September 30, 2010: Linda Purl’s staff
Linda is back on the Office this season for a couple episodes, first one Oct 14 and the other Nov 4th.
The buzz around the Dunder Mifflin watercooler is that Heroes vet Jack Coleman is nearing a deal to guest-star in an upcoming episode of The Office.
The Dynasty alum would play a government official who possesses a “Jon Hamm-esque wholesomeness,” per a source. No other details were available.
September 24, 2010: NBC
Summary for the October 14 episode ‘Sex Ed’:
MICHAEL CONTACTS ALL HIS EX-GIRLFRIENDS—AMY RYAN (“Gone Baby Gone”), MELORA HARDIN (“Monk”), NANCY CARELL (“Saturday Night Live”), AMY PIETZ (“Caroline in the City”) AND LINDA PURL (“First Monday”) GUEST STAR—Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell), believing he has herpes, contacts all his ex-girlfriends, including Jan (guest star Melora Hardin) and Holly (guest star Amy Ryan). Andy (Ed Helms) tries to play on Erin’s (Ellie Kemper) compassionate side by holding a sex education meeting for the office. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Craig Robinson and Zach Woods also star.
Craig Robinson: a band will be formed and there’s some silliness in play there. Darryl’s joining a band with Andy. It was a lot of fun jamming.
B.J. Novak: we have a farewell tour for Michael Scott, with all his office family working out all the things you’ve always wanted to see him work out. All the office relationships are reaching explosive moments early in the season. We see more emotion out of Dwight. We see maybe too much of Andy’s singing. Andy forms a band with Kevin and Darryl. And we see a couple of their songs including “Bullfrog In Love.” Ryan is moving out of his mom’s house and into his dad’s house. Dwight buying the building is the best thing to ever happen to Jim.
Ed Helms: Andy plays the part of Anthony in “Sweeney Todd.” We do not pre-record our music and then lip sync in the episode. It doesn’t sound as good, but it’s better in a way.
Brian Baumgartner: Kevin has some exciting storylines this fall, including and leading up to the Halloween episode. He develops a unique and different relationship with Andy. Michael gets into some trouble with Sabre and Jo Bennett.
Excerpt from an interview with Angela Kinsey:
The Wall Street Journal: What’s going to happen to your character on “The Office” this season?
Angela Kinsey: She’s really trying to hold Dwight to this procreation contract. And they have this whole system with this contract, I’ve got a punch card he’s got to punch for how many times I get to procreate with him. It’s really awkward and ridiculous and awesome. Rainn [Wilson] and I are having a lot of fun with it. I think that she’s really determined to win him back and is excited about having a child with Dwight, so we’ll see how that plays out.
Excerpts from an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
“Holly comes back around the middle of the season. Toby will go off on jury duty, on the jury of the Scranton Strangler who strangles people within an inch of their life, but doesn’t kill them. And that’s when Jo (Kathy Bates) comes through and brings Holly back.” And a happy reunion it’s not. “She’s in a serious relationship back in Nashua, so she’s not thrilled to be back,” he tells us.
“We’ll see the baby sometimes. We’re going to a christening, and they’re going to get a babysitter and try out Erin (Ellie Kemper) at some point. We don’t ignore the fact that she’s there, but for the most part we’re getting back to fun Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) playing pranks on Dwight (Rainn Wilson).”
“Angela (Angela Kinsey) is much more interested than Dwight,” explains Paul. “Dwight was the one who ended their relationship. And now she’s got five contractual agreements that she’s using as a way to get Dwight back. Angela’s got a plan, and we see her plan play out in the fall.”
“[Timothy Olyphant]’s coming in as Danny Cordray, a salesman,” Paul reveals. “He and Pam went on a couple of dates while Jim was dating Karen, but it’s not that he’s a threat, because there’s no real threat to Jim and Pam. It’s just not fun.” Sigh. At least Tim will look pretty while trying to bring down Jam. “He’s a slick charmer who can make anybody like him. But he’s a competitor of Dunder Mifflin.” Paul adds that as of now, Tim is set for two eps, but they’re hoping he’ll stick around for more.
Excerpts from an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
Before talk can really begin about who will take over for Carell next year, the biggest question is how his character will exit. Michael’s departure won’t be addressed until much later in the season, but viewers will see growth for the character.
Michael won’t be the only one experiencing problems at work. Lieberstein says Pam (Jenna Fischer) will find a way to branch outside of sales, while hubby Jim (John Krasinski) will go through an identity crisis of sorts.
“He’s always been kind of a slacker. The only thing he ever wanted was Pam, but all of a sudden, he’s a guy in his 30s now with a kid, and it’s time for him to pursue his dreams,” he says. “He never intended to spend his whole life in this office selling paper and if he doesn’t act soon, he will.”
Above all, Lieberstein says he’s most excited for this season’s more self-contained episodes. This return to what he calls “classic Office” also includes — yes! — another Dundies ceremony and returning guest stars such as Melora Hardin and David Koechner.
Question: Scoop on Amy Ryan’s return to The Office? —Pete
Ausiello: Her first in-the-flesh appearance will be in the Christmas episode when Holly is transferred back to Scranton to sub for Toby, who’s on jury duty. Mindy Kaling is penning the special hourlong episode and Rainn Wilson is serving as director, which I think means craft services turns into a makeshift bar that week.
Excerpts from an article about The Office:
The first half of the season, according to [Paul] Lieberstein, will be “a celebration of Michael Scott.” Because there’s now an end in sight, the writers have been given carte blanche to explore some real character growth for the often-clueless Michael. For instance, an early episode will find him attending counseling sessions with arch-nemesis Toby, who is played by Mr. Lieberstein.
Later in the fall, Michael will come down with a cold sore he’s convinced is herpes. As a result, he contacts all of the women he’s been with over the past several years, including the unhinged Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) and potential soulmate Holly Flax (Amy Ryan).
The second half of the year will be devoted to the search for Michael’s replacement.
Also early on in the season: Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) will have daughter Cecilia baptized; Andy (Ed Helms) will land a featured role in a community theater production of “Sweeny Todd,” while his ex, Erin (Ellie Kemper), will start a new relationship; the gang will get together for a “Glee” viewing party; and actor Timothy Olyphant (“Deadwood,” “Justified”) will guest star as a salesman from a rival company who also happens to be Pam’s ex-boyfriend.
Meanwhile, the ever-colorful Dwight (Rainn Wilson) will dive into his new role as owner of the Scranton Office Park building; be pursued by baby-crazy Angela (Angela Martin) and dress up for Halloween as the infamous Scranton Strangler.
“The thing about (the Scranton Strangler) is he strangles people, but he doesn’t kill them,” Mr. Lieberstein said with a laugh.
September 21, 2010: Rainn Wilson
In a story about Mindy Kaling:
[Mindy’s] Office contract is up this year, at the same time as Steve Carell’s. “This isn’t some big scoop or anything, but I can see this season being my last. Right now, I’m hankering for new adventures…”
September 17, 2010: NBC
Summary for ‘Andy’s Play’ airing October 7:
ANDY TRIES TO IMPRESS ERIN AT HIS LOCAL PLAY — Andy (Ed Helms) invites the entire office to his community theater production of Sweeney Todd in hopes that Erin (Ellie Kemper) will attend. Michael (Steve Carell) tries to put his jealousy aside and enjoy the performance while Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) struggle with their incompetent babysitter. Rainn Wilson, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein, Craig Robinson and Zach Woods also star.
Several clips, including the cold open!
A new clip is shown right before Ellie enters.
September 15, 2010: Mindy Kaling and Mike Schur
Mindy Kaling tweeted: “@KenTremendous everyones talking about your performance in Paul’s episode. The heat is palpable.”
Mike Schur responded: “@mindykaling Maybe if it is well-received I can pursue my dream of being a silent film actor.”
Excerpt from an interview with Amy Ryan:
Are you coming back to The Office?
Ryan: I’m going to L.A. in a month to do a few more episodes. It’s Steve Carell’s last season. We left off where she was transferred to New Hampshire and couldn’t do a long-distance relationship.
September 10, 2010: NBC
Summary of the September 30 episode, ‘Counseling’:
MICHAEL IS FORCED INTO COUNSELING—Corporate assigns Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) to counseling with Toby (Paul Lieberstein). Dwight (Rainn Wilson) vows revenge on the Steamtown Mall after a shop owner snubs him. Meanwhile, Pam (Jenna Fischer) conspires to change her job title. John Krasinski, Ed Helms, B.J.Novak, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, Craig Robinson and Zach Woods also star.
September 10, 2010: Mindy Kaling
Recent tweets from Mindy:
Sept 9: “I’m directing tomorrow. Gonna pink tracksuit it up.”
Sept 10: “Supervising gory blood spatters on set. It’s not Dexter, it’s not True Blood, it’s The Office.”
EW has learned from multiple sources that Tim Allen (“Home Improvement”) is looking to stage a return to prime time — as long as it involves the right project.
“It will be huge,” predicts one manager of Allen’s comeback — if and when it happens. Another source indicated that the actor is taking “a few select meetings” with writer-producers, one of whom may include Greg Daniels (“Parks & Recreation,” “The Office”). Is there a chance that Allen could even join the staff of Dunder-Mifflin?
One question being mulled by “Office” writers is whether those two roles — the new star of the show and the new boss of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch — are going to be the same person.
Here’s the current plan: The first half of the season will celebrate Carell’s final year and highlight different actors on the show, potential heirs to the throne. It’s not entirely unlike the way “Lost” would bring a different character to the forefront of each episode.
For instance, one episode this fall will highlight Andy (Ed Helms), who’s starring in a Scranton community theater production of “Sweeney Todd.” Another will have Darryl (Craig Robinson) going over Michael’s head on a matter to corporate and will showcase the character’s ambitious side. An episode will detail Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) getting their baby baptized. Still another will give Toby (Paul Lieberstein) some focus when Michael is forced to attend mandatory counseling with his HR nemesis.
The second half of the season will be devoted to Michael leaving and who his replacement will be. In the spring, NBC expects to launch some online tie-ins — polls and so forth — trying to increase fan speculation about who should replace Michael.
By season’s end, one character will have Scott’s job — but that person is not necessarily Carell’s replacement as the show’s star. Sources say writers are tempted to have the character who becomes the Scranton branch’s new boss fail in some spectacular manner, leaving the seat open again for another successor during Season 8.
One radical notion being explored is the possibility of subtly shifting the show’s point of view so that a current character is the star instead of the boss.
Production is six episodes into shooting the new season.
September 7, 2010: Mindy Kaling
Mindy tweeted today: “Breaking Michael’s last Christmas episode. Very sad.”
September 7, 2010: David Koechner’s wife
David Koechner’s (“Todd Packer”) wife tweeted on Sept. 1: “dave is shooting an episode of the office this week. it is my sister’s favorite show. taking her to set for her b day. she is so excited.”
September 3, 2010: NBC
Here’s the official summary of ‘Nepotism’ airing Sept. 23:
MICHAEL HIRES A NEW OFFICE ASSISTANT AND CAUSES OUTRAGE IN THE OFFICE — KATHY BATES (“Valentines Day,” “The Blind Side”) AND EVAN PETERS (“One Tree Hill,” “Kick Ass”) GUEST STAR — Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) refuses to fire the new office assistant (guest star Evan Peters) after everyone complains about his bad attitude. Andy (Ed Helms) plays it cool after Erin (Ellie Kemper) shows interest in another man. Meanwhile, Pam (Jenna Fischer) tries to impress Jim (John Krasinski) by pulling an office prank of her own. Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Craig Robinson, Rainn Wilson, and Zach Woods also star.
Excerpts from an interview with Jenna Fischer:
“Pam gets a new job this year,” Fischer revealed. “She ends up sort of taking a new position in the office. I don’t want to give away too much. Some of that revolves around her desire to be a little bit more available to her family and also have an easier job. So she manages to finagle a new position at work.”
And fans of Pam and Jim (John Krasinki)’s bundle of joy will be seeing a lot more of her.
“So far she’s been in three of our first seven episodes,” Fischer said.
September 2, 2010: Mindy Kaling
Mindy tweeted today: “Bad romance. Halloween episode! Get siked guys, costumes, guest stars, and great prop food.”
Question: Any chance Steve Carell might change his mind and stick with The Office for another year? —Sandra
Ausiello: There was a chance, but that ship has long since sailed, according to exec producer Greg Daniels. “We held out a lot of hope at the beginning of the year when it was first coming out that [Steve] might leave,” he tells me. “We didn’t comment on it at the time because we were making a last-ditch effort.” But Carell stuck to his guns, and, at this point, Daniels does not anticipate an 11th hour reversal. “Steve doesn’t play a lot of games. He said what he wants to [leave] and he’s doing it in a very classy, typical-Steve fashion. I’m 100 percent confident it’s not some kind of ploy. He gave us plenty of lead time to really construct a great exit for him as well as a great ongoing storyline for other people.”