Fall season update

This post will be updated as we hear more news during the upfronts this week. If you’ve got a tip, let me know!

The Office

  • May 13 9pm PT: ‘”The Office” is expected to get the 9 p.m. tentpole slot, with “My Name Is Earl” at 8, “30 Rock” at 8:30 and “Scrubs” at 9:30. NBC will pick up six one hour eps of “The Office” for a total of 30 segs.’ Source: Variety
  • May 10 5:30pm PT: Kristin’s just posted a new report: ” … NBC reached an agreement late this afternoon with The Office for next season: 24 episodes, including 4 hourlong specials.” Source: E! Online
  • May 10 1:30pm PT: E!’s Kristin Veitch reports that the possibility of The Office becoming a one-hour show this fall is stronger than ever: “I’ve just heard from multiple insiders that it’s looking very likely that NBC will double the amount of The Office we’ll get next season. I’m told it’s looking like each episode will expand to be an hourlong; however, if that plan falls through for some reason, I’m hearing that, at the very least, NBC wants to pick up something like 37 episodes of the show in its current half-hour format.” Source: E! Online

The Rules for Starting Over (Rashida Jones’ new show)

  • May 12: Several sources are reporting that Fox has picked up The Rules for Starting Over, co-starring Rashida Jones. Sources: Hollywood Reporter, Futon Critic

Tipsters: Brooke, JimHalpertIsLife, Ryan, RealityCheck, Luke


  1. I cannot speak strongly enough in support of this move. Anyone who watches the deleted scenes, which usually amout to 40 minutes of screen time (the length of a one-hour show) realizes that the cut scenes are of equal quality with what makes it on the air. The style of The Office is meant for one hour. NBC, if you really do this, I love you.

    For those of you concerned about the show, it won’t change one bit. Basically, we’ll just get all the deleted scenes. And if you’re still concerned, watch some, and all your fears will disappear.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you NBC.

  2. 37?? That seems like a ridiculously large amount of new shows! How many were there this year? 21? 24? Somewhere around there? I’m all for no more hugely long hiatuses but I’d say about 6 more shows would be all you’d need, maybe 8.

  3. This is a miracle. Yet–I’m just worried of the actors. They’re working so hard already, and they all want to do different things beyond The Office. Making it an hour will be longer hours for them (I’m guessing–not sure of course) and I just hope they don’t re-think their roles on this amazing show just because we’re obsessd. :D

  4. I don’t know. This is Kristin. She said Rashida was outski by the end of the season and Jammers would be happy during Phyllis’ Wedding. Can we believe anything she says?

  5. Wow! I think its great news whatever happens. NBC must really love (and need) The Office.

  6. You know, I thought this was a bad day because I have to study for two exams tomorrow, but between the promising “Beach Day” tonight and this news…I don’t know, it’s a good day (/Pam).

  7. This is the greatest news I’ve ever heard.

    However, I must say I’d much rather have 22 hour long episodes than almost twice that many half hour episodes. I think keeping the episode total lower would ensure stronger single episode scripts and plotlines, unless they decide to kind of play with the format of episodes being more self-contained (kind of like The Client and Performance Review back-to-back; or Booze Cruise and The Secret – episodes where the storyline basically picked up right where they left off but still had their own episodic plot).

    I am so thrilled with this.

  8. I’d support the one-hour concept. My problem with 37 episodes (if they’re serious) is that could easily lead to burnout for the cast, crew and writers; or repetition in the storylines. I’m fond of the cast, and I’d want them to continue to have time to pursue movies and other TV work, or just time with their families. I don’t know if those nice things and 37 episodes necessarily go together. :)

  9. Guys remember that they counted the 1 hour episodes this year as two episodes, so it could be when they say 37 1/2 hour episodes, they really mean a large mix of 1/2 half hour and 1 hour episodes. Just something to consider.

    Either way I’m hella psyched.

  10. I think hour-long is a MUCH better idea than 37 half-hours. If they use the time to let the characters breathe and let the awkward moments play out (like Benihana Christmas) then it will work well. The half hour shows this season seemed way too rushed and packed.

  11. To everyone saying this could lead to burn out for the cast:

    They already film that amount now-look at the deleted scenes! Chances are this would just allow them to leave in more good stuff that normally gets cut out. And judging by some of the gems that have gotten cut (Ryan imitating Kelly’s customer service!) this will probably allow the writers/producers to be happier with the final product.

    Just a thought. :)

  12. its not a coincedence that all the highest rated episodes this season are either super sized or one hour long. the Office is just better when its longer (thats what she said)

  13. Skippy, i was thinking the same thing.

    another thing to think about is..with the 37 ‘1/2 hour’ installments..it could be because when(if) the show gets syndicated, it will be as a 30 min show? does that sound right?

    eh..i just woke up from my nap @ work. lol
    i guess i’ll go back to sleep now. hahahaha

  14. Hour episodes will be great. The show has always seemed to go by so fast, especially this season. Being an hour will allow those who watch for the JAM drama and those who watch for the comedy to be together in one happy world.

    37 half hr episodes seems like way to much, and like others said would burn them out. It might sound odd, but 37 half hr episodes would be harder then 22 hr episodes.

    I’m usually all for more office, but either make the switch to an hour or keep it the way it is.

  15. 37 half-hour shows would net NBC a lot more iTunes revenue than 25 hour-long shows would.

  16. If my math is correct, that would be exactly twice the awesome. No more deleting scenes. Even if that means less total episodes, I’m freakin’ pumped (twss).

  17. Holy Shnikey! 37 episodes if the hourlong format falls through? That’s win-win, or win-win-win.

    I’m inclined to think this report is true. Why would Zucker hint at the hourlong announcement in the first place if there was nothing to it? Even if he was only gauging fan reaction, there must have been some kind of plan in the works. It’ll probably be determined by advertisers ultimately, but I’ll be happy with 37 half-hours of Office-y goodness with the occasional super-sized ep.

  18. This is fantastic! Ditto to what everyone else has said – at first I was a little concerned about burn-out, but look at the plethora of great deleted scenes we always have that they never have time for! Although I don’t want to get my hopes up . . . WAHOO!!!

  19. First off I consider myself a fan of this show and love what they’ve done up until now. U.S. comedies are rarely this intelligent and well executed.

    Although I support the proposed new hour-long format, I have reservations about just WHAT the plot can/will do over 37 episodes.

    One of the factors that made the UK Office so great was that there were a finite number of episodes, I don’t think there were many fans who were angry it ended when it did, it was the ‘right time’.

    I worry, though, that the US version of The Office (love it though I do) will run out of stories towards the end of Season 4, especially if we’re talking about such a long season.

    As the story continues over the next 12-18 months, time will prove me right or wrong either way, but I don’t think we should be afraid of an ending to this great story.

    Oh and for what it’s worth I’d like to add my support for the ‘no hiatus’ movement, that break was too long!!!

  20. Giddiness begins….now!

    Even if it’s not an hour long next year, 37 episodes?!?! That would be fantastic! I really think it wouldn’t be that big of a leap for them to extend the show to an hour. Daniels has said they routinely come up with 40-45 minutes worth of material and have to trim it extensively to fit half an hour, and we’ve seen from the deleted scenes that some of that stuff is really good (not to mention, essential to the plot). Do it!

  21. hm, i think they should still make them 30 minutes…it’s hard to have a 1 hour comedy

  22. This is big! (twss) I know I’m one of many many Office fans who have been saying on a routine basis that this show could definitely handle and should be an hour long-mostly out of being greedy. I just read Brian’s myspace blog and he hinted at some big news coming from the NBC execs on Monday as well, and that’s instantly what I thought of so I’m hoping there’s teeth to this. I’d much rather a full season of hour longs than a ridiculous amount of half hours. But more Office in any way is AWESOME!

  23. Still hoping that if they do the 60 minute thing they either move “The Office” to a new night or let it run 8:00-9:00pm. I’m completely against any of the episode trickling into the NBC ratings challenged 9:00-10:00pm hour. Last weeks supersized office lost 1.5M viewers as it slid into the 9:00pm hour. That’s too big of a hit for such a great show.

  24. People say it’s hard to have a one-hour comedy…

    Who said?

    The fact is, it hasn’t ever really been done.

    Plus, the Office isn’t like The Simpsons or Family Guy where it is joke, joke, joke, joke for 20 full minutes.

    The office has a lot of jokes that need “air” – uncomfortable silence, pauses, moments of boredom that are what The Office was made to make fun of!
    I get the feeling that it won’t be an issue at all, and that they consistently write enough material each week for a full hour, but have to chop it down to fit, and that the show will be better in a longer format.

    This is good news.

  25. anyone who thinks this is a good idea knows nothing about television writing. it is going to be a NIGHTMARE. if you think there are “filler” episodes this season, then you just wait when greg daniels and his gang have to churn out 37 episodes in one sitting.

    Even now, we are wondering how much longer can Michael Scott terrorize his workers. That is the problem with American television. Too many shows, because of money, stay on TV for too long. I almost wish every show was like a telenovela. There is an end in sight.

    Jeff Zucker, don’t do it. You’re going to turn this show into “Lost” where a bunch of talented writers sit down and write nonsense because there is no end in sight.

  26. I agree 31. I think it would be a great 8-9 anchor for Thursday or providing lighter side for Tuesdays (Frasier did well when they moved it from the Must-See Thursday lineup to Tuesdays). I hope they don’t do the latter though because, being the hardcore fan that I am, I chose a class that meets on Tuesdays from 7-9 instead of a class that would meet Tues/Thurs and interfere with “The Office.”

  27. My head just exploded.

    When I first got wind of this, I was like “Would be nice if it happened, but probably won’t.” So glad this is happening… for realsies.

  28. I am mostly in favor of the 30 minute format like it is now, and just a little bit for the hour long shows. I dont think it should change. The occasional hour episode is fine with me.

  29. I actually think if they do the 60M thing…. move it to Mondays… Office, Heroes and the new Journeyman show they announced today… The days of must see tv died when ABC moved Grey’s to Thursdays. NBC is an afterthought that night and I’d hate to see the office be collateral damage from the NBC execs trying to breathe life into the 9-10 hour….

  30. Snowballa,

    Everything I have read is that most episodes that have been written this season have enough material to make the show a FULL HOUR, but they have to cut it down to fit the 30 minute format.

    I think if this idea was going to cause great pain for the writers, it wouldn’t be considered. The Office seems to be a VERY writer-friendly show.

  31. I am fine with the hour long episodes, although the 37 episode count would mean less of an hiatus. I have to hand it to NBC though, it seems like they are trying to use the Office’s success to help them get out of their ratings slump.All last season NBC was making all this noise about budget cuts on scripted shows and having less of them and now they want to put probably twice as much money into our beloved show. Imagine how much promotion and marketing they are gonna put behind on one of the few (if not first hour long sitcoms).More people will probably watch next season to see the show that NBC is putting so much faith in. I mean they havent even had there upfront presentation yet, but all the buzz is focusing on a “returning” show. But this is all assuming that this is their strategy, I could be way off. COME ON HOUR LONG OFFICE!!

  32. @ ChrisM70

    I understand that, but that’s for about 25 HOUR episodes, not 37. I am for the hour episodes but not for the expansion of episodes order for a season. Sorry, I didn’t make that clearer.

    With that said, I am super duper excited for the episode tonight.

  33. Snowballa –
    why would the writers need to turn out 37 episodes in one sitting? that makes no sense

  34. AS someone previously stated in the comments section (#36 seat42f) regarding the idea about moving it to mondays. Mondays would be CRAZY for me. Think of this: The office 8-9, Heroes 9-10, and then The Riches (fx) from 10:00-11;08…. that would be three hours and 8 minutes of tv….

    I like both ideas, the 37 episode ones and the hour long one. As greg daniels said, they usually have 40 mins of footage that they have to clip down to 20. a normal hour long show is anywhere between 40-45 mins of footage and 15-20 mins of commercials, so they could *easily* do the hour long one.

  35. Snowbala-

    I believe that if they pick it up as a one hour show, it will be a normal number of eps.

    But if they continue the half-hour version, they might expand the season.

    I might have misunderstood you, but I hope this helps.

  36. I wonder how the cast feels about this. No doubt they will all say positive things but deep down, would they be happy or feel like it’s just more work or what?

    I guess the small part actors would be thrilled but someone like Rainn is already worked a lot.

  37. I don’t know how I feel about this. It would be cool to have hour long episodes all year long, but on the other hand, this is a drastic change and I like to watch the classic thirty minute sitcom. I just don’t want the show to get burned by this. If Greg Daniels wants to do it though, I trust him completely.

  38. Hmmm… now that’s something to think about. I think I would take the 37 episodes over the hour long. I don’t think many comedies can hold the attention of the viewers for over 30 minutes. Not to say that The Office couldn’t do it. I guess I’m just a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of person. The 37 episodes with a supersized thrown in here and there would work for me (NO HIATUS – Ugh, that was horrible). Either way, I trust NBC to do what’s right for The Office. I guess we’ll just have to wait until Monday…

  39. It really seems like the people complaining about an hour-long format aren’t familiar with the deleted scenes. If you add the total of the deleted scenes to the current format, it would be close to the 40 min necessary for an hour long show factoring in commercial time. People aren’t used to a one-hour sitcom, but The Office isn’t a sitcom.

  40. an agreement has been reached:
    24 episodes including 4 hour long specials

    check WWK for the information.

  41. I’d be happier about the 37 episodes (it would mean no 6-week hiatus!), but I am NOT down with hour long episodes. Or you know what, let’s just keep it the way it is in its current format. Please don’t mess up my favorite show, NBC.

  42. Eh I was hoping for the hour long thing. This seems like it will now be only barely more than this season.

  43. What the heck! So much for 37 episodes or hour long shows. Booooo! Get my hopes up and then DASH THEM on the rocks.

  44. 1. In the match-up between Quality vs. Quantity, always choose Quality.

    2. The only way this show can survive, 24 more episodes, 37 more episodes, or 10928 more episodes, is if the show (as it already is learning) starts moving itself outside of the physical office space…

    3. … and continues to introduce new characters…

    4. … and builds episode plotlines around these new characters and not solely around Michael Scott…

    5. … and moves to an hour or super-sized format, as the way the writers are constructing plots now consistently suppresses comedic potential of the episodes, as, as we have all seen via the deleted scenes and super-sized episodes, a lot of funny and necessary material is being left out when NBC only allows 22 mins.

    Follow these five simple steps, and call me next year…

  45. Oh, and…

    6. The Office is a sitcom – it’s just not a traditional sitcom. If you can inform me of any other way of defining The Office as something other than a “situation comedy,” I consider changing my opinion…

  46. I like this format better. For the most part it keeps the classic, half-hour office in tact, but still lets us enjoy four hour long episodes throughout the year. I like the half-hour episodes mainly because they leave me wanting more. I don’t want to watch a prolonged episode and in the middle feel like switching the station.

  47. I remember I suggested Office permanently supersize its episodes to an hour months ago and everyone was like ‘nawww that wouldn’t workkk’ well HA!
    more Office is just brilliant, i just hope that all cast members remain excited and committed to the show

  48. On the one hand I think that it might not be a good idea to make every episode an hour long. But then watch a supersized episode or an hour long episode and then when it hits thirty minutes, you realize that it is very easy to make it an hour long without a loss in quality. Just look at all the really good deleted scenes that get left out or the side plots that we don’t find out about until the DVD comes out (or at least I wait to watch them until then). They leave that stuff in, and it serves the same purpose. That’s just my thinking here.

  49. Awww…this latest news from Kristin doesn’t leave much room for doubt, does it? I had really hoped they would give hourlong weekly episodes a try, at least for part of the season.

    I was wondering whether it might be possible for the producers to have an online producer’s cut of each episode next season, e.g. either on NBC.com or via iTunes. I think this would be a happy marriage of the pros for and cons against having hourlong weekly episodes.

    The producer’s cut would have additional scenes that flesh out the storylines more, give characters more screentime, and help with the flow of the narrative. The writers won’t have the pressure of having to write for an hourlong episode each week; they need only write for the quintessial half hour broadcast, while adding however much extra scenes that were cut for time in the broadcast version, into the online producer’s cut version. So we could have, say, a 25-minute, 30-minute, or 45-minute version each week, depending on the amount of material, and the writers’ own judgement on what the “best” cut of the episode is.

    This won’t merely be including the deleted scenes that NBC puts out each week per se. I mean, a lot of the deleted scenes are soundbites or standalone laugh-out-loud scenes, but I’m sure there are a lot more scenes that were cut from the broadcast version, and we never get to see. Scenes that improve the “flow” of the episode, or maybe that extra second of pause in conversation, or a cutaway to a character’s reaction…you know, little moments that could not amount to a deleted scene, but when added up, accentuates the episode on the whole so much more.

    The possible caveats are that this probably counts as exclusive online content (root of all the evils surrounding the possible writers’ strike), and that the producer’s cut is only available to online viewers and not a wider population. However, I think this might be a good middle-ground route that the show could take, and could increase iTunes downloads (i.e. revenue) for the show. I, for one, don’t mind paying for an extended cut of the episode each week. Just my two cents worth. Sorry for the long post.

  50. I actually am relieved. I think hour-long episodes would have been a mistake…quality is always better than quantity. :)

  51. I can live with 4 hour long episodes of the Office along with 20 half hour epis. I also wouldn’t doubt if there are at least 4 or 5 super sized epis as well. I say bring it on! The only thing that worries me is it going up against Greys Anatomy and CSI at the 9 spot on Thursdays. Hopefully it can hold its own and still survive due to DVR/TIVO and Itunes.

  52. As long as they’re on the air, its good news. But I was expecting that the shows would now either be an hour long or there would be over 30 episodes. I guess I got my hopes up a bit…

  53. I think part of the reason why NBC didn’t follow through with the hour long shows was because ALL of The Office’s super-sized episodes have been somewhat disappointing considering the ratings.

    The super-sized episodes actually brought in lower ratings that it’s usual half-hour episodes. Can’t blame The Office really for that, it’s more of NBC not advertising the new timeslot, etc.

    But still, could that have played just a little factor on this decision? Perhaps.

  54. even if the office goes against grey’s and loses miserably..NBC won’t even come close to considering cancelling it. They’d probably just move it back to it’s old time slot. There’s not much to worry about unless you dont have DVR or TiVo.

  55. I would take anything Kristen says with a grain of salt. She’s said many conflicting things in the past week. Don’t believe anything you hear until Monday’s upfronts. Even after that things can change, with what NBC scheduling random supersizeds and such.

  56. wait!! Rashidas show got picked up!?!?! does that mean they might use the JAm ending and we’ll finally have a happy ever after show!!??

  57. but am i wrong? will she still be on the office even if the rules for starting over is picked up?

  58. Even if Fox picked up The Rules for Starting Over, Rashida Jones will probably still guest star on The Office. As much as I would revel in chanting “NO MORE KAREN! NO MORE KAREN!” I think the chant is more like “Not as much Karen! Not as much Karen!”

    I’ve never been so excited about upfronts before.

  59. I disagree with what some have said about moving outside of the workspace. I think the best episodes are the ones set purely at Dunder Mifflin, which allow for interaction between the main characters and expansion of the smaller ones. If they run out of situations to set in the office then the show should just end on a high note rather thsn going down the ‘zany’ route.

    Oh and YES Karen is out of here!

  60. I think that Rashida’s show getting picked up clinches the fact that it will be her that gets the job. She and Jim may still be together for a short time during Season 4, trying the long distance thing. But, without Karen around, Jim and Pam will be free to rekindle the friendship that they’ve lost. Eventually, say around this time next year, I think they will be headed towards serious couple-hood.

    I am sooo happy right now but I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’m trying to be 100% pessimistic about Thursday’s show, expecting the worst, so when (if) things start heading in the right direction for Jim and Pam, I will be beyond thrilled and not at all disappointed.

  61. AW man, I was really hoping for an hourlong. It wouldn’t be hard what with the genius deleted scenes… hopefully she’s wrong.

    And YAY about Rashida. Less Karen = good. I don’t want her to go away entirely.

    And I was always afraid of JAM happening too soon then running out of steam and it just wouldn’t be interesting… but if Karen gets the job and tries long distance with Jim, Pam and Jim can be all flirtsy and of course, that causes conflict… yay.

    But honestly, my biggest concern right now is waiting all summer for season four. I CAN’T DO IT.

  62. Why is there debate about Karen getting the job? I thought Ryan got the job. I thought the last scene may have been a hook for next season (David and Ryan were actually each speaking to someone else), but if you go to dundermifflinpaper.biz, there’s a PR that Ryan got the job.

    Am I missing something?

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