

  34. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the OFFICE, but it works better on the smaller scale. I love the supersized episodes, deleted scenes and special hour-longs, but as a whole, it works well as a simple half hour sitcom. I’m afraid if it really turns into an hour, it could get too boring, and lose focus. The Office is nto a drama and although there are many characters, there are not SEVERAL plotlines to follow IE Grey’s Anatomy. So, in short, please keep the office how it is and staying amazing.

  35. They might not have to cancel L&O because Scrubs is allegedly moving to ABC. NBC hasn’t officially picked it up for a 7th season.

  36. Good work, Jeff. Hopefully it’ll get more votes than American Idol.

  37. i can’t tell you enough how badly i want it to stay a half-hour.

    keep the super-sized and hour long episodes special!

  38. I love the idea…how many actual minutes is there in an hour episode? about 40? The British episodes were 30-some minutes and I thought that worked great…and they didn’t even have the awesome supporting cast we have to mine for extra footage.

  39. How long till we find out if they are going to do this? Won’t they have to make the decision soon, so they can plan ahead?

  40. Oh my goodness. All my wishes would come true. NBC has already spoiled us Office fans, and if this comes to pass I’ll have died and gone to heaven. NBC, I love you for even considering this. I can’t say enough about your dedication to this show and to its fans. No matter your decision, I respect you more than any network on television. You have the best show on TV and the best fans on TV, and you’re working to keep it that way.

    That said – do it! One hour of Office!

  41. Yes yes Yes yes!!!!!

    I think it would be a great move if they make it an hour show. The episodes seemed really short this season.

  42. As much as I used to love the original Law & Order, my fanatic viewership dropped off about 8 years ago and it dwindled onto nothing when Jerry Orbach died.

    If they’re going to let that one go, I’d love it to add some extra time to my new favorite TV show (and the only one I’ve watched obsessively in my adult years).

    The Office already has so much material that could be added just from the deleted scenes. It would not be that difficult.

  43. answers to 77 and 79.

    ABC has already said it would pick up Scrubs for a Seventh Season if NBC doesn’t. ABC actually produces Scrubs so it actually isn’t that big of a stretch. In short….OH GOD LET THE OFFICE BE AN HOUR LONG.

  44. Oh please, PLEASE let this be so. it would be the best. thing. ever.

    The longer the better
    (that’s what she said!)

  45. Christ I hope so, I have allways loved the show, but right as i was really getting into it, the show would end. If NBC makes this an hour long, it would be the best decision they ever made.

  46. That would be amazing.

    Seems like the 60-minute format fits the laugh track-less dramedy style better anyhow, and so many episodes were supersized and never missed a beat/dragged.

    I say go for it. Don’t cancel Scrubs or anything though…. move some other show. Or move the Office, since I’ve been having to work every Thursday night (thank goodness for DV-R).

  47. IS the office the first show to completely change time lengths half way through its run?

    If so that would be zoppity.

  48. I think this is a good idea. It would allow for a little more plot development, especially in the relationship areas, and allow resolution to episodes. I think if Product Recall was an hour, we would have seen the real repercussions of the watermark. It seemed like this episode ended too soon.

  49. I am all for this. This show has the perfect blend of comedy and real character drama to be the first show to make the switch from half hour “sitcom” format to an hour long “drama” form. Best (possible) decision I’ve ever seen network television make, really.

  50. just made my night. I hope so… Every Thursday (when my g/f watches grey’s after the office) I wonder why the office is only half an hour, while grey’s has to be a full hour. Simply not fair.

  51. Most of us seem to agree that twenty-one minutes or so (after commercials) just isn’t enough to develop the storyline. So, the real issue becomes how much time The Office needs to flesh out the plot. Also, we need to ask what’s realistic. Thirty minutes, not including commercials, might be the ideal pace for the show, but it wouldn’t work with NBC’s format. We have to choose between forty minutes and twenty-one minutes, then. I choose forty minutes.

  52. can you even imagine…

    first of all, an hour long comedy?? I’d be shocked if this were to happen. shocked but incredibly happy :)

  53. Is this the first comedy that would be in an hour long time slot? I can’t think of any other. I know The Office is either a love it or hate it show, but luckily I’m one of those that LOVES it!

  54. This would make the total runtime of the show about 10-12 minutes longer than the British version and it should work since the British version only focused on the 4 main characters while the NBC version has an ensemble of over a dozen characters that are fully fleshed out

  55. I would love The Office to be an hour, 30 minutes (which ends up only be about 20 minutes) is way to short.

  56. No, several shows have changed their time formats just not sitcoms. Best example coming to mind is The Twilight Zone which was a half hour for the first three seasons and switched to an hour for the fourth season then went back to a half hour for the fifth and final season.

    Also, I don’t agree that it would be much more work for everyone. A little probably but not a lot. What they do now gives them at least 40 minutes of material they have to condense, so it’s kind of a no-brainer that it wouldn’t require much more of a commitment from the actors.

    And the other thing is that this show could definitely work in an hour timeslot format. Most dumb sitcoms are just throw away one liners with a guy pushing the laugh track button. Each show is self-contained, it doesn’t lend to the overall usually. Whereas most every episode of TO is part of the larger story. It just happens to be a hilarious story instead of a dramatic story. So I think it could work just as well being longer.

  57. Make it happ’n, cap’n!

    Seriously, though, this would be amazing. They have enough episodes that are either supersized or one-hour long that it would only make sense.

    *crosses fingers*

  58. Okay, I’ve thought about this and the way I see it is that if they already shoot about 40 minutes worth of tape for a 30-minute show (which actually turns out to be about a 20-25 minute show in the end with commercials) then an hour show wouldn’t probably be that much more with the commercials (maybe 5 or 10 minutes is my guess), so I’m hoping they’ll go for it and make it an hour. 30 minutes is never long enough!

  59. Jess,

    To the best of my knowledge its the first comedy that falls into the “sitcom” category that would be an hour. Obviously there are alot of comedy’s that fall into “dramedy” category(Desperate Housewives & Ugly Betty come to mind) that are hour episodes.

    Shannon

  60. I ALWAYS SAID THE OFFICE SHOULD BE AN HOUR.
    ohhhh man..
    this is big stuff. eitherway its going to be a huge decision

  61. I’d like it to stay the way it is, and then occasionally throw us a bone with the supersized episodes.

    Stick with what works, and that is the 22 minutes plus the deleted scenes for us diehards. No need to overdo it.

  62. This is so exciting! I love the show and I totally agree that the show ends as soon as it gets started. Fans that watch the office are just hoping and praying that this comes about!

  63. I think this would really work for the show considering the hour-long season-ending episodes tend to be the best because there is ample time for comedy + plot.

    For me, cramming comedy + plot into 22 minutes sometimes doesn’t work for The Office…these characters are too deep to effectively evolve their personalities in such a limited amount of time. And often, it’s Michael’s shortcomings that dominate the story-line.

    One-trick ponies like Creed (stealing), Meredith (drinking), Stanley (sarcasm), etc. would finally be able to evolve as characters.

    Do it NBC; BRILLIANT.

  64. I think the format of The Office is suited to an hour – not just because I want more Office (of course I do!) but because I think it is the kind of well-rounded show that can handle it. It’s not really a sitcom – it’s a character-driven show that has a storyline that develops over many episodes, and it has plenty of moments that aren’t funny but are sad, romantic, intense. There’s a reason The Office doesn’t have a laugh track – because it’s more than just a series of one-liners.

  65. I actually HATE this idea!!!! Only because it most likely means Thursday night would look like this…. 9:00 hour is too jam packed as it is….

    8:00 – 8:30 Earl
    8:30 – 9:30 Office
    9:30 30 Rock

  66. I doubt it seat42f, I’d expect something more like this:

    1st hour: Deal or No Deal
    2nd hour: Scrubs/30 Rock
    3rd hour: The Office

  67. The 22 minutes it’s on now is not enough. If it were 29 minutes like most British shows, that would be perfect, but what they’re proposing (45 minutes) is too much.

  68. Attn: Jeff Zucker

    This is a great move! Sell a few more ads and let the writers develop these awesome characters. Also, please consider dropping the idea of repeats and skipped weeks all the time. It gives viewers too many opportunities to channel surf and watch other networks. Keep the momentum going.

  69. Drop Karen and get Pam with Jim and each episode can be 15 minutes. Not really, just drop Karen.

  70. WOW – could they really do that?

    has there ever been a one hour comedy in the history of television??

  71. At first my reaction was heck yeah! But now I’m worried that it may be too much of a good thing. I love this show and don’t want to get burned out by it.

  72. I would love if the Office was an hour long! 1/2 hour is too short, (20 minutes without commercials).

  73. 124- well, Ugly Betty comes to mind. Or Freaks and Greeks (which was great). Of course these are more dramedys than sitcoms…but The Office is less a sitcom than it is a dramedy, so it’s perfect.

    Jeff Zucker: make our collective dreams come true and we will follow you to the moon and back.

  74. attn: 120 DrunkBiking i would hope for a three hour block of comedy move ER to another time and either bring back Andy Barker PI or get a new comedy but this is just wishful speaking

  75. Extending The Office to one hour would be a stellar move. The show seems to produce enough content to fill an hour, hence all the left over deleted scenes that cannot make it into the 21 minutes that they have in the 30 minute slot. The time extension would allow for more awkward pauses, more story development and character flavor. It will also maintain the show’s realism. There have been some deleted scenes posted on NBC.com that I couldn’t believe were axed. (A deleted scene from “Safety Training” comes to mind). They are sometimes just as funny, if not funnier than what the producers edited into the aired episode, and would have lent more value to the full view of the storyline. I can only guess that they had to chop them for lack of time. One hour should would allow all this Jammy, Michael Scott, Dwighty goodness, and I would be in bliss for one full hour each week.

    And also – an extra 30 minutes of John Krasinski, Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer would make my week. :-) I hope we have some good news at the NBC Upfronts.

  76. 125-“I dont think its a great idea developing Creed, Meredith, & Stanley & co. because that just adds to the already large list of characters to keep track of.”

    Actually the only characters that are truly developed are Michael, Jim, Pam, and Dwight. A show like LOST is so brilliantly done because the audience has in-depth knowledge about each character.

    Obviously The Office is a different format than LOST, but comedies have in-depth characters as well (all 6 Friends characters were highly developed).

    I think a lot of us would agree that seeing Jim’s apartment, Dwight’s farm, Pam’s art show, and Michael’s improv class add a lot to the story. I would PAY the writers to have them script an episode about Creed – where he lives, hobbies, family members, etc.

  77. this would be AWESOME. ideally i would like 45 minutes including commercials, but more time is better than less! Some of the more recent episodes, like “Safety Training” and “Product Recall,” seemed really really short.

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