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Thread: The Office on NBC

  1. #21
    Just Forting Around roseskid's Avatar
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    The Office

    Has anyone seen any sound bites for this show? They're starting to run teasers here, and it looks hysterical.

    http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/ny-ettel4177254mar17,0,5202729.st ory?coll=nyc-manheadlines-tv
    'The Office': off the beaten (laugh) track

    The Office (NBC Photo: Justin Lubin)

    Verne Gay

    March 17, 2005

    A week from today, NBC will debut the best new comedy to appear on a major broadcast network in, oh, about two years. "The Office" - based on the BBC hit of the same name - is funny, brilliantly cast, well written, original and accessible in a way that TV's most precocious comedy, Fox's "Arrested Development," isn't always.

    Some critics will be rhapsodic, and all those dire ruminations about the sitcom - as in "dead and buried" - will be retired, at least for a few days.

    And here, by way of a question, is the punch line: Will anybody watch?

    It's not meant to be a cruel question, or a smarty-pants one. Seriously: Will people watch, or, for that matter, will you?

    If not, too bad. But consider that "The Office," starring Steve Carell ("The Daily Show") as the boorish, dim-bulbed manager of a paper-supply firm in Scranton, Pa., is what's called a single-camera comedy.

    "Single camera" - think "no studio audience or laugh track" - is just about the hardest mountain to scale in series television, partly because the networks have spent the past 50 years training audiences to watch multicamera shows, with their predictable rhythms, beats and canned laugh lines.

    As a result, most single-camera shows belly flop, although when they don't ("Curb Your Enthusiasm" or "Malcolm in the Middle") the results can be quite satisfying.

    So NBC, and its new entertainment chief, Kevin Reilly, will give "The Office" a whirl. (After a 9:30 p.m. preview next Thursday, it moves to its regular slot, Tuesday at 9:30, March 29.) But they're not stopping here. This morning in Burbank, NBC will hold its annual prime-time development meeting, when advertisers get to see the potential Edsels alongside the potential Caddies. The network has at least 19 sitcoms in the pipeline, many of which will never get on the air. However, that's nearly double the number that CBS has in its pipeline. And more than a third of these are single camera.

    The single camera is on the ascendancy at NBC, and now - armed with an expertise in this subject - you may be wondering, is NBC nuts?

    Well, yeah - sure! - but maybe "nuts" in the best sense of the word.

    Bob Gumer, a partner with Kaplan Stahler Gumer Braun Agency, a leading Beverly Hills firm that represents TV writers, explains: "All of the networks realize that what has been going on the air hasn't been working, and I know Kevin has a history of trying to shake things up and make a little bit of noise. He's trying to diversify the portfolio and put different things into development, because no comedy really has worked in the last few years, except for [CBS'] 'Two and Half Men.'"

    All that's needed to realize we are in the midst of a terrible stretch for the sitcom is a TV set and the slightest bit of discriminating taste. The sitcom, says Brad Adgate, research chief for the New York-based media buying firm, Horizon Media, "won't go the way of variety shows or westerns, but if a show like 'Arrested Development' can't find a [big] audience, then that doesn't bode well for the genre."

    The ongoing nightmare has been especially brutal on NBC - which may be one reason the network shook up its top development team Monday, ostensibly to make the network more receptive to fresh ideas. "Father of the Pride" was a near-catastrophic failure, while "Friends" sub "Joey" has been merely an OK Nielsen performer. Even the single-camera "Scrubs" is fading.

    In simple arithmetic, this means NBC could end the season in fourth place among viewers aged 18 to 49 after finishing last year in first. The result is that NBC now finds itself in the midst of a "rebuilding process."

    Freshman boss Reilly is a smart guy who knows that most young viewers find the typical multicamera sitcom about as potable as swamp water. Meanwhile, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" is essentially a single-camera comedy writ large, which has given the whole genre a nice boost.

    So NBC has gone offbeat and single camera. What's in the pipeline? Well, there's one show called "American Lives," with actors who pretend to be reporters, and another with Morris Chestnut ("Boyz n the Hood") titled "Dante," based on a Budweiser ad. There's also "NoTORIous," about Tori Spelling's life, post-"Beverly Hills 90210." "SNL's" Tina Fey has a single-camera comedy about a cable news network. Another one, titled "The Weekend" echoes "Housewives" (three families on a cul-de-sac.) And not to worry, all you multicamera fanatics. This form will be well represented, too, by: "Loved Ones (and Other People We Hate)," about families, and "Confessions of a Dog" (about a guy who acts like a pig).

    By the way, most of these shows will be produced by NBC Universal Television Studios, which commonly goes by the acronym NUTS. A coincidence? You will be the judge.
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  2. #22
    Peeking In Duxxy's Avatar
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    *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling*
    "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

  3. #23
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    I try not to do this too often, but I have nothing else to add except a big, hot, steamin' dollop o' to Duxxy's post.

    Roseskid, we have been discussing this show, if you'd like to read it here:
    The Office on NBC

    Maybe a mod could merge the threads?
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  4. #24
    Just Forting Around roseskid's Avatar
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    Oh, thanks, Snowy. I guess I didn't check far enough back, I guess.
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  5. #25
    Dreamer rt1ky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duxxy
    *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling* *please don't ruin it like you did Coupling*
    I couldn't agree more.

    This is not NBC, but I would like to add Changing Rooms - Trading Spaces to the list of British shows that have been ruined by American tv producers.

  6. #26
    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    This show looks hilarious; I've really been looking forward to it. Hope I'm not disappointed tonight!

  7. #27
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    I loved the few episodes I've seen the British original -- I'm going to be hopeful and give this a chance. I like the actor -- Steve Carell? -- and I just hope they don't butcher it.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  8. #28
    FORT Fogey
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    I'm watching tonight's premiere and, I've gotta tell you, I think it's terrible.

    I've got one of those quirky senses of humor and I like new spins on conventional ideas; I liked Raising Arizona, Blue Velvet, and Best in Show, for example. But I can't like this show because it stinks; it's awful.

    This show is absolutely awful.

    I just quit a crappy job in a terrible office 6 months ago and I hope to never, ever think about that terrible experience again, but how can I purge my mind of those terrible work memories when this awful Office show is reminding me of how Hellish a job can be?

    Why does NBC think we poor working stiffs want to come home after spending a grueling day in our respective offices (against our wishes, in most cases) and then sit back in our little homes and watch a bunch of other poor saps as they try to survive their awful days in THEIR terrible offices?

    It's not entertaining at all.

    They should change the name from "The Office" to "The Awfulest." Because it truly is.

  9. #29
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    The Office

    Ok, so I just watched The Office - I understand that the first one was going to be a rip off of the first UK one, but from then on, it will be originally scripted. My initial thoughts are good, however, what's with the faux camera work? The English version uses an edgy reality show camera type, whereas this made me feel nauseous - a little too OTT on the edgy camera angles and a little too much trying to be real. Have to say though, they translated the English jokes to an American audience pretty well, although having seen David Brent do his thing through two successful series, it will be a hard act to follow.

  10. #30
    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    Wow - I feel completely different.

    I loved it. I thought it was really funny and different.

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