One-hour Office special coming!

There is something very interesting in an article about The Office’s popularity at the iTunes Store, as reported by Newsday’s Verne Gay:

Paul Lieberstein, one of “The Office’s” executive producers (who also plays human resources manager Toby) says that when the iTunes effect kicked in last December, “it was this huge gift that made everyone kind of go ‘Wait, what’s going on with that show?'”

Ever since then, “The Office” has paid almost as much attention to iTunes as to NBC. For example, “because people are watching more than once, it’s become one more reason for us to to be very careful to include subtle things as well as broad physical stuff,” Lieberstein says. The iTunes effect hasn’t hurt in attracting big-name directors either; Harold Ramis will direct an hour-long episode to air around Christmas, while “Lost’s” J.J. Abrams is on board for a February one.

Uh, ex-SQUEEZE me? An HOUR-LONG episode?! Did I read that right?

And J.J. Abrams? Wow.

Read How iTunes saved ‘The Office’ and post your thoughts.

Update: Jenna’s confirmed that yes, there will be an hour-long Office Christmas special next month! A supersized episode this month, and a superDUPERsized episode next month. YOWSAH!


  1. All that I have to say is WOW! J.J. Abrams and the Office, that is going to be a killer episode, and an hour-long Christmas episode, there isn’t a better Christmas present ever.

  2. A supersized episode this month, an hour-long Christmas episode, Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day! One of my ‘desert island’ movies.) and J.J. Abrams?!?!

    WOW, WOW, WOW and WOW!

    What great holiday gifts for the fans!

  3. YAY :D thanks, this made my day. definitely something to look forward to. happy halloween btw :)

  4. Dang yo….that’s exciting news. I know I am one of those people who buy it on iTunes because alot fo thursday nights i have other commitments to go to and I like ot be able to watch it over and over…i know they put it on youtube but for some reason that seems like stealing…i guess i felt like by buying it, i could at least say i did my part to keep it on the air…now i see thats true so great news!

  5. Oh my God! Super-sized, then an hour, then super-duper sized AND JJ Abrams?? It’s early Xmas at The Office! Thanks for this amazing tip…us fans have lots to look forward to now.

  6. Yay! This is awesome news! It’s going to be so difficult going back to 30 minute shows after all of these special super-sized episode! *sigh*

  7. I know I am checking I-Tunes every hour or so on Friday waiting for the download. Can’t wait for the hour long christmas episode.

  8. Wow! An hourlong Christmas eppy?? That’s great … can’t wait! Can’t wait for the HR and J.J. (it will be interesting to see if he puts any references to “Lost” in there, especially since Dwight mentioned “The Dharma Initiative” in “The Initiation”)directed eppies either!

  9. Ok..the super sized got me excited…the hour got me gitty and what’s with the super duper sized? Are they trying to kill me?

  10. It’s almost a Christmas miracle. And nice to see you over at NA, Jennie—thanks for the link!

  11. Are there going to be two one-hour episodes? Or is the article just noting that Abrams will be directing an episode in February?

  12. Supersized merger, hour long Christmas. A lot can happen in an hour. I mean, you know what they say:
    Jim: Christmas is the time to tell people how you feel.

    Lets just hope.

    And, Abrams? I have a feeling it ends up attracting a lot of crazy Lost fans who don’t watch the Office. and thats a lot of people.

  13. I feel like those who bought the 2nd season on iTunes as it became available really helped keep the show on the air. This article really justified my line of thinking. I think that iTunes really will begin/already has begun to change the shape of television. I actually think that if shows like arrested development were available on iTunes it might have saved it as well. Hopefully, Scrubs will be the next show saved from cancellation due to it’s successful sales on iTunes and DVD.

    As for that 1 hour episode, bring it on.
    The only thing more exciting than that to me is an episode by JJ Abrams. I am so curious to see how it turns out! Oh…and I’m still really excited about the Ricky Gervais penned episode. Hopefully we will hear more about it soon, and the British office cast cameos as well.

  14. It isn’t an hour long episode and a superduper sized episode. The hour long episode is the superduper sized episode. Still, AMAZING news. I was wondering, are the episodes tiny on Itunes? I have never seen one, but would they blow up to fullscreen pretty well in Windows Media Player?

  15. Quote:
    “Jenna’s confirmed that yes, there will be an hour-long Office Christmas special next month! A supersized episode this month, and a superDUPERsized episode next month. YOWSAH!”

    That sounds like 3 long episodes to me. Am I wrong?

    1. Hour Long Christmas Special.
    2. Supersized episode.
    3. SuperDUPERsized episode.

    Or are # 1 and 3 the same thing?

  16. First he confirms that there is an hour long episode.
    Then he makes this statement: “A supersized episode this month, and a superDUPERsized episode next month. YOWSAH!”

    The supersized episode this month (the 40 minute episode) and then next month (you know December the month with Christmas) has a supersized episode… like say, an hour long Christmas special that he just mentioned the sentence before.

  17. This is such exciting news!!! I am looking forward to both long episodes because I love when a lot gets to happen plot-wise, yet they still have time to fit in all of the subtleties and awkward pauses.

    Oh, yeah, and Tanster is a girl, in case anyone is now wondering.

  18. I’m certain Jenna will impress J.J. Abrams more with her performance as Pam Beesly than she did as Sydney Bristow.

  19. To benaiah. The iTunes episodes are not as tiny as they used to be. They look really good on my 17” wide monitor. They upped the resolution on the tv downloads at the beginning of the this fall season.

  20. I couldn’t agree more with the article. The first time I ever saw the show was on iTunes. My brother had downloaded “Christmas Party”, and had watched it, and then he forced me to watch it because he loved it so much. He said iTunes was really promoting it and so he bought it. Now we’re probably the biggest fans in the world. Haha. Plus, when you have it on iTunes, you can play it in the background, and always be listening to it, and that’s the best way to memorize it. I’ve memorized every episode in great depth, and i know I wouldn’t have if it were’nt for iTunes.

  21. how rad is that?? and may i just say, that this is the best office info site on the web. tanster, you’re one cool chick.

  22. Wow I am so glad to be an Office fan. Holy. I love Harold Ramis too. All is great in the world of Office. ABRAMS!!!!!!!!! Wow what a halloween gift this is. I am so happy.

  23. Okay, so, ever since I saw the words ‘Christmas special’ I’ve been having UK Office flashbacks, and I’m thinking that this hour long episode would be perfect for Jam. I’m probably just being stupidly optimistic because of how the UK Christmas specials ended (with Tim and Dawn together), but it’s so exciting!

  24. Benaiah: The iTunes downloads are 640×480, the same resolution as DVD. They are just more compressed to make downloads faster. They average 250 MB in size. Also, you can’t play iTunes videos in Windows Media player. Maybe I’m not as stupid as you make me sound. Try and be less condescending the next time you answer a post question. We all love the same show, and there is no need to make fun of people for wanting clarification on it’s details.

  25. Yeah, Tanster! This website is my favorite website out there. Thank you so much for all of your hard work!

  26. I apologize Josh, my intention was to prove my assertion, not to step on your toes (also, sorry Tanster, I didn’t realize you were a lady). I assure I try to be civil and my comments were meant to be funny, not mean. To be fair, I never said anyone was stupid, only that you misread the post. Anyway, sorry.

  27. Sorry but I am still unclear.

    I understand there is a supersized episode on November 16th which is 40 minutes long.

    I understand there is an hour long Christmas episode, directed by Ramis.

    I am unclear if the episode in February is an hour long. The article says:

    “Harold Ramis will direct an hour-long episode to air around Christmas, while “Lost’s” J.J. Abrams is on board for a February one.”

    Is the “February one” an hour long as well?

  28. I’m possibly confused but my reading of that article says that Harold Ramis directed the Christmas episode which is an hour long and JJ Abrams is directing an episode in February but it is not an hour long. Everyone else (almost) seems to be reading it differently.

  29. Man… mark my words… theres gonna be some serious JAM between now and xmas… maybe even too much JAM! I mean… if jim and pam just went and got married, that would be kinda boring. But I think they’ll keep it under control and there will be a lot but not too much JAM in the near future.

  30. Not to be a humbug, but the show is essentially destroyed once Pam and Jim get together. I am not saying it won’t happen (and in my heart I badly want it too), but be patient because once you get what you want, what will the Office be about? The dynamic will be completely different and the best thing about the show (IMHO), the tortured tenuous romance between Jim and Pam, will be gone.

  31. This is very true. I got a video iPod as a gift and wanted to check out the video part…I was torn between Monk and The Office, neither show had I seen, and I downloaded the Office. Within weeks I had downloaded Season 1 and whatever I had missed on Season 2. I got the Season Pass for Season 3. And I never watch them on my iPod, only on the computer.

  32. ted, they are referring to the directors with JJ Abrams, not the length of time (at least that’s how I read it). As for the hour long episode, it’s going to have to satiate us for a while as it will be followed up by weeks of re-runs. A Christmas gift for the fans!

  33. Thanks, Benaiah! Hey…to all you techiesHere’s something you guys should all try, if you have a video Ipod. You can hook your Ipod up to your TV if you have the iPod video cable connector…OR you can use a Camcorder adaptor to play through the headphone jack! (They are about $30-40 cheaper!) All you have to do is plug the red cord into the yellow RCA plug on your VCR or TV and the yello cord into the red plug. And it sends a VERY high quality signal from the Ipod to the television! I usually record them onto my home DVD burner, and they look great. They at least hold me over until I can buy the season on DVD!

  34. Benaiah,

    I disagree. I don’t think it will be destroyed after Jim and Pam get together. Because, yes we all like the unrequited love thing, but that’s not the dynamic of Jim and Pam. We like them because they have fun with each other and play jokes on other people. I believe that after their hook up, that dynamic won’t change. This show is about reality, and if all Jim and Pam do is be hot and heavy, I don’t think their relationship would last.

  35. WaHoo!! I check my email as soon as I get up in the morning and the Office Tally feedblitz always puts a smile on my face. When I saw this in my inbox this morning I was so happy!! Thanks for writing this Tanster! You help the week go by so much easier.

    A supersized and an hour show?! I sure hope Jim and Pam are making some Jam in these shows!! My heart’s already fluttering. Weeeeeeeeeee………

  36. JAM will not ruin the show. These 2 actors have so much chemistry on screen. I would love to just see them flirt all the time.

  37. Holy Crap! That is fantastic!
    Hm… Only one hour though? I was thinking more along the lines of “The Office: The Movie.” ;)

    I try not to think too much about how Jim and Pam together would rock, or how Jim and Pam together would ruin the show. I’m just watching and am along for the ride, however it may go. I’ve given up guessing. It’ll be more exciting that way when whatever will happen actually happens.

  38. That’s excellent news! But I thought we were also going to get an episode written by the original creators of The Office, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. That’s what I’ve been looking forward to. Any word on that??

  39. If it turns out to be anything like the UK version Jim and Pam probably won’t get together quite yet. Its more likely that Jim will start dating Karen from his new office and things will be awkward between him and Pam for awhile. That’s my guess anyway.

  40. I can’t wait for the new episodes. I’m in class on Thursday nights and have to watch them after they download, but I guess that will have to do.

    I just wanted to say hi to everyone, and cheer on some JAM for the upcoming seasons!

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