THE OFFICE GETS ITS GREG BACK
Executive Producer Greg Daniels returns to close The Office
We can hardly believe the day is come—despite that all great TV shows had to end somewhere. As it’s successful predecessors, it takes its last stand with all chips in, all players on the court and when it was getting so good that you’ll be sad for years to come over the void on your Thursday nights. Some of you will even buy the boxed sets. The good news? The Office gets it’s groove back with original Executive Producer Greg Daniels taking the reigns to close the doors, forever.
Insite got the chance to sit down with the Season 9 EP to hear about what the ninth and final season will leave us with in our memo boxes. From old stories revisited, new drama unfolding and an incredible new inventory of funny stuff, it’s going out with a bang, like the sound of the basketballs hitting rim during pick-up basketball games at Dunder-Mifflin. Sigh.
Okay, Mr. Daniels, first things first. Why did you come back?
We have thought about what the future of the show should be and always held the values that we should feel like a family and make something that has a lot of artistic integrity. And so this year feels like for us like the last chance to really go out together and to make an artist ending for the show that pays off a lot of the stuff that has mattered most to fans with the core characters.
And what are you bringing to the table for the last hoorah?
We are planning a very sort of big, exciting last season. We are going to have a lot of familiar faces coming back. We are going to Roy’s wedding. David Wallace is running the show. He is running the Dunder Mifflin show. I will be writing the actual show. We have a lot of funny stories and we are telling some crazy Dwight stories that we have wanted to tell for years. There is a lot of drama in the Jim and Pam story this year. The story is definitely not over for them. We think they all will learn PowerPoint.
Will the finale address the documentary being made since Season 1?
Yes. Basically all questions will be answered this year. I think we are going to see who is behind the documentary and we are going to meet some of them. We are going to kind of use the fact that for nine years there has been a crew filming this office and people always say, you know, why are they still filming? What are they after? You know?
But why now? Why only 9?
Ultimately this sort of feeling of, you know family and wanting to wrap up these arcs and do the justice to the existing characters in the most creative and explosive way kind of means that the show will be changed to such a degree that if anything was to continue it really wouldn’t be the same show. And if we, you know, we have 15 of the veteran cast members coming back this season but everybody’s contracts only goes eight years. So it is tough and they all have a lot of exciting opportunities so it didn’t seem to me like we could count on getting that many people back for Season 10. So, you know, it was a hard choice though but I think this is going to be a real gangbuster season. So hopefully people will think it was worth it.
Do you approach the stories differently, knowing it’s the last season?
Well definitely I think there is going to be differences between this year and previous years. For one thing I feel like the last few years we didn’t do arcs so much we were more pursuing episodic comedy. But I think the real heart of the show are these arcs that allow the characters to have, you know, ongoing stories. So this is a very arc heavy year. It is all going to be set up in the premiere but there is just so much to pay off from nine seasons of so many great characters that, you know, my biggest concern is just packing in these great ideas that the writing staff has on cards all over the walls and making sure that we hit all of them or at least squeeze as many as we can into the ending. But now when we know that we have an end date we can kind of blow up things and take some chances that, you know, it is very freeing creatively and hopefully will be exciting for the audience.
Any surprise visits from old characters?
Pretty much the core cast are all going to be there. You know Mindy and BJ are coming back just briefly… hopefully more later. But yes, I also expect that we are saving some slots and directors for people who I think when they realize it is their last season may want to come back some of the old directors.
Any new ones?
We have some great guest star roles and we are just starting to go out and find cool people behind them, which I think will be exciting. The majority of the fireworks are really I think more creative choices and things happening to characters that you really know.
Okay, but for real. Is Michael Scott coming back?
We would certainly wish for it. We are not going to put so much pressure on Steve by writing something that can only work if he returns. But it would be fantastic if he would return. And I think that he, you know, for him he really loved how he was exited… And is, you know, probably anxious about not, you know, messing up such a stylish exit.
But we will see. We haven’t written, you know, we just have the kind of ideas for the ending and obviously if he would participate we would have a lot of good times. But, you know, it should go on. I mean the ideas we have will fly without him if he can’t make it. He is pretty busy.
Seriously, how awesome has it been to be behind such an incredible show?
Well, you know, it is interesting. The show has run over twice as long as high school which I was saying to some of the crew and it is such a rare and lucky thing to be on the show that long. The cast is so fantastic and the fact that it is an ensemble that you can bring on new people and work with such a large number of great cast I think was very special. And the writing staff also and the beginning the kind of writer performers that I worked with are just some of the most talented people I have ever met in my life. And I think also good move was that we are in our own little studio way in the boonies here so the spirit of the crew is excellent and it is just a very supportive and fun and loving environment to come to work and I will miss it terribly when I can’t come to work here anymore.
The finale season starts on September 20th at 9pm on NBC.