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April 23, 2014

The Office

Seven Shows That Could Use a Time Jump

by Rich Keller, posted May 3rd 2010 2:03PM
'Heroes' is one of seven shows that could use a time jumpOver the last few seasons a number of shows -- 'One Tree Hill,' 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Lost' -- have used the concept of time jumping to generate public interest and open up new storylines. Now, 'Brothers & Sisters' will be making a small time jump between this season and next. Money was on this show, 'Gossip Girl,' or 'Phineas and Ferb.' to make the jump.

This, as usual, got us to thinking of other currently running programs that could use a time shift to freshen them up. Subsequently, this led us to put our thoughts down on the hyperlinked paged for debate and comment. After the jump are but a few examples and how a time jump could benefit them.

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Who Should Host the Emmys?

by Allison Waldman, posted May 1st 2010 5:29PM
Jimmy_Fallon_Late_night_NBCThe Primetime Emmys are still months away – the night of Sunday, August 29, to be exact – but the talk in Hollywood has already started swirling about who's going to host the show. An announcement is expected next week and since NBC is doing the broadcast, 'Late Night' host Jimmy Fallon is being mentioned prominently.

According to Entertainment Weekly, NBC has urged the TV Academy board to give Jimmy Fallon the thumbs up. Fallon's presence, the network contends, would appeal to a younger demographic. Terms like Twitter and Facebook have been thrown around to prop up the argument.

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'The Office' - 'Body Language' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 30th 2010 12:29AM
Steve Carell and Amy Pietz in 'The Office' - 'Body Language'(S06E22) It's odd seeing a Michael Scott that's relatively restrained and under control, isn't it?

I say this because, even though some of what Michael did in this episode would be deemed wildly inappropriate in any office, he had a reason for it. And, compared to some of the embarrassments Michael has perpetrated within the walls of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, misinterpreting the signals from a bar manager is way, way down on the list. Remember, this is a guy who held a teenage pizza delivery guy hostage.

But it did make for a pretty funny episode. Even Dwight's Schrute-ish shenanigans weren't even all that annoying, especially because it's always funny to see his schemes backfire on him.

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Could 'The Office' Survive Without Steve Carell?

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 28th 2010 3:27PM
Steve Carell in 'The Office' - 'Manager and Salesman'Leave it to the Brits to ask the questions we here in the States just won't ask. Despite all the interviews Steve Carell and Tina Fey did before the premiere of the movie 'Date Night,' not one interviewer that I saw here in the US thought to ask Carell how much longer he was going to play Michael Scott on 'The Office.'

However, OfficeTally.com says that someone from the BBC thought enough to ask, and got a surprising response: Carell said he thinks he's done with the show after his contract is up at the end of the seventh season. It could be a negotiating ploy, but it might be a sincere wish on Carell's part to do something else.

Could 'The Office' go on without Carell? Maybe. Though I'm not sure I'd want it to.

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Six Series Spin-Offs I'd See in a Second

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2010 12:02PM
'Criminal Minds'
With the season coming to a close, the networks are starting to look toward next season. In the case of 'Criminal Minds,' that includes exploring the possibility of a spin-off series. They ran an embedded pilot for it earlier this season, introducing the new cast, and they've already had tremendous success with both 'NCIS' and 'CSI' spin-offs. But whatever happened to the old-school way of creating spin-offs?

'Frasier' was a long-time cast member on 'Cheers' before he headed off to Seattle and sitcom super-stardom. 'The Jeffersons' spent time living next to the Bunkers ('All in the Family') before moving on up. Even as recently as 'Friends,' they spun series co-star 'Joey' off into his own series -- maybe that's when it all went so wrong.

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'The Office' - 'Secretary's Day' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 23rd 2010 12:01AM
(S06E22) We haven't heard from the folks at Dunder Mifflin Scranton for almost a month, and it's refreshing that the first episode back, the antics are generally related to office-specific issues. Well, at least the better part of the episode was office-related.

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NBC Tweaks Summer Schedule

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 22nd 2010 8:00AM
Original episodes of 'Minute to Win It' begin on July 7thNBC is making some last-minute tweaks to its summer schedule, The Wrap is reporting.

Though not totally confirmed, network programming executives have decided to make Thursday nights all-comedy with additional episodes of 'The Office' and 'Parks and Recreation' in the 10PM hour. Some say this is a sign of more scripted comedies down the line, like the new anthology 'Love Bits'. In addition, recently renewed dramedy 'Parenthood' will begin to air at 8PM on Saturdays.

The other tweak involves 'Minute to Win It.' The network will air original episodes Wednesdays at 8PM, beginning Jul. 7 (as a lead-in to 'America's Got Talent'). If that works, NBC may add a second airing in August -- 9PM on Mondays. Executives need to be careful with this one, as viewers can easily burn out on multiple, weekly viewings of a show (the 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' effect), which will make the show's renewal dead on impact.

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'The Office' Romance for Michael and Holly Isn't Over After All

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 7th 2010 6:35PM
Michael Scott on 'The Office'Dunder Mifflin is a strange place for romance. Jim and Pam, of course, have been the cornerstone of the show. But we've also seen the rocky relationship between Ryan and Kelly, a love triangle with Dwight, Angela, and Andy (as well as Dwight's baby plan with Angela), the awkward courtship of Andy and Erin and a few doomed dalliances involving Michael Scott.

Michael Scott has moved on to a new love interest this season (played by Amy Pietz), but according to EW's The Ausiello Files, Holly Flax may not be done. Ausiello quotes 'Office' executive producer and co-star Paul Lieberstein (he plays HR guy Toby) as saying he wants to bring Holly (Amy Ryan) back next year.

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Fey and Carell Prove That The Gap Between TV and Movie Stardom is Disappearing

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 5th 2010 4:02PM
Steve Carell and Tina Fey in 'Date Night'Let me start this post off by getting this out of the way right now: I have no idea whether 'Date Night,' the new big-screen comedy from Tina Fey and Steve Carell coming out on Friday, is any good, or whether it'll make any money. From what I can see from the ads, it isn't looking promising, but good movies have been victimized by bad ads for as long as TV and movies have co-existed.

What has been the most remarkable about the promotion and marketing of this movie, though, has been this: Nothing, from the movie ads to the breathless previews on entertainment channels, to any of the print stories, are making a big deal that this movie is headlined two (gulp) television stars. And it's the career paths of both Fey and Carell that make this so refreshing.

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TV 101: Canaries In The Mineshaft (Pt. 1) - When Characters Become Caricatures

by Jay Black, posted Mar 26th 2010 11:21AM
Sometimes I feel like doing this to MY TV, but I'm married.One of my least favorite internet memes is the race among people who frequent TV blogs to be the first one to comment that a show has "jumped the shark." I'll take a busload of LOLCATS and Epic Beard Men if it means that I won't have to see "JTS!" four minutes into a show's pilot episode.

That said, the fact that JTS has been defanged by ubiquity doesn't take away from its ability to be a useful tool for analyzing pop-culture. Shows tend to weaken over time and the JTS moment is a fun way to decide where, exactly, the wheels came off.

In thinking about JTS, it occurred to me that there are a few warning signs that a show is about to jump. Today I'll be looking at the first in a series of canaries in the mineshaft: when characters become caricatures.

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'The Office' - 'Happy Hour' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 26th 2010 10:14AM
Lauri Naughton Okin, Amy Pietz and Steve Carell in 'The Office' - 'Happy Hour'
(S06E20)
If you took this episode and dropped it in the middle of season two or three, it probably would have fit in nicely. Well, except for the fact that you might be asking why Pam was on maternity leave (and why Jim is the dad), why Andy is working in Scranton, and just who the hell Erin is.

But you know what I'm getting at. The tone, pacing, and comedy of this episode continues the recent trend of 'The Office' getting back to what made people love it to begin with. And, yes, part of that means that Michael is going to make an ass of himself. But at least the season six version of Michael somehow gets a little bit of hope mixed in with his desperation stew.

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'The Office' - 'New Leads' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 19th 2010 10:03AM
John Krasinski in 'The Office' - 'New Leads'(S06E19) It's starting to feel like Sabre's purchase of Dunder-Mifflin was just the jumping-odd point the writers needed to bring the Scranton branch dynamic back to something that feels like the old days. For the second week in a row, we have an episode that felt very much like the ones from the first couple of seasons -- without the Jim/Pam drama -- with the entire office interacting with each other and a large amount of mistrust floating about. And it made for one of the funniest episodes in years.

With sales being king at Sabre, the sales staff was letting their elevated status go to their heads. This brings about some interesting character aspects we haven't seen much of. Phyllis, for instance, gets to take her status out on Michael, who's embarrassed her any number of times, and Angela, who she just plain hates. Andy walks out of a tedious Michael-called meeting. Stanley actually looks like he's doing work. It's amazing how a high commission can motivate even the most sedentary salesperson, huh?

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'The Office' - 'St. Patrick's Day' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 12th 2010 11:57AM
'The Office' - 'St. Patrick's Day'
(S06E18)
Watching this episode, I got the nagging feeling that the writers made a grave mistake three years ago when they had Jim leave the Scranton branch for Stamford, then come back. When the branches merged, Jim became the branch's number two under Michael, and he actually had a scintilla of authority over Dwight.

Sure, he pulled pranks on Dwight over the ensuing years, and Dwight tried to end Jim on any number of occasions. But there was always an implication that the two weren't work equals. Jim becoming co-manager made things worse.

But now they're equals again. And seeing Dwight's MegaDesk, followed by Jim creating the incorrectly-named QuadDesk, made me realize why the early episodes of 'The Office' work so well. Jim and Dwight getting under each other's skin was a reminder of every irritating cubicle neighbor I've ever had, and that dynamic was missing. It was good to see it back tonight, but it got me annoyed that it really hasn't been around since season two.

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NBC Renews 'Community,' 'The Office,' and '30 Rock'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 6th 2010 9:09AM
NBC already renewed 'Parks and Recreation' in January, and today they also renewed the other sitcoms on their Thursday night lineup, 'Community,' 'The Office,' and '30 Rock.'

No real surprise, though 'Community' could have gone either way. Creator Dan Harmon told the cast about the renewal and recorded it. Look at Yvette Nicole Brown's face as she thinks the show might have been canceled.

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'The Office' - 'The Delivery' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 4th 2010 10:35PM
'The Office' - 'The Delivery'
(S06E16 / S06E17)
Remember how the one hour Pam/Jim wedding episode was considered by many -- including me -- to be 'The Office's' best episode of the season? Well, the one-hour Pam/Jim baby episode definitely isn't in that category.

Why? Because, through a lot of the episode, Pam and Jim displayed none of the charm that made us fall in sitcom love with them in the first place. To compound the situation, they're being written into situations that would make fans of 'Yes, Dear' cringe. But we'll get to that later.

As usual with most one-hour 'Office' episodes, the first half was better than the second. But even the first half of this one had some problems.

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