The Office goes green Nov. 8

From an NBC press release:

NBC Entertainment programming, both scripted and unscripted, will adopt green-friendly and environmentally-oriented messages – across all dayparts – to promote the crucial issue of ecological awareness. Among NBC’s many programs to feature this content will be the entire Thursday night line-up, including the Emmy Award-winning comedy “The Office,” “My Name is Earl” and “30 Rock,” the hit drama “Heroes” and “Deal or No Deal.”

Shoot. That was a spoiler, wasn’t it?


Tipster: Sara


  1. well you kind of got to ask about ulterior motives since Universal is owned by General Electric

  2. I’m pretty sure that someone will probably be driving a hybrid this coming season. Green is great! Especially Northern Lights Cannibus Indica. :)

  3. Since they live two blocks from each other, maybe Jim and Karen will start carpooling…with sexy results!

  4. I’m all for improving the environment and stopping global warming and all that, but I like my fictional television to be free of “very special messages.” I’m sure they’ll be clever about it and all, but really, come on.

  5. Great point smartone. I was thinking about that when they aired Live Earth on all of the NBC-owned stations. Maybe Michael will think being environmentally conscious is “cool” and make everyone be environmentally friendly. Kind of making fun of it but then it will actually work. It will be interesting since Scranton is also the “Electric City” and is basically surrounded by coal. I’m trying not to be cynical about it, but we’ll see!

  6. NBC should stay out of the show. Hopefully 30 Rock will make fun of meddling like this.

  7. Hopefully, NBC doesn’t push their agenda so far that it has a noticeable effect on the episode. I don’t mind green thinking, I just don’t like it when NBC dictates what the writers should write. I like Joseph’s thinking- maybe if they mention recycled paper, it will be enough.

  8. Cool! I know it’s only a little bit, but it’s really about getting the word out. I’ve actually emailed people at NBC about using instead compostable take out food containers instead of polystyrene that clogs up oceans and doesn’t biodegrade. I’m glad The Office is going to do something, too and I can’t wait to see what it is.

  9. Anytime this kinda thing worries me I think of AD’s handling of Burger King adverts in “Motherboy XXX” and I feel comforted.

  10. I really hope they mock it. It wouldn’t be funny if they didn’t.

  11. True Question (#7) – you took the words right out of my mouth. I’m not anti-environment or anything, but i agree completely.

  12. argh this kind of pointless gesture is irritating- who honestly thinks that ppl are going to watch an nbc comedy and think ‘wow, maybe it IS cool to recycle.’ i’m sorry, but if anyone is taking their lifestyle cues from michael scott, they have bigger problems than climate change.

  13. I don’t think it a bad thing at all. I seriously doubt its going to affect the content of the show in any way. At the very least, it’ll be fun to see how they approach the subject.

  14. Does this mean that Dwight will be getting a hybrid Trans-Am? Maybe one that runs on some sort of beet-derived ethanol? I would love to see Michael make some desperate, ridiculous attempt to turn Dunder Mifflin into a paperless office because he saw Cameron Diaz say paper was bad in a press junket for “Charlie’s Angels 3”.

  15. i bet michael will have a “green day” or something and make everyone be all organic or something, and somehow have it ruined in the end.

  16. hmmm..I don’t know how I feel about this. I hope they don’t make it obvious that they are taking a stand. It is a good thing to support, but I want mockery. A lot of it. Especially from Michael Scott, he probably doesn’t even know what the o-zone layer is. hehe.

  17. Ugh. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this is pretty ridiculous. Personally, I’ve had about enough of the preaching from corporate entertainment. I don’t want a lesson, I want to laugh.

  18. I think it’s great NBC is doing this. The environmental awareness messages might seem out of place on some shows (e.g., Deal Or No Deal), but with The Office there are a ton of things they could do that would make sense. It could be something as simple as the branch getting a list from corporate of things they need to do to reduce their energy usage to save money, and as a side benefit also reduces their carbon footprint. A scenario like that is so realistic that, rewatching the episode in a few years on DVD, we might even forget it was originally part of an environmental awareness week. For example, I think it could be quite entertaining if Gene & Lee reprised their roles as Vance Refrigeration employees, and they replaced the refrigerator in the kitchen with one that’s more energy efficient, or something like that.

    zorro (#11) – Using the phrase “climate change” in place of “global warming” was the brainchild of Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster / language crafter. He was also behind Bush’s ineptly named “Healthy Forests” & “Clear Skies” initiatives. Since then, Luntz has changed his position, and he now accepts the evidence for anthropogenic global warming.

  19. I think we’re forgetting the easiest part of this — Dunder Mifflin is a paper company! So it could be as simple as Ryan talking about making the office paper free [a paper-free paper office?] or Dwight and Jim competing to see who can push the most recycled paper in a day. There is so much they can do with the paper issue and make it such an easy transition that we may not even remember it’s eco-green week because it fits so well with The Office setting.

  20. The more I think about this, the more it makes me roll my eyes. I truly hope “The Office” writers/producers had no choice but to play ‘Follow The Network Leaders’…

    I guess I’ll accept it with scoffing because it’s just the cause of the day but the second Michael Scott starts lecturing me on universal healthcare or the Fairness Doctrine, “The Office” can find a new fan.

  21. Ken #20 – Don’t forget that real business is done on paper. I learned that from a guest lecturer in Business School.

    I think this is actually a great idea. If the rumors about season 4 are true, then this will probably be a launching pad for Ryan’s Dunder-Mifflin Infinity project. One thing that has always bothered me about the show is the amount of paper products that are used. I know how much we go through in my office, and I’m sure they recycle (I hope!), but it seems like a such waste when it’s only being used to create an image. I’m thinking this is also a great chance for Michael to change all the lightbulbs to energy saving ones.

  22. Zorro you make an excellent point. And your pitch of the episode is exactly the way I think The Office should take on a subject like this.

  23. Me likey the zorro.

    You’re absolutely right about the direction this can take. But I suppose this is to be expected, what with the ‘mass persuasion campaign’ Al Gore has launched.

  24. Yikes! What’s with all the distrust of the Office writers? When have they done us wrong before?

    I think its another hilarious way for Michael to jump on the trend-bandwagon — as usual, a few months behind everyone else (can we say “My Humps” ringtone??). I don’t think it has anything to do with politics…

  25. I have faith in the writers and doubt it will detract from the quality of the show, but I am in agreement with the other posters in saying this sets a bad precedent. The idea of the wasteful, decadent entertainment industry lecturing us about conservation is ridiculous. I think zorro’s idea is great. It would be interesting to see what happens if the writers present an idea like this. Will the network allow it?

  26. you know what would be funny? if michael does see live 8 or another message urging us to “go green” and michael takes the literal meaning and makes everyone wear green and have a green little office themed party, and then there would be little cuts and jabs by jim and pam at michael and his stupidity

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