Michael Schur and Jen Celotta visit the OTCR

22:44:10 [Action] Denise (ddker): joins in the huggy hugs
22:44:55 JenCelotta: welcome bobblehead, joe!
22:45:02 MichaelSchur: The whole thing was an elaborate show, aimed at trying to win a PR campaign against us, and for a while they did. But now, thanks to blogs and people like you who are digging for the truth, it’s coming out that they are the greedy ones, and they are the ones who have caused this whole thing, by refusing to do what’s right.
22:45:08 CH: i had broadcast programming class tonight, and my prof was telling us that back in the 80s, in the infamous 22 week strike, networks started producing scripts they’d originally turned down. I laughed to myself at the diea that the networks might start producing fanfic. lord help us.
22:45:19 MichaelSchur: In short: they are greedy jerks.
22:45:43 JenCelotta: I]
22:45:46 JenCelotta: oops.
22:45:48 JenCelotta: answer coming
22:45:55 MichaelSchur: Jen’s toaster is acting up.
22:46:07 Lara: Also: isn’t NBC launching a Fancy New Video Website sometime soon? How can they say they don’t know about the internet?
22:46:12 KKras (GMMR): When I was at the upfront, Kevin Reilly (a moment of silence) spoke openly how everything at NBC was about the internet. Hence Dunder Mifflin Infinity. Interesting how they are changing they tunes now.
22:46:24 MichaelSchur: Lara — exactly.
22:47:06 DestroyPhone: Mike and Jen, we’re all proud of you for sticking to your guns, we know it’s the right thing to do. Screw their stupid meany-head lawyers (told you I need a writer Jen)
22:47:08 MichaelSchur: our show was downloaded from iTunes seven million times. They left iTunes because they wanted to make *more* money. And they claim they don’t know what the deal is with internet downloads? It’s so disingenuous it makes me want to cry.
22:47:27 JenCelotta: It sounds like they’ve got some reality in the works that they’re planning to put on tv. The last strike introduced us to Cops and America’s Most Wanted, I believe. I’m not sure how much of an appetite there is for reality shows now, given that they’ve been all over tv for a while and seemed to have die down.
22:47:32 [Action] tanster: hands mike a tissue
22:47:36 JenCelotta: and my toast is ready!
22:47:51 CH: i think the studios are just trying to edge out the old writers. Y’all should dye your hair with computer ink for the picket lines.
22:47:55 MichaelSchur: KKras — it is insane, isn’t it? They aren’t even trying to hide the hypocrisy.
22:48:02 mickeyrandy3: As CH said: this stike is going to be different because with the advent of blogs et al there is a larger, stronger voice with fans!
22:48:22 JenCelotta: Sometimes a writer’s gotta ride the bull.
22:48:31 MichaelSchur: mickey — absolutely. The blogs will lead us to victory. I am serious.
22:48:41 tanster: VICTORY!
22:48:47 mg714: A lot of the talk has been about the internet issue, but is the DVD issue still part of the negotiations?
22:49:16 MichaelSchur: Jen is handling mg714″s Q.
22:49:29 Denise (ddker): Do they have the British version of The Office lined up to air like I have heard?
22:49:39 attackwithnorth: It is uplifting to see you all standing up. The loss of my favorite show is sad but you all deserve so much for the art you create.
22:49:39 MichaelSchur: I will vamp by saying: OfficeTally is the besterest site on the interwebs. [/pander]
22:49:55 MichaelSchur: Denise — that is a rumor, I believe. I don;t think they would do that. Maybe I’m wrong.
22:50:01 tanster: check’s in the mail mike
22:50:16 MichaelSchur: attack — thank you. All we want to do is go back to work. It’s killing us, too. But this is just too important.
22:50:41 MichaelSchur: Jen still working on DVD question.
22:50:44 MichaelSchur: Stay tuned.
22:50:49 Jim Mosby: I realize this is pure speculation but we know the last strike cost a half a billion dollars I believe, have either of you seen any estimates on what this strike could cost the industry in losses?
22:51:08 CH: my prof said it would be in the billions. easily.
22:51:15 Denise (ddker): That toaster must be giving Jen a bunch of trouble since it’s taking so long :)
22:51:18 JenCelotta: During the Sunday negotiations the DVD issue was taken off the table — in an attempt to try and avoid the strike — it’s something that’s very important to members, but they were willing to take it off the table in order to secure a better deal in new media. From what I’m hearing now, the issue is back on the table and we would like to be compensated fairly for any dvd’s sold — for a 20 dollar dvd, the studios receive about 9 dollars and we get 4 cents.
22:51:23 attackwithnorth: In the meantime, I am looking forward to seeing Survivor Man and The Deposition.
22:51:29 MichaelSchur: Jim — no one knows. If 22 weeks was $500 million in 1988, I would imagine it would be like $1.5-$2 billion at least.
22:51:40 MichaelSchur: attack — they are funny episodes.
22:51:54 mg714: As you can tell by all the people on this chat, I’m sure there are so many fans that will make their voices heard on all this and hopefully that will help move negotiations along as well.
22:52:04 mickeyrandy3: I was just talking to Andilynn earlier about how we are going to mail postcards in support of the WGA this weekend and if we could walk the lines with you we would….
22:52:21 JenCelotta: mg714, thans! That would be great. Our fans are a powerful group
22:52:30 JenCelotta: edited to say thanks, not thank
22:52:40 MichaelSchur: mickey — that’s awesome. If there are any other ways we think you can help, we will ask tanster to post them.
22:52:42 JenCelotta: not thans. I CAN’T type!!
22:52:51 tanster: i’m at your service :)
22:53:02 CH: so tell me this: the studios’ pigheadedness is prolonging the strike. Does that mean they’re also costing us a PB&J Christmas wedding? ;)
22:53:04 MichaelSchur: tanster = goodtimes
22:53:07 domzor: i think you need a new toaster jen
22:53:14 tanster: slander!
22:53:23 tanster: ok, i’ll take it
22:53:27 JenCelotta: I will try to type on my oven now.
22:53:42 domzor: dont forget to preheat
22:53:55 MichaelSchur: CH – if we had Jim and Pam get married this Christmas, I think the show would be over. I will say that Justin Spitzer wrote a draft of a XMas episode before the strike went down, and it’s super funny. I hope we get back in time to shoot it.
22:53:58 KKras (GMMR): ARe there picket lines just in LA and NYC or are there others? I’ll walk the line in Boston if I can :)
22:54:22 JenCelotta: Only in LA and NY, unfortunately. but we feel your support :)
22:54:30 Clare: We must never acquiese, for it is together, together that we prevail!!
22:54:51 mg714: We have to have a Christmas episode – it’s a tradition! :)
22:55:02 [Action] CH: will feel officially ditched by Santa if there’s no Christmas episode
22:55:07 MichaelSchur: TOo many emoticons.
22:55:10 officelover: “live together die alone”
22:55:10 MichaelSchur: My brain hurts.
22:55:38 MichaelSchur: Jen has something to say about “Lost.” Thanks to officelover’s quote
22:55:50 tanster: that it’s a good promotion?
22:56:04 MichaelSchur: She’s now somehow put on boxing gloves and is pounding on a toy piano.
22:56:14 tanster: talented!
22:56:17 [Disconnect] KKras (GMMR)
22:56:19 MichaelSchur: I am slowly guiding her back to the computer.
22:56:25 MichaelSchur: KKras! We hardly knew ye.
22:56:36 MichaelSchur: Nice.
22:56:38 MichaelSchur: Welcome back.
22:56:51 CH: we’ll just get together as fans and film a poorly-acted Christmas ep for youtube. I nominate Mosby to play Michael.
22:57:05 KKras (GMMR): Thanks. Damn internet.
22:57:07 JenCelotta: Officelover, – we learned recently that Lost only airs once on tv and then their episodes go right to streaming online with ads. So, writers, actors, directors used to make a residual for the repeat — a part of their calculated salary — and now they get nothing. But there are ads on these online episodes, so it’s all very unfair.


  1. I happened to pop into the chat for the last 60 seconds of their visit. Soooo bummed that I missed most of it, but I’m glad that Mike felt so positive about it. For the brief bit I saw, there was a lot of mutual thanks and support going around.

    Go writers!

  2. Being in the chat room with Mike and Jen was an amazing experience. They were friendly, informative, and hilarious! No one can question their commitment to the fans, and I actually feel a little better about the whole situation with the strike after the chat. Thanks Tanster!

  3. Damn! I always seem to miss when the stars come in!

    Well sounds like you guys had a great time and I am looking forward to the transcript.

  4. Just like stephanie said, it was an awesome experience to be in the chat room with them and I came away with feeling better about the strike and the hope that because of the way things have changed in the last 20 years the strike hopefully won’t go on as long as the one in 1988.

  5. Man, stuff like this is why I love The Office so much! The cast/crew have always been so amazing to their fans, and you’d think that that would lessen because of the strike. But they’re actually establishing even more of a connection!

    Can’t wait to see the transcript!

  6. When I signed in, I seriously didn’t even see that Michael and Jen were in there. I thought “uh oh .. why am I being moderated?” Then I finally got that 2 of the best writers in Hollywood were in the OTCR! (PS I am a huge fan of Michael Schur!)

    But talking to them really reassured me (and I’m sure a lot of others) that this is all going to turn out okay. We just all hope this gets resolved soon!

  7. Another opportunity to chat with Office people wasted! Curse you,and your lateness Pacific Standard Time!!!

  8. I know that there will be a transcript posted, but is there someone who was in the chat that can give us a short summary of what was said (especially about the future of the show)?

  9. It was amazing being in the chat last night, even if it was only for the last half hour. All of the people involved with the show are truly great people and its the little things like this that shows that they really do care about the fans. No wonder The Office fandom is what it is.

    On a sidenote, I was as giddy as a little girl that Mike acknowledged me and answered my question.

    Thanks, tanster, for having this awesome site that allows us normal folk to interract with these people.

  10. Can’t wait to read it.

    Glad you got some positive strike vibes from them, Stephanie.

  11. Wow!! I’m sorry I missed it – but this is one of the many (!) reasons this site rocks so much!! You rock Tanster!!

  12. Michael and Jen were wonderful! They were candid with us, which I really appreciated. They were very serious in answering our questions thoroughly, but they also had lovely senses of humor. Thanks so much Tanster (and Mike and Jen of course)!

  13. They’re awesome. All the more reason to continue our support – they truly know how to treat their fans!

  14. Thank you to Tanster, Mike and Jen for a great time in the OTCR last night! It was very informative to learn more about what’s going on with the strike and of course so amazing to be able to chat with both of them. And of course they were both so funny even in just an online chat! All the folks associated with The Office are truly the best people in the business.

  15. I’m going to second, third, a millionth the statements that have been made. I again am amazing and thankful at how personal and thoughtful that cast and crew are to us the fans. In a time and situation like this that they want and will keep us fans informed is amazing! All I have to say is “No Other Show” would do this! Thanks Mike and Jen for making me laugh and I support the WGA!!!

  16. I mimic earlier comments about anyone in the chat room who can give a brief summary about what was said. Just to tide us over…. like about the FUTURE of the show! Someone please…

  17. I just wanted to add…on Jenna Fischer’s website, she also says that the next (unfilmed) episode was likely to have been the funniest of the season, and that it involved Jim and Pam going to Michael’s.

  18. Wow, just wow. I’m behind them even more now (if that is even possible) they are so great, I wish I would have stopped into the OT chat room like I had planned. Darnit! I hope they come back soon, especially for the laughs, since we are going to need them. Also… it’s Office thursday people, lets get excited! We only have one more week left. (for now)

  19. Informative and hilarious. I love these people. I hope I’m around for the next one. Thanks for the transcript, Tanster!

  20. Wow, thank you so much for hosting and transcribing this discussion! I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of freaking out about this whole thing. It seemed like we were getting vague if not contradictory information from every direction, and this really did clear up a lot of questions I had. Very informative, and I feel a lot better now. Mike and Jen are amazing for thinking of the fans at this time and making an effort to keep the communication going. They make it seem possible that the hoards of fans on the internet and elsewhere can really effect the speed and occurrence of a resolution. I hope things work out for the WGA, and soon!

  21. Thank you for the transcript, tanster. Like everyone else here, I support the strike 100%. If it weren’t for writers, what would the studios have? The pay they get from DVD sales is pathetic, and it’s ridiculous that the studios would lie and say they don’t know how much they’ll make off of new media. I hope the strike doesn’t last too long, but I hope they get everything they deserve in the end.

    (And thanks for this fantastic site, tanster. I’m a first-time poster, but long-time lurker.)

  22. Thanks so much for posting the transcript! I’m sick I missed it but it was so completely awesome that they came into the room and answered questions and gave some good laughs! What an amazing group of people they are! I am 110% behind them. I hope they get what they deserve.

    Thanks for the updates and again thanks for all you do Tanster!! :)

  23. This started pretty much 10-15 minutes after I left the chat….that’ll teach me to go off the Internet before 10 PM.

  24. I heart everything about this show/staff/etc. Call to arms sounds great. Tell me what to do and I will follow. Like that dwarf from Lord of the Rings…

  25. I’m so sorry I missed this! Must participate in the OTCR more often.

    Thank you so much for stopping by Michael and Jen!

  26. Hey (side note) everyone make sure you get everyone to turn on their TVs to The Office tonight for sure, no watching online later, no relying only on Tivo, we need to make sure the ratings are crazy high for these last two episodes so the “studios” know what they will be missing when we all turn our TVs off.

    Though, have we figured out whether we should turn off for reruns? Or only for other crap TV.

  27. I get the impression from this blog that the strike is going to last a long while and just because of the studios. The studios will move when they start losing money and because several shows have episodes in the can through the new year, looks like it’ll be a long time before they start hurting. There are so many reruns and reality shows that people can watch.

  28. It sucks that we aren’t getting new eps probably any time soon, but I’m behind these guys 100%. After all the ads I had to watch on NBC.com with their great webisodes and deleted scenes, the writers deserve a cut for the awesome writing they’ve done.

  29. Is it possible to love these people any more than we already do? If I didn’t live 700 miles away and didn’t have a family to care for, I’d be on the picket line with them!!

  30. Thank you Tanster!
    I usually just lurk in the shadows, but I figured if I’m writing to NBC I would be brave and write here too.
    Actually I am excited to hear that Denise is from Omaha, NE! Me too!!!

  31. Thanks, everybody, but I have to give credit where credit is due: Mike contacted me and asked to do the chat. This was Mike’s idea from the get-go.

    So if you have any doubts as to whether The Office staff really cares about its fans, I hope they’re all erased now. :)

  32. Tanster – thanks for letting us know. As if we didn’t love The Office staff so much already, knowing that Mike initiated the chat makes us love them more. It’s amazing that Mike and Jen thought of the fans and our reaction to everything going on when they have had such a difficult week. The show itself is the most entertaining show on TV, but knowing that such great people are involved with it makes it truly a great show, and they definitely deserve all our support.

  33. Tanster, I know that I said I didn’t think I could love these people anymore. But knowing now that Mike and Jen approached you first just sent me over the edge! Runs to write more postcards till my hand falls off.

  34. I, for one, will be working on my letters when I get back into town. Thanks to Mike and Jen for the chat last night (and tanster for hosting). It was very informative and funny. I just don’t understand how the networks can be so greedy as to not want to give residuals to those creating the show. Without them, there would be no shows.

  35. This is seriously amazing. No other cast, crew, writers on any other show would do this. They make us feel like we are actual people who love the show and not just crazy fans (even though inside we all freak out and squee sometimes) lol but seriously, this is incredible and I fully support the writers through all this and I just love everything about the office and I love this site. Ok, I’ll stop rambling hehe. :)

  36. It would be neat if after this is all over that Dunder Mifflin goes on a strike.

    Also, One thing I would like to know, that was kind of touched on, do writers get paid per script, a salary for the year even if they don’t write an episode and are on staff or are they contracted to product a certain amount of scripts?

  37. My children just missed getting lunch because I had to read this entire transcript.

    Amazing. Just amazing.

    Makes me love The Office even more (is that even possible????!)

  38. Amazing. I really hope they get a fair deal!

    My letters are in the mail right after work finishes!

  39. Wow!! This is just amazing! I didn’t think I could love these guys anymore than I did until now. That was very informative. Thanks so much tanster for the transcript. I appreciate everything you do!

    (p.s. How do I get the chat to work for me? I click the link for it and a new window with nothing but a red X pops up. Thanks.)

  40. I’ve never really written a letter in support of any political cause, etc., and other than adopting my animals from shelters I’ve never really supported a serious cause either. (Although I do enjoy a 5K “Fun Run” now and again.) But for some reason I feel that this is important and kind of personal (does that make me pathetic?) so my letter is written, stamped, and in the mail this afternoon.

  41. Hey tanster, maybe we could have some kind of letter-writing challenge? I don’t know exactly how that would work, but people could set goals of writing, I don’t know, a letter a week until the strike is over or something.

  42. That was great thank you so much Tanster, Mike, Jen and all those who asked great questions!
    #46 – I agree, I didn’t know it was possible to love it more… but I’m pretty sure I do now!

    and side note to Denise (ddker) – I’m from Omaha too! :)

  43. ok, it is really hard to not love those two!! they’re so intelligent and witty, they definitely answered a lot of my questions. go writers!!!!

    i think turning off the reruns would be a good idea, lets stick with our dvds for now (even though they only get 4 cents from them :-( )

  44. I think the best part of this strike (if there is a best part) is that the internet, the mode by which the studios are cheating their writers, actors etc, is actually the main means by which the writers are getting their message across, and will hopefully result in their triumph at the end of all this. I think thats something we should all try to incorporate in our letters…if this media is so “New” then how is it working better than any other medium to rally the American People?

  45. Same, Matt, all of the letters I wrote last night and today in school are getting mailed today. Everyone – send mail to NBC and the other studios. It really will influence them!

  46. My letter’s going out tomorrow. I’m so proud of it.

    It was great to see how honestly and genuinely passionate Michael and Jen were. Made me proud to be a fan.

  47. It’s just a vicious circle! I feel guilty because after no more iTunes episodes, I was FORCED to watch it online, and now I know what it was costing me. It’s so hard because I only want to see the show and the brilliant writing again and again and now there won’t be any brilliant writing for a long time beCAUSE I watched it again and again.

  48. Thank you so much for posting the transcript! I was just getting ready to send email to find out about how best to support the writers and everyone on the show. I will do whatever I can to help. The Office is by far the best written and funniest show on TV – it is a great example of what there should be more of. Go Writers!

  49. PS-I was lucky enough to go to the convention in Scranton. Unfortunately, that meant I missed that Thurs epi as I was travelling. I talked to my BF & he said how funny the show was so I was dying to watch & was so bummed by NBC & all the commercials it forces you watch. Then, to top it off, the video was stuck where Pam is sleeping on her computer–I could not see the ending!Ugh! I finally went to Amazon.com & bought the epi/season so I could watch it in entirety. Is this bad? Should I cancel my subscription?

  50. Thanks Mike and Jen. Best of luck to the whole WGA. I’ll miss The Office during the strike, but you can be sure that when you’re back writing, I’ll be back watching. Keep in touch.

  51. Thanks Tanster! That was the most informative transcript I have ever read. The writers are awesome to keep us informed. Thank you for posting all the links to various blogs and videos about the strike, and keeping us up to date. The Office is the only TV show I watch, and I hate that the show has stopped production. I pray it’s only temporary, and the WGA WINS!

  52. I just want to say that when I read, “Jen’s on the computer/Which means she’s actually screaming at a picture frame”, I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. Thanks Tanster for posting this.

  53. Wow. These people are insanely amazing. I fully support them in anything they do. In the of Michael Scott: “Follow them blindly.” You guys rock, completely ant totally. Thanks Tanster, our fearless leader.

  54. Thanks for posting this tanster. This was very informative, and the part about Lost was very eye-opening.

  55. John Aboud at the United Hollywood blog links to the OTCR chat and refers to Mike Schur saying that Steve’s quote was actually his (John’s). John says that it actually was not him that said it but that the “account was sent to [John] by a source who attended a Guild debrief meeting and added that we wished Carell ‘a slow recovery.'” He also says that this quote is now “America’s favorite urban legend.”

    [from tanster: OT is proud to help perpetuate this urban legend. :) ]

  56. Before The Office came along, I thought Hollywood was all the same. But, because of how amazingly down-to-earth all the cast/producers/writers of The Office have been, I have a totally different way of looking at it now.

    They truly are one in a trabillion. I support them 100%

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