- The Office (US TV series)
] Instead, the Stamford branch is shut down and its employees merged into Scranton, where Pam and Jim are reunited. Michael's management style eventually leads all the employees merged from Stamford to quit except for Karen, Andy, and Jim. Pam tries to be honest with Roy about her past with Jim and tells him they kissed, which leads to Roy trashing the bar they are in. She tells him it's over. Roy shows up at the office and attacks Jim out of jealousy. After being sprayed in the face with mace by Dwight, he is fired.
Jan and Michael's relationship becomes public after he inadvertently emails a picture he took of her on the beach in Jamaica to Darryl. Phyllis becomes engaged to, and eventually marries, Bob Vance, owner of neighboring Vance Refrigeration. She takes a six-week honeymoon afterwards.cite episode|title=Phyllis' Wedding|episodelink=Phyllis' Wedding|series=The Office|credits=written by
Caroline Williams, directed by Ken Whittingham|network=NBC|airdate=2007-02-08|season=3|number=43] Andy is provoked to anger after a prank played on him by Jim and Pam and punches a wall. He is subsequently sent off to anger managementtraining, precipitating a long absence of his character from the show.cite episode|title=The Return|episodelink=The Return (The Office episode)|series=The Office|credits=written by Michael Schur, Lee Eisenbergand Gene Stupnitsky, directed by Greg Daniels|network=NBC|airdate=2007-01-18|season=3|number=41] Michael, after learning he is being considered for a corporate job, tries to pick his replacement through a series of Survivor-like challenges at a trip to the beach. Pam, not included in the games and feeling small, depressed, and left out, finally builds her courage and makes a speech to everyone, telling Jim she called off the wedding because of him.
In the season's finale, Jim, Karen, and Michael are interviewing for the position at corporate that turns out to be Jan's. When she confronts her superiors about this, they explain that her increasingly erratic behavior is interfering with her job and fire her on the spot. Jim ultimately decides he does not want the corporate job. He drives back to Scranton without Karen and asks Pam out on a date, and she joyfully accepts. In the final scene, we learn Ryan has gotten Jan's job.
NBC ordered a full fourth season [cite press release | date=
2007-01-17| url = http://www.nbcumv.com/release_detail.nbc/entertainment-20070117000000-nbcrenewshitserie.html |title = NBC renews hit series "The Office", "My Name is Earl", "Heroes", and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for full season of episodes in 2007-'08 | publisher= NBC Universal| accessdate = 2008-04-12] consisting of 30 half-hour segments, 10 of which were combined to form five one-hour episodes, creating 25 episodes overall. After eight episodes were filmed, production was suspended due to the 2007–2008 writers' strike. [Serpe, Gina. [http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=79292a07-9222-4d40-9c9f-1952520277d3&sid=fd-news Strike Support: "Office", Stars Call In Sick.] E! News, 2007-11-07. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] Post-strike episodes began airing April 10, ending the season with a shortened season of 14 total episodes, [ Carter, Bill. [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/13/arts/television/13tube.html?ref=business "No Pause Button: TV Studios and Writers Play Catch-Up After Strike".] "The New York Times", 2008-02-13Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] consisting of 19 half-hour segments.
Karen has left due to losing Jim to Pam. She becomes regional manager at the Utica branch.cite episode|title=Branch Wars|episodelink=Branch Wars|series=The Office|credits=written by
Mindy Kaling, directed by Joss Whedon|network=NBC|airdate=2007-11-01|season=4|number=58] Pam and Jim date happily.cite episode |title=Dunder Mifflin Infinity |episodelink=Dunder Mifflin Infinity |series=The Office |credits=written by Michael Schurand directed by Craig Zisk|network=NBC |station= |airdate=2007-10-04 |season=4 |number=53 |minutes=] Jan moves in with Michael, who takes a second job in telemarketingdue to his deepening financial problems.cite episode|title=Money|episodelink=Money (The Office episode)|series=The Office|credits=written and directed by Paul Lieberstein|network=NBC|airdate=2007-10-18|season=4|number=56] Angela and Dwight break up after he euthanizes her very sick cat.cite episode|title=Fun Run|episodelink=Fun Run|series=The Office|credits=written and directed by Greg Daniels|network=NBC|airdate=2007-09-27|season=4|number=53] She begins dating Andy as Dwight licks his wounds. Dwight finds escape by spending time in the virtual world of " Second Life" with an avatar paper salesman he created to mirror his real life.cite episode|title=Local Ad|episodelink=Local Ad|series=The Office|credits=written by B.J. Novakand directed by Jason Reitman|network=NBC|airdate=2007-10-25|season=4|number=56]
Meredith spends time convalescing and rehabilitating after Michael hits her with his car in the parking lot. Ryan, in his new role, attempts to modernize Dunder Mifflin's way of doing business with a new ad campaign and website. Kelly finally moves on from her relationship with Ryan to date Darryl. Jan files a lawsuit against Dunder Mifflin for
wrongful termination, which she loses because of Michael's testimony.cite episode|title=The Deposition|episodelink=The Deposition (The Office episode)|series=The Office|credits=written by Lester Lewis, directed by Julian Farino|network=NBC|airdate=2007-11-15|season=4|number=59]
Michael and Jan host a disastrous dinner party, which ultimately ends in Michael leaving Jan. Jim reveals his plans to propose to Pam. In New York, Michael and Dwight visit Ryan, who has developed a drug problem. Ryan later sabotages Jim's career but is revealed to have committed fraud and will presumably be fired. Toby, after revealing his affection for Pam, announces he is leaving for Costa Rica. A replacement HR Rep, Holly Flax, is hired and quickly shows fondness towards Michael. Michael and Holly's pending romance is cut short when Jan returns, pregnant from a sperm donor; Michael agrees to help her through the pregnancy. In the season finale, Jim is about to propose to Pam, but Andy interrupts with his public proposal to Angela, who reluctantly agrees. [ [http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/episodes/season4/4018/goodbye_toby_16.shtml#recap Goodbye Toby Episode Recap] NBC.com]
Between the fourth and fifth seasons, the summer
webisodeseries " Kevin's Loan" was released in four weekly episodes, the first premiering on July 10. [cite web |url=http://www.unclebarky.com/reviews_files/9071e2884a518f5a2410674de7eeaf3e-448.html |title="The Office" punches in early -- with four new "webisodes |accessdate=2008-08-15 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date=2008-07-09 |work= |publisher=National TV Reviews & News] The webisodes follow Kevin, Oscar, and Darryl. In the story, Kevin attempts to repay his gamblingdebts by taking out a loan, which he intends to say is for starting an ice creambusiness. Although Oscar attempts to dissuade him, Kevin goes through with his plan which inevitably fails, even with Darryl's help.
NBC ordered a fifth season consisting of 28 half-hour segments on April 10, 2008. [Carter, Bill. [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/business/media/03nbc.html?ref=business "At NBC, Supersizing the Season".] "The New York Times".
2008-04-03. Retrieved on 2008-04-11.] NBC also announced that Greg Danielsand the producers will be creating a spin-off series to air after NBC Super Bowl XLIIIcoverage in early 2009, but in August 2008 decided that a special hour-long episode of "The Office" would be shown instead of the spin-off during that time slot. [ [http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-News-Blog/Todays-News/Office-Post-Super/800044866 "The Office" Scores Post-Super Bowl Slot".] TV Guide. 2008-08-11. Retrieved on 2008-08-11.] The episode will follow NBC's first Super Bowl in 11 years; Super Bowl XXXIIwas followed by " 3rd Rock from the Sun". According to Ricky Gervais's blog, Steve Carellhas signed on for three more seasons of "The Office". [cite web| title=Steve Carell signs on for three more seasons of "The Office"|url=http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/06/26/steve-carrell-signs-for-three-more-years-of-the-office/|publisher= Slash Film|date=2008-06-26| accessdate= 2008-06-30] [cite web| title= Amy Poehler may be "Office" bound| author= Nellie Andreeva| date=2008-07-15|accessdate=2008-08-23|url= http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i19d596a15ffa60010c24ea5cfb4afa6f |publisher=Hollywood Reporter] Season 5 premiered on September 25, 2008 from 9:00-10:00 P.M. EST. [cite web|url=http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/|title = "The Office"| publisher=NBC.com| date=2008-08-23| accessdate=2008-08-23 ]
Before the show aired, Gervais acknowledged that there were feelings of hesitation from certain viewers. "I think people are always gonna be wary of a remake—it's a tradition," he said. "But this remake is aimed at the 249 million Americans who didn't see the original TV show. There's not gonna be many Texas farmhands going, 'Eccch, not another version. I can't believe it.'" [Wolk, Josh. [http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1037069_3_0_,00.html "The Office" bosses on bringing the Brit hit to NBC"] , "Entertainment Weekly",
2005-03-14. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.]
Critical reviews and commentary
Before its first airing, the "
New York Daily News" called it "so diluted there's little left but muddy water", and " USA Today" called it a "passable imitation of a miles-better BBC original".Timms, Dominic. [http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,1447443,00.html U.S. version of "The Office" scores ratings victory.] "Guardian Unlimited", 2005-03-29. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] A " Guardian Unlimited" review panned its lack of originality, stating, "(Steve Carell) just seems to be trying too hard ... Maybe in later episodes when it deviates from Gervais and Merchant's script, he'll come into his own. But right now he's a pale imitation." [Wollaston, Sam. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv_and_radio/story/0,,1506758,00.html You just can't get the staff.] "Guardian Unlimited", 2005-06-15. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.]
Reviews became more positive in the second season. "Time" magazine remarked, "Producer Greg Daniels created not a copy but an interpretation that sends up distinctly American work conventions ... with a tone that's more satiric and less mordant. ... The new boss is different from the old boss, and that's fine by me." [Poniewozik, James. [http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1141640,00.html "Best of 2005: Television".] "Time Magazine",
2005-12-06. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] " Entertainment Weekly" echoed these sentiments a week later, stating, "Thanks to the fearless Steve Carell, an ever-stronger supporting cast, and scripts that spew American corporate absurdist vernacular with perfect pitch, this undervalued remake does the near impossible—it honors Ricky Gervais' original and works on its own terms." [Harris, Mark. [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/commentary/0,6115,1142725_3_0_,00.html "2005's 10 Best Shows".] "Entertainment Weekly", 2005-12-22. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.]
"The Onion"'s "A.V. Club" expressed its views on the show's progression: "After a rocky start, "The Office" improved immeasurably, instantly becoming one of TV's funniest, sharpest shows. The casting of Steve Carell in the Gervais role proved to be a masterstroke. The American "Office" is that rarest of anomalies: a remake of a classic show that both does right by its source and carves out its own strong identity." [Rabin, Nathan. [http://www.avclub.com/content/node/46807 "Inventory: Eight Sure-Fire Fiascoes That Unexpectedly Succeeded".] "
The OnionA.V. Club", 2006-03-29. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] "Time" magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #6. [Poniewozik, James. [http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/top10/article/0,30583,1686204_1686244_1691406,00.html Top 10 New TV Series.] "Time". Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] He also included it on his "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME" list.cite news|last=Poniewozik|first=James|title="The Office" (American)
Some corporate executives and management consultants see the show as instructive to managers beyond merely providing a
counterexampleof quality management, "great material for management training on what not to do", according to one Florida real-estate developer. It reminds managers that they will never be perfect, certainly not to their subordinates, and that even their best plans will be subject to office gossip and other resistance. Yet they also note that Michael's subordinates remain loyal to him because he takes charge, however imperfectly.cite news|last=Jones|first=Del|title=Taking "Office" lessons from the world's greatest (inept) boss|url=http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2007-09-26-the-office_N.htm|work= USA Today|publisher= Gannett|date=2007-09-26|accessdate=2008-05-08|quote=Jon Spector, CEO of The Conference Board, an organization that tries to improve business effectiveness, likens "The Office" to the 18-year-old comic strip "Dilbert" that appears in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries. Both "The Office" and "Dilbert" show how leaders have enormous impact for good — and how they can 'screw things up,' Spector says ... 'Michael puts himself in a position of responsibility, where most people feel uncomfortably vulnerable,' says Noah Rowles, CEO of Los Angeles software company Iolo Technologies. 'He takes ownership of his flock. The lesson learned is that people would much rather follow someone who is passionate and dedicated than someone who may be perfect on paper but otherwise uncommitted to achieving success as a group.']
The show has some superficial similarities to the comic-strip "
Dilbert", which also features employees coping with an inept superior. John Spector, CEO of The Conference Board, says that both show the impact a leader can have, for good or bad. Dilbert creator Scott Adamsalso touts the similarities: "The lesson from "The Office" and from "Dilbert" is that people are often dysfunctional, and no amount of training can fix it."
There have been political responses to the show. "Vanity Fair" editor
Graydon Carterbelieves the show's popularity arises partly from what he views as a political allegory of the George W. Bush administration. Michael and Dwight, he says, share much in common with George W. Bushand Dick Cheneyrespectively, both in appearance and temperament. [cite news |last=Carter |first=Graydon |authorlink=Graydon Carter|date = February 2008 |title="Office" Politics |work=Vanity Fair |url=http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2008/02/graydon200802 |accessdate=2008-04-08] On an episode of " The Daily Show", Republican presidential candidate John McCain, reportedly a devoted fan of the show, jokingly told Jon Stewarthe might take Dwight Schrute as his running mate.cite news|last=Stelter|first=Brian|title=McCain’s TV Preferences Emerge: "Office" Farce, Not Soap|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/business/media/12novak.html|publisher= The New York Times Company|work= The New York Times|date=2008-05-12|accessdate=2008-05-12|quote=Mr. McCain seemed to set himself up again last Wednesday when, in an appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", he jokingly proposed Dwight Schrute, a sycophantic character on the NBC sitcom "The Office", as his running mate ... But Mr. McCain’s fondness for "The Office" seems sincere. The next day he seemed slightly star-struck upon meeting B. J. Novak, a writer and actor on the show, at a gala sponsored by Time magazine. Mr. McCain started rattling off the details of 'Dinner Party,' a recent episode that he apparently enjoyed and remembered.] Rainn Wilson later accepted on Dwight's behalf while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A labor-affiliated group praised the episode "Boys and Girls" for what it considered an unusually frank depiction of union bustingon American television.cite web |url=http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/the-anti-union-network/for-profit-union-busters/unionbusting-at-the-office.html |title=Unionbusting at "The Office"? |accessdate=2007-01-30 |publisher=American Rights At Work]
Premiering on Thursday, March 24, 2005, after an episode of "The Apprentice" on NBC, "The Office" caught the curiosity of 11.2 million viewers in the U.S., winning its time slot. When NBC moved the series to its intended Tuesday night slot, it lost nearly half its audience with only 5.9 million viewers. [Deans, Jason. [http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,1449295,00.html U.S. remake of "The Office" loses half its audience.] "Guardian Unlimited",
2005-03-31. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] The program averaged 5.4 million viewers, ranking it #102 for the 2004–2005 U.S. television season. [cite news|url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/television/feature_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000937471|work=Hollywood Reporter|date= 2005-04-27|title=Hollywood Reporter: Final audience and ratings figures for 2004-05|accessdate=2008-04-12] "Hot Girl", the first season's finale, rated a 2.2 with a 10 audience measurement share, the lowest rating in the show's history. Episodes were also rerun on CNBC. [ [http://www.medialifemagazine.com/News2005/april05/apr25/3_wed/news2wednesday.html Lower the lights for NBC's "The Office".] , Media Life Magazine, 2005-04-27. Retrieved on 2008-04-12. ]
As the second season started, the success of Carell's hit summer movie "
The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and online sales of episodes at iTuneshelped the show [cite news|last=Ryan|first=Maureen|title="Office" promotions pay off in a big way|url=http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2006/02/office_workers_.html|work= Chicago Tribune|date=2006-02-23|accessdate=2008-03-20|quote='Because of the relationship we have with [the feature-film division of NBC Universal] , within the company we knew that Steve had been identified as a big star and we'd be crazy to let him go,' said Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio, the production company behind "The Office". Hence the second-season pickup of the show.'] The increase in viewership led NBC to move the series to the " Must See TV" Thursday night in January 2006, where ratings continued to grow. By the 2005–2006 season, it placed #2 (tied with " 20/20"). It averaged 8.0 million viewers with a 10/10 rating, and was up 80% in viewers from the year before and up 60% in viewers ages 18–49. [ [http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/television/feature_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002576393 2005–06 primetime wrap.] , "hollywoodreporter.com", 2006-05-26. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.]
The third-season premiere received a 9/9 and made a large increase in total viewers and viewers 18–49 over "
My Name Is Earl". [ [http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-ratings092106,0,2646665.story?coll=zap-news-headlines ABC Changes 'Anatomy' of Thursday.] Zap2it.com, 2006-09-22. Retrieved on 2008-04-12.] By the end of the 2006–2007 season, it placed #68 (tied with "The Biggest Loser 3"). It averaged 8.3 million viewers with a 11/11 rating, a large improvement from the previous season. [ [http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/features/e3ifbfdd1bcb53266ad8d9a71cad261604f 2006–07 primetime wrap.] , "hollywoodreporter.com", 2007-05-25.] The fourth-season premiere on September 27, 2007 received higher ratings with 9.67 million viewers and a series-high of a 9.7 in the key 18–49 demographic. [cite web |url=http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/63310451/m/76510537 |title=Prime-Time Ratings: Thursday 9/27/07 |accessdate=2007-12-27 |last=Berman |first=Marc |date=2007-09-28 |publisher=The Programming Insider] The season five premiere received a 8/8 placing 1st for viewership during its timeslot and 1st in 18-49 demo. [cite web |url=http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-ratings092508,0,3564175.story|title=Prime-Time Ratings for 9/29/08]
* [http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/ The Official site of "The Office" at NBC.com]
* [http://www.dundermifflin.com/ Dunder Mifflin official site]
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