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Let’s face it: Season 8 of The Office was like getting a Prism Durosport for Christmas when you really wanted an iPod. Meandering plots, characters acting out of, well, character and an overall lack of focus dragged down the NBC comedy’s first full year without Steve Carell. Enter original showrunner Greg Daniels, who is back at the helm and determined to reestablish The Office as Must-See TV — albiet during the show’s just-announced final season. Here, the boss lays out his Season 9 game plan — which includes a more aggressive Andy, several fresh faces and a tormented Nellie.
TVLINE | What was your primary mission when approaching this season?
I want to tell big arcs for the main characters and regain that sense of needing to see each episode when it airs to find out what is happening next. I want to keep the drama hot and juicy and the comedy cold and crunchy, basically imitating the old McDLT campaign for McDonalds. TVLINE | Last season Andy was more of an off-and-on boss. Is this the season he fully takes the reins at DM-Scranton? David Wallace, who now owns Dunder Mifflin, sends Andy for Outward Bound-leadership training over the summer and he comes back pretty aggressively in charge.
TVLINE | Andy and Erin — what is the state of their relationship this season? What is their next obstacle? Same question for Jim and Pam. And Dwight and Angela.
All the main characters will have serial stories and relationship arcs. It will be more fun to experience the twists and turns while watching if I don’t spell it all out for you here.
TVLINE | How will Nellie fit into the office this season?
At the end of last year, Andy softened and allowed Nellie to stay as Director of Special Projects. But he comes back from Outward Bound with the confidence and desire to torment Nellie for what she did to him last year and make her quit.
TVLINE | Describe the two new characters played by Jake Lacy and Clark Duke.
Jake and Clark play Pete and Clark, two guys in their mid-20s who have been hired to go through the 4,000-plus unanswered customer complaint voicemails that Kelly leaves behind when she goes.
TVLINE | What brings Roy back?
Jim and Pam are invited to Roy’s wedding in Episode 2.
“This will be the last season of The Office, the series’ developer/executive producer Greg Daniels just announced. Daniels, who ran the veteran NBC comedy from season one through five and has returned for the upcoming season nine, made the announcement on a conference call this morning. “It was a hard decision but this is going to be a real gangbuster season,” added Daniels. The producer stressed that creative closure was the primary reason behind the decision to end the series. “Certainly we’re not leaving for any reason other than that one,” said Daniels. “This year feels like the last chance” for The Office to have “an artistic ending.” With The Office still ranking as NBC’s highest-rated scripted series, Daniels said he feared the network might want to “cling to it” when he approached NBC executives with the idea of ending the show. “It’s actually a big surprise to me that NBC was so supportive of this decision,” he said. “We all had a lot of passion for it and persuaded them.”
The Emmy-winning comedy struggled to recover from the exit of its leading man Steve Carell at the end of Season 7. After his anointed successor James Spader exited this May, word was that Daniels had a plan to reboot the long-running series heading into Season 9, which premieres Sept. 20. The series was able to secure its core cast, with Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer all coming back, joined by Rainn Wilson, who will reprise his role with an eye toward jumping onto spinoff The Farm, which the actor created with former Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein.
Daniels said that a lot of stories would be wrapped up and the identity of the documentary camera crew that been filming the employees of Scranton, Penn. would be revealed. To bookend the series, Daniels said he wanted to get Ken Kwapis, who directed the pilot, to also direct the finale. “There is so much to pay off from nine seasons of great characters and the core cast are all going to be there,” he said. “Now that we know we have an end date, we can take some chances and blow things up.”
Ed Helms’ Whiskey Sour Radio Hour is BACK! For those of you who missed out catching the show during The 3rd Annual LA Bluegrass Festival in May, don’t wait to get tickets to this fantastic show on Friday, August 17. Ed hosts his own twisted take on the old-time, radio variety show. Music and comedy have long been separate pursuits for Ed, but here they collide in a dastardly mash-up that can only be described as Prairie Home Companion on crystal meth and moonshine. Past Special Guests have included Steve Martin, Will Ferrell, Jackson Browne and MORE. Tickets are available ONLINE ONLY. Click here to purchase tickets.
Friday, August 16: Ed Helms Presents The Whiskey Sour Radio Hour. Seats will be assigned beginning at 6:30pm, Doors open for drinks at 7:30pm, Showtime 9pm. Click here to purchase tickets.
We kid, but The Office funny man is serious about boycotting Chick-fil-A for being anti-gay.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t like gay people?” Helmstweeted earlier today. “So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan.”
Helms’ outrage stems from comments that the company’s chief operating officer Dan Cathy recently made to the Baptist Pressabout not supporting same-sex marriage.
“Guilty as charged,” Cathy said when asked about the company’s support of what the Press describes as “the traditional family.”
“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy explained. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
“The Office” Season Eight, available onBlu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on September 4, 2012.
“The Office” Season Eight includes 24 episodes to enjoy back-to-back and uninterrupted in a five-disc set, with outstanding bonus features including extended episodes, more than 100 minutes of deleted scenes, webisodes and more! TheBlu-ray™ Combo Pack features perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound, a DVD version of the season, plus UltraViolet™. UltraViolet™ is the revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows in the cloud to instantly stream and download to televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones. Now, consumers can truly enjoy their favorite television show anytime, anywhere, on the platform of their choice.
Ed Helms is getting ready to continue a Griswold family vacation tradition as the actor is in negotiations to star in New Line’s “Vacation.”
Helms would play Rusty Griswold, the son of Clark Griswold played by Chevy Chase in the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” franchise.
Helms was rumored to be involved in the project earlier in the year, but New Line was still closing in on a director before offers were made to thesps.
“Horrible Bosses” scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are directing from a script they penned.
The new version of the vacation adventures of the quirky dad and his family will follow Rusty, who now has his own family misadventures on the road.
David Dobkin will produce through his David Dobkin Productions banner.
If Helms’ deal closes, production would aim for a spring start after Helms finishes production on “The Hangover 3″ and his stint on “The Office.” In that time, New Line will aim to cut the script down a little in order to bring in to the budget they like.
Harold Ramis directed the 1983 original that was a big hit for Warners. Two more installments followed, “European Vacation” and “Christmas Vacation,” the highest grossing of the series, bringing in more than $70 million on a budget of about $25 million. Warner tried to rejuvenate the series with “Vegas Vacation” in 1997, but that pic underperformed compared to previous installments.
The CAA and Principato-Young repped Helms is also set to film a small role for “We’re the Millers” and “They Came Together.”
Before he returns for another season on The Office, Ed Helms will star opposite Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in They Came Together, the David Wain-directed comedy that Wain and Michael Showalter wrote for Lionsgate. Helms is playing Eggbert, which is Poehler’s character’s love interest and accountant in this twisted take on the romantic comedy which Showalter’s producing. Poehler plays a small-business owner being crushed by a larger concern. The film shoots in July.
Helms will also do a cameo in We’re The Millers, the New Line comedy directed by Rawson Thurber and which stars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. Tucker Tooley, Vincent Newman, Happy Walters, and David Heyman are producing. Helms plays Brad, who is Sudekis’ boss and who may be hiding something nefarious and shady.
Helms then returns to The Office on July 30. He’ll shoot The Hangover 3 on September 16. He’s repped by CAA and Principato-Young.
In just a few months, “The Hangover 3” kicks off production, star Ed Helms told Access Hollywood on Tuesday.
“We’re starting in September, I think,” Ed told Access Hollywood after helping out at the launch of Airtime, a new online friend video connection service.
Ed, who stars in the film franchise with Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper, said the gang got together for a call less than 24 hours ago, to talk about the upcoming project.
“It’s happening,” he said. “They’re in pre-production, and we just had a really fun call yesterday, with the cast and Todd [Phillips], the director. We’re gearing up. It’s gonna be awesome.”
The “Office” star said he is looking forward to reconnecting with his big screen pals to make the project, which is due out in 2013.
“When you read on the page, ‘This crazy thing happens to these guys…’ to me, I’m reading, ‘Oh, this is something really fun I get to do with my buddies,’” Ed said. “It’s like the most fun thing in the universe to make those movies, so we’re gonna crank up again and see what happens.”