Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson conference call

Rainn: I know like we’re — in the Nielsen’s were like number 30 or 35, or something. We’re pretty far down the list and — but, you know, we’re in the top — I think we’re the number one or number two most TiVo’d show.

And then we’re in the top ten for like advertising rates or something like that, I heard, to buy an ad — in case you were wanting buy an ad for Comcast. So …

Greg: Or, you know, just a friend’s birthday — you want to do a shout out or something.

Rainn: So it’s a different TV landscape. I think that with the Internet and iTunes and digital video recording, and stuff like that — like it just — a show’s impact isn’t just the number of people watching it on the night.

Greg: Do you want me to just give you this thing? It’s called — it was a thing called Beyond Nielsen — a New Rating for TV shows — MediaWorks Viewpoint: Optimedia Ranks Programs Based on Audience Involvement.

And this is just an article that somebody forwarded to me. But it said that there’s a new rating system that they’re using called the Content Power Rating and saying that the show’s true market values in terms of audience size, but buzz and appeal, and PR, and involvement, and blogging and stuff.

And we were the first comedy on that in the number six thing.

Question: I guess that speaks to the point, right? I mean, that people seem to be more passionate, more involved with your show and it sounds to me like the answer is that that probably means more to you than, you know, than the raw numbers.

Greg: Well certainly if the advertisers start going for this Optimedia rating system, we’re going to be, you know, in like Flynn. But even if they still use the same rating system, I think that the — you know, I think that there is just — it’s like — it’s kind of like college campuses, sort of.

You know, it’s like they don’t necessarily count all those people, but, you know, you can find out just anecdotally what they’re watching and they seem to be watching our show a lot. And …

Question: Steve has a, like notoriously busy schedule. How did the strike affect, you know, his availability or did you have to work around anything huge, or anything like that?

Greg: Well, you know, I think he was committed to this show for the time that we were supposed to be shooting the show and the strike came out of that time. You know, so we would have had another, you know, maybe eight episodes — or seven or eight episodes if there hadn’t been a strike.

But he didn’t — I don’t think he had to cancel any movies or anything.

Question: What would you say to people who haven’t watched the show or who aren’t sure they’re going to get back in — what would you say to entice them to start watching on April 10?

Greg: Well I think that you don’t have to have seen the beginning because it’s really about life in an office, and the characters are pretty much based on, you know, real kinds of people.

And, you know, and if they tried it in the very beginning and found it too cold or something, you know, that problem has been addressed. You know, and I think that, you know — I don’t know. What do you think, Rainn?

Rainn: I would say just buy the — the Season One DVD is really cheap because it was only six episodes. I would say go ahead and buy that.

Greg: Also, it’s a character comedy and usually to really appreciate a character comedy, you have to know who the characters are. So you really — most people have to watch it one or two — you know, a couple of times before they go oh, that guy is not, you know, supposed to be the normal guy.

That guy is saying these weird things because he’s the weird guy, or, you know, whatever it is. You know, you have to kind of figure out where the …

Rainn: Dwight may look totally normal, but he really is an oddball.

Question:The rumor of the Dwight spin-off, did you say whether there was any truth to that?

Rainn: The rumor of the Dwight spin-off was like some — I was at the Tony’s, I think, because I was presenting. And some guy from New York — I think it was like the New York Post.

He’s like hey, Rainn, Ben Silverman is in charge at NBC now so what’s next for Dwight. And I — as I walked by I was like I don’t know, I smell a Dwight spin-off.

And he goes, can I quote you on that? Can I quote you on that? And I just walked away and then it was like all over TV as this — it’s preposterous.

Question: Can you — clues to anything, Greg or Rainn, that’s coming up in the episode, that one or going forward — just any clues? Anything?

Greg: Well I mean, that’s a very — kind of a charged situation where Michael has been asking Pam and Jim to come have dinner with him and Jan over and over, and over again.

And he finally manages this — through this kind of scam, to destroy all their excuses. And it just happens to be after the previous episode which is when he went to New York to try and help Jan with her deposition and he kind of blew her sort of wrongful termination lawsuit.

So there’s a lot of tension between them in that episode. And, you know, then, you know, coming up we have some episodes that, you know, follow off on that.


  1. Wow, this is amazing tanster. Long, but worth the reading time. Thanks for posting this! :)

  2. I like the idea of them showing the documentary to the characters. Well, not now, but end of Season 5 maybe? Shake things up a bit. Put them all in the public eye, see how they all really see each other, etc. I think it would be an interesting change of pace!

  3. This is great! Exactly what I needed to tide me over until April 10th. Also, I can’t wait to see John host that mini marathon on the 3rd.

  4. That was awesome. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see how the destruction of DMI plays out!!

  5. Good stuff. I can’t wait to find out what contrivance Michael used to get Pam and Jim to come to dinner.

  6. I think it’d be great if on the last episode they all sat down to watch the documentary and it started to show like the first 20 seconds on the first episode and there was this “low battery” light blinking on the bottom of the screen…then it just goes black with the words “no battery power” or something….

  7. love the drinking game idea! totally watching for angela’s belly on the 10th :)

  8. Great read! I loved Rainn saying that George Clooney was in The Rocker. Sounds like John got quite the ribbing about his ~fancy~ movie role.

  9. Loved this! I also think showing the documentary should happen in one of the ending episodes of the series. It needs to happen, but it will definitely signal an end to the show. I can’t wait to see how Greg does it (but hopefully it’s not for a while!)

  10. My dwight bobblehead broke :( I just have a Dwight head sitting creepily next to my printer now

  11. Worth the read! Thanks Tanster! Loved Rainn’s line about the bobbleheads being found years from now. Can’t wait to see what twist and turns are ahead!

    And great questions about whether they changed the story lines to fit the shortened season – it’s great to know they’ve taken bits of other story lines and incorporated them into this season…like we’re not going to miss out on any great stories because of the strike!

  12. Mesmerizing.
    But who is “Question”?

    [from tanster: “Question” is various members of the press.]

  13. That was a great time lunch time killer! Thanks for posting Tanster! I can’t wait to see Michael and Dwight hanging out with Ryan in New York.

  14. Wow – that was the most enthralling thing I’ve read in quite a while. Thanks so much for posting!

    Side note: Greg Daniels used the phrase “in like Flynn.” For some weird reason, that majorly cracked me up.

  15. That was great!!!!! By the way Greg said “you know” like a million times. Still Awesome!!!!!!!

  16. Hilarious reading – thanks Tanster!

    I love hearing these two be so candid with their responses. Rarely do we get a window into people’s souls… But I’m glad to say that Rainn and Greg’s souls are awesome. The entire interview was well done with wonderful questions that true fans will love! Thanks so much for posting!

  17. I can’t say how much I appreciate you bringing the insider info to us. I love hearing/reading about the passion and creativity of the writers and performers on this show. It’s so much fun, and better yet, totally justifies the time I spend laughing and re-laughing over this show! Thank you!

  18. Thanks for posting it, tanster. I have to say that personally I am a bit bummed that they keep fleshing out the Dwight character in far more detail than they do Jim Halpert.

  19. #14… I feel your pain. My bobblehead’s cappa was detaited too. He’s got a permanent neck brace of blue tape right now.

    Also my favorite moments in this was the hatch under Dwight’s desk and Spot the Fetus.

    Oh and the idea that somewhere out there someone is now planning on putting Dwight into a time capsule.

  20. Wow great stuff here! Greg stating they will be playing with time this season, the idea of the characters seeing the documentary, John Krasinski and friends shooting the Scranton footage in the opening, and the Pet Day script! I think that it would be awsome if the characters saw the documentary and were in the public eye at the beginning of the final season, there are some really golden ideas behind that concept. I think eventually the idea will be put to use, but probably not for awhile.

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