Excerpts from IGN’s interview with Paul Lieberstein:
Paul Lieberstein: I would say we have most of the season mapped out.
IGN: I’m excited Holly’s coming back, as I’m sure Michael is. But how will that go? Obviously, she was in a relationship the last time we saw her.
Lieberstein: Yeah, I don’t think she’s psyched to be brought back… [Laughs] Which will be news to Michael. We’re very excited about her coming back. We have her arc, and yeah, she’ll be an instrumental part in what happens to Michael Scott that might work into him leaving… But not the only part.
IGN: We’ve also heard that Jan is coming back.
Lieberstein: She initially just comes back in an episode where Michael comes in with a pimple, and learns it’s a cold sore. He finds out a cold sore is actually herpes, and he thinks he has to contact every woman he’s ever been with. And he’ll learn now where she is in her life, and it’ll… I won’t tell you more about it.
Lieberstein: Jim will be a little more playful this year. There’s an idea that he might cap out in sales fairly early — commissions — and have nothing to do but goof around. We missed the pranky Jim. He’s so much fun.
IGN: I feel like Dwight owning the building might give Jim some ammunition. Would I be right about that?
Lieberstein: Absolutely. That’s been really fertile.
IGN: We’ve also had the relationship with Andy and Erin. That had its ups and downs. How are things going this year?
Lieberstein: I think we’ll start the season off with kind of a twist there. But we continue to explore their relationship.
IGN: How is Toby going to be affected by Holly coming back? That seems like one too many HR people.
Lieberstein: I don’t have it totally worked out yet. It might be jury duty. I think they might catch the Scranton Strangler so there’ll be some jury duty. B
IGN: Kathy Bates has her own show now, Harry’s Law. Do you know how much we’ll be seeing her this season?
Lieberstein: We’ve been told that she likes the show and would like to make herself available when she is available. We have her for the premiere. But the truth is, the hour-long is a grueling schedule. I think it’s a nine-day shoot for an episode, and she’s the star. So I don’t think she’ll be able to do much.
August 31, 2010: Watch With Kristin
Stephen in Tolcua Lake, Calif.: What’s up with Timothy Olyphant’s guest role on The Office? I’m so excited for his episode!
You mean his episodes! Plural. Well, they hope. “He has been the most wonderful guest star ever, and I think we’re going to try to have him again later in the season,” Mindy Kaling says to us. “He’s incredible, and in the episode he plays this charismatic salesman that used to date Pam and had a couple dates with [her]. He is so incredibly funny.” As for Kelly’s love life, Mindy tells us that she will continue a “dysfunctional holding pattern” with Ryan, but to look forward to a “couple cute stories coming up” between the two.
From Jenna’s MySpace blog today:
“We are shooting the Halloween episode this week! Very fun!”
Various tweets from Mindy Kaling’s Twitter feed:
Aug. 30: “Tim Olyphant is named Danny on our show, after my friend @dannychun.”
Aug. 27: “Day 5 of the Olyphant Experience.”
Aug. 16: “Doing a table read of my silliest, favorite-est script yet. “Deadwood” and “Justified” star Timothy Olyphant is in it. BIG LEAGUES YOU GUYS”
Boris in Ore.: What have you heard about Andy and Erin’s relationship on The Office this season?
Sorry to burst the bubble of any Andin shippers out there, but these two are still dunzo. “Andy is on his own journey,” Ellie Kemper said at the Emmys. “Andy’s focusing on other things, acting — he’s in community theater, a show-stopping number in a show stopper of a show.” So will Erin’s ex-beau take on her rumored new beau Gabe (played to perfection by newcomer Zac Woods)? “No fist fights,” said Ellie. But Zac put it more hilariously: “If the statement is ‘I don’t know who would win in a fight between you and…’ regardless of who the other person is, I would lose. I’m jacked, but my Herculean frame is deceptive.”
Excerpts from Michael Ausiello’s interview with Melora Hardin:
Melora: I’m back!
Ausiello: You haven’t shot it yet, have you?
Melora: Yeah, I have. We’ve shot one.
Melora: Jan is a little bit back to her old self. She’s not quite as quirky and wacky as she was when we left her. A little more like Season 2 Jan rather than Season 6 Jan.
Ausiello: Is she attached to a man?
Melora: We haven’t found out yet.
Ausiello: But you’re doing more than one episode, right?
Melora: Yes I am. I’m doing an arc.
Tipsters: Matt, Anthony C.
August 26, 2010: NBC.com
The Office is currently scheduled to shoot 25 half-hours for Season 7 (subject to change). This is one fewer half-hour than Season 6.
Question: Many fans of The Office are concerned that Pam dated Timothy Olyphant’s character post-Roy and pre-Jim. Is this the case? Is Jim just finding out about it now? —Matt
Ausiello: Yes to all of the above! According to executive producer Paul Lieberstein, Pam dated Olyphant while Jim was with Karen. “Everyone in the office makes a big deal of it, and we get into Jim’s jealousy a little bit,” he says. “It bothers him a little.”
Excerpts from TV Squad’s interview with Paul Lieberstein:
… what were scenarios that are absolutely not going to happen?
You mean [Michael Scott’s] exits? Oscar [Nuñez] suggested he’d commit suicide, but we’re not considering that. You know, so much is on the table right now.
I guess for a while we had been talking about firing him, and we were going to do it in a way that nobody would [think of] — that when it finally comes to firing him, it’s about money and it was a business mistake that he’d made. A small business mistake that had blown up. And all his behavior was excused, and everything over the years was excused when the money was right. But as soon as he’s not the earner, he’s out.
So what’s the overarching goal this season? Is it just everything leading up to Steve leaving or are there going to be other pockets of stories that are going to be in there?
There are a few. But I would say we’re a little lighter this year than in past years. And we’re going [with] a little more fun, episodic stuff, but what’s there is [the story where] Dwight has bought the building. And that’s proven really fertile. [I feel like] we’ve got some fun stuff. And then we explore Dwight and Angela for a little while. Not too long.
And Holly coming back too, right?
When are we first going to see Amy Adams come back?
You know I always do that, say Amy Adams when I mean Amy Ryan.
We’ve talked about bringing Amy Adams back, too.
When are we going to first see Amy Ryan this season? How many episodes will she be in?
It’s an eight episode arc, though not necessarily consecutive episodes. It won’t be the first group, it’ll be later in the fall.
And it’s basically going to be Jo Bennett bringing her back to help because Michael helped her out.
There are a few different scenarios of how she gets there. We always suspect Jo is doing it, Jo’s behind it. There’s another [scenario] where Jo is on jury duty for the Scranton Strangler.
Who internally would also make a good candidate to replace Mike?
Ed [Helms] and Craig [Robinson].
Craig would be interesting. I like the idea of Craig. Because nobody would expect it, nobody would think it was fair because they just brought him up from the warehouse. Have you talked to Craig about it?
So is it settled now, who’s replacing Steve, and you’re just not telling us?
Not at all. We have plans but we just need something settled. We have to plan for Jim, too. We adjust. Like I said it may take six episodes. Settled is shot to me.
How much are we going to see of Toby this year and what is Michael going to do to make his life miserable?
Michael is going to be sent into mandatory therapy counseling with Toby in the second episode
Oh like couples counseling?
Not couples counseling, Toby will be the counselor.
August 20, 2010
August 20, 2010: L.A. Times
Excerpt from the L.A. Times chat with Jenna Fischer:
Kurt: What are your thoughts on Steve leaving The Office?
Jenna: We have a wonderful plan for his exit. It’s going to be an exciting season!
Rick: will you guys continue the show after steve carell leaves?
Jenna: yes, the show will go on!
Carol: any ideas who will replace him … :(
Jenna: No idea who will replace Steve. That is in the network’s hands. They don’t really consult/talk to us about that.
aj: ive read things where nbc is talking to danny mcbride and rhys darby. what are your opinions about both of them
Jenna: Anything you read is probably not true. It’s all just speculation. No decisions have been made. Seriously. It will probably not be anyone you’ve read about.
Dave: Did you get Friday off or do you have to head back to the set for more filming?
Jenna: Dave – I’m off today. I can concentrate on getting the theater ready for tonight! We still have to hang our banner, get our parking sign, pick up programs…etc. It’s a lot! Today they are shooting scenes with Rainn and Steve on location.
Jenna: The season Premiere is called Nepotism. It’s a great episode. And has the greatest opening ever!!! They had to plan the opening scene for over 3 weeks. It’s very complicated. It took an entire day to shoot just that one scene.
Michael Scott Paper Co.: Can you give u hint about the opening scene?
Jenna: No hints! I don’t want to ruin it. But we love it! And I know it will be a big hit!
Joe: Can you tell when Amy Ryan makes an appearance next season?
Jenna: Her voice makes an appearance in episode 5 I think.
Michael Scott Paper Co.: Jenna, all the winter scenes in the office where you wear winter clothing, is it usually hot during that time or is it actually cold?
Jenna: Yes, in LA it gets VERY hot from August – October. And because we have to shoot in advance, we are shooting for “winter” in a Los Angeles summer. This week I had to shoot a scene in 102 degrees but pretend like it was cold. I sweat through my coat!
Michael Scott Paper Co.: When does shooting wrap up for Season 7?
Jenna: We will shoot until April 2011.
Jenna: Sad Happy Sucker will run for 8 weeks and then we have a short hiatus in November. I’m not sure if I’ll do a movie or just fall sleep for a month!
Question: What will happen on The Office now that Dwight owns the building? — Adam
Ausiello: Well, for one thing all the thermostats will be caged, locked, and set to a below-freezing temperature.
August 17, 2010: Jenna Fischer
From Jenna Fischer’s MySpace page:
We finished the set for “Sad Happy Sucker” this weekend! I was in charge of painting the walls of the theater black. I got paint all over my arms – why are rollers so splattery? I had some black paint on my thumbnail that I couldn’t get off and I totally forgot about it when we started shooting Monday.
Just a little Office Trivia. You’ll know why in a couple of scenes of Episode 4 Pam’s thumbnail looks horribly bruised! The makeup department finally gave me some nail polish remover.”
August 16, 2010: Mindy Kaling
From Mindy’s Twitter page:
“Doing a table read of my silliest, favorite-est script yet. “Deadwood” and “Justified” star Timothy Olyphant is in it. BIG LEAGUES YOU GUYS”
You will not want to miss the very first scene of the season. I don’t want to give away too much but remember that amazing scene where Dwight sets the office on fire? Where the whole office goes crazy? It’s one of those openings. The entire cast is doing a very complicated and funny bit as an ensemble to kick off the season. It took weeks to plan!
Question: Is Jan ever going to come back to The Office? —Jordan
Ausiello: Yes! Melora Hardin will reprise her role as Michael’s former boss/lover in this season’s fourth episode, written and directed by showrunner/co-star Paul Lieberstein. “Michael comes in with what he thinks is a pimple, but is revealed to be a cold sore,” explains Lieberstein. “He learns that a cold sore is a form of herpes and so he gets the idea that he has to contact all the women he’s ever been with to tell them.”
Sources confirm to me exclusively that producers of the NBC hitcom have quietly reached out to rising comic-actors Danny McBride (the breakout star of HBO’s hilarious Eastbound & Down) and Rhys Darby (late of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords) to gauge their interest in joining the cast later this season.
Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein confirms that they’re “having discussions” about introducing a new salesman into Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, but he wouldn’t say whether this person was being groomed to necessarily replace Carell’s Michael Scott.
Idris Elba (“The Wire”), who played Charles on seven episodes of “The Office” in 2009, said pretty definitively Saturday (Aug. 7) that the character would not be in the running to take over for Michael: “No, Charles Miner will not be back,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that we’ll never see Charles again. “There is an opportunity for me to sort of intertwine with their storyline toward the season finale,” he says. “So that may happen.”
From Danny’s Twitter page:
“Today was the most fun I’ve ever had on set. Sad it’s over – Jeff Blitz is the man!”
From Brian’s Twitter page:
“Exciting happenings on set today. Can’t wait for people to see the season premiere!!”
From Maxwell Glick’s Twitter page:
“Off to work at The Office.”
Lead singer and director Mindy Kaling tells us there are “pretty ambitious” plans for the group: “There’ll be two songs and two music videos, and the whole cast [including Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms and B.J. Novak] is coming back.” Kaling will direct both videos, as well as the webisodes accompanying the songs. So will the new tracks be dance-oriented like “Prima Donna,” or can we look forward to a slow jam? “The writers tried to cover so many different genres [with the songs] because we do it so infrequently,” Kaling explains, promising that at least one video will have elements of time travel.
Question: Who is Timothy Olyphant playing on The Office? —Jeff
Ausiello: A rival paper salesman with a deep, dark secret: He used to date Pam!
The spoilers just get more and more interesting…
Who’s going to replace Steve Carell on The Office? Well, Vulture has learned that NBC and the show’s producers are giving serious thought to a potentially mind-blowing candidate: Ricky Gervais.
Paul Lieberstein confirms that Gervais is being discussed by the show’s brain trust, which also includes creator Greg Daniels. “We talked about it today for a while,” Lieberstein told Vulture over the weekend. “It’s not the leading idea… [but] it’s not a dead idea.”
Lieberstein explained that there are pros and cons to the Gervais plan. On the one hand, “I don’t know how David Brent could take Michael Scott’s place because it would be a little bit too much of a coincidence that a documentary crew was also following him,” he says. “He was also fired for incompetence [in the U.K. Office], so we’d have to create some back story for what happened. There would be some things to deal with.” And yet, “On the flip side, you have someone who’s incredibly talented and who has played with a level of realism that’s the same as our show.”
While networks have been known to open up their wallets in order to snag talent they really want, it’s doubtful NBC would put excessive pressure on Lieberstein and Daniels to go after Gervais if he’s not the showrunners’ first choice. That doesn’t mean Gervais might not yet pop up on the show at some point as part of the run-up to Carell’s exit in May. Indeed, Lieberstein hints that viewers will get to see a search for Michael Scott’s replacement on-air. “If Dunder Mifflin needed to replace Michael Scott, they’d consider both internal and external candidates. And we will show them considering both,” he says. “We’ll kind of start [the replacement process] and put it in motion.”
Angela Kinsey filled us in: “Michael Scott will leave. Which is gonna make for great television, because how’s he gonna leave? Does he get fired? Does he come up with some ridiculous reason to quit?” she spitballs to us during NBC TCA’s press rounds. “Michael gets a medical condition and he has to find his lovers to talk to them about what’s going on. So, we’re going to see Jan [Melora Hardin] coming back,” Angela spills.
Kellie from Las Vegas, Nev.: The Office. I only care about one couple in Scranton: Dwight and Angela. What’s the word?
“They start this season with a procreation contract. And Angela is very business like, so she’s determined to have her “sex appointments” with Dwight in order for procreation,” Angela tells us. Meaning, Angela flat-out corners Dwight about babies. “She does come up to him and they have a system that I don’t want to reveal, but it’s funny.”
Gracie in West Lafayette, Ind.: The cutest couple on TV is Andy and Erin from The Office! Is there hope for them?
Hate to break it to you, but after getting the scoop from Ellie Kemper, it doesn’t look so good for Andy and Erin fans. “I’ll tell you, at least in the beginning, I think there is romance for Erin, but not with Andy,” she reluctantly reveals. In that same answer, she also mentions Zach Woods coming on full time, so we can only assume Erin and Gabe will be doing some work outside the office, if you know what I mean. “I think there’s some love between the two of them. I don’t know if I can say too much!” Ellie laughs.