Randy Shemanski’s story, Electric City, December 10, 2009
The Office: Inside Scoop
Fans of The Office are used to seeing references, landmarks and other items from our area just about every week. So it was no surprise when keen eyes noticed a copy of The Scranton Times from 10 years ago that appeared during the Dec. 3 episode, “Scott’s Tots.”
In the episode, Michael Scott had promised 10 years ago that he would pay college tuition for the students in a third grade class. Now, the class was approaching graduation and wanted to thank him for his generosity.
Of course, Stanley kept a copy of the paper from 10 years ago with a story about Michael’s promise, which is where The Scranton Times — and electric city — come in.
In early October, the show’s prop master, Phil Shea, contacted us for a copy of The Scranton Times from 10 years ago. After looking at the front page and the front of the Local section, they asked for a copy of the Local section with one significant change — they wanted a story about Michael placed at the bottom of the page.
I was tasked with redesigning the page, thanks to my days working in the newsroom for The Scranton Times and The Times-Tribune. The writers at the show wrote the story, but didn’t provide a name for the writer. So I plugged my name in with Shea’s approval. After numerous revisions (see the finished product below), he and I settled on a completed product.
I had no idea if the paper would even make it past the cutting room floor, but when I found out the episode was going to air, I dropped a quick note to Phil asking if he knew anything. He called back about 30 minutes later to tell me that the paper did indeed make the show.
So, even though it wasn’t the electric city logo appearing in the show — as it has many times before — we still played a big role in the episode.
— Randy Shemanski