The Office Expands, Hollywood’s Officially Run Out of Ideas

This afternoon, E!Online is reporting that NBC has reached an agreement with THE OFFICE to produce 24 episodes of the hit workplace laugher next season, including four hour-long specials.

An expanded OFFICE signifies one thing: the networks have yet again failed in their attempt to produce quality new shows for next season (specifically comedies). Why spend the time and money to produce original and creative content when it’s far easier to spin-off an already established character into say a PRIVATE PRACTICE? Or expand the working hours of THE OFFICE so much so that the quality of the show invariably suffers. Spin-offs and super-sized episodes are the easy way out, and in the long run, do nothing but hurt an already ailing industry.

Let’s face it, creativity in Hollywood is officially dead (or at the very least on life support.) And if this development season has proven anything, it’s that once again network suits have absolutely no idea what they’re doing (a comedy based on the Geico Caveman commercials, seriously?).

With that in mind don’t be surprised when ABC president Steve McPherson steps up to the podium at Tuesday’s ABC UpFront presentation to announce the networks next hit comedy: ACCORDING TO JIM’S COUSIN.

Yup, that noise you heard is the sound of my DVR desperately trying to shut itself down.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Once again, I have to respectfully disagree where the office is concerned: Let’s face it… if you can’t come up with 24 good-to-great episodes of a sitcom a year, you shouldn’t be in the business, period. It’s really only in the past few years that shows have gotten away with producing an ever-decreasing number of episodes. 24 episodes doesn’t even give you half of the year with new programming. I think it’s time the networks focus on bringing MORE episodes of QUALITY television instead of taking what I see as the easy way out: Reality TV. It’s also time for them to start looking at year-round programming: Renew all the Law & Order franchises, but rather than run them all during the same time frame, run the original Law & Order for 16 weeks, then run 16 weeks of L&O: CI, followed by a 16-week run of SVU. Same with Grey’s anatomy: Run 20 episodes of GA, and when that show finishes its run, begin a 20 episode run of the spin-off.

    Given the astrononomical salaries of everyone involved with these shows, it’s time they start earing them.

  • 3 LAW & ORDERS
    3 CSI’S
    HOUSE airs three times each week to fill FOX’s holes….

    Don’t get me wrong, I love more episodes of everything, I am afterall the TV addict…. I just think there’s a problem with using more episodes of THE OFFICE to fill up holes in a schedule due to poor developmnet.

    If NBC had the next FRIENDS or SEINFELD in development, do you really think they’d be asking THE OFFICE for more episodes. Supersizing is a crutch the network is using due to the inability to develop funny comedies.

  • Tim

    Dude you are WAY off base on The Office. Last year they produced 22 episodes, this year they are producing 24. Next year they will produce 24 episodes, including 4 of them being one hour long. If they had the next “Friends” or “Seinfeld”, I doubt either would run for just 2 episodes( the extra amount added on from season 2), so I don’t see how this move is blocking a new show from coming out?

    Also, I thought you were a little better than running one of these cliched “Hollywood creativity is dead” stories.

  • Tim… I’ll concede that my title was a touch alarmist and over-drmatic, but I stand by the fact that networks are spinning-off and supersizing shows to hide the fact that they haven’t developed shows they believe will find an audience.

  • Chris

    I gotta give NBC some credit. It kept THE OFFICE on the air when it was not doing so hot rating wise and let it blossom. They’re now doing the same with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and THE OFFICE and it seems about to throw away at least one of their LAW AND ORDER crutches. And the four drama pilots they picked up all sound pretty original.

  • Chris

    I gotta give NBC some credit. It kept THE OFFICE on the air when it was not doing so hot rating wise and let it blossom. They’re now doing the same with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and 30 ROCK and it seems about to throw away at least one of their LAW AND ORDER crutches. And the four drama pilots they picked up all sound pretty original.

  • Josh

    Wow, could you be more negative? You claim to be a TV addict, yet you act like there are no good shows currently on TV or in development. The truth is, there seem to be more quality shows currently airing than there have been in a while.

    And you’re completely underestimating The Office. An expansion to 24 episodes isn’t much extra at all. The show has an incredibly difficult task in following the brilliant second season, and they pulled if off with a fantastic third season. I don’t have any reason to think they can’t come up with a bit more for next season.

  • becky

    I think the supersized Office episodes have been overall the funniest, the hysterical christmas episode, last night’s episode, the Casino episode, women’s appreciation, etc. Hopefully they will leave the really out there episodes next season revolvng around something special for the super sized episodes and i think it will work, hopefully.

  • Common Sense

    More OFFICE = More ME watching NBC.

    What’s wrong with that? T

    he Office on its “worst” day is far better than almost anything else on TV. If only NBC had picked up Arrested Development to pair with it—can you even imagine?!!

  • Michael Moulton

    Creativity isn’t dead at the production end, it’s dead at the business end.

    Drive is a simple example. It was different, and Fox killed it before it even had a chance (come on, NOBODY knows how a show is really doing when it has only run two episodes in its own time slot!).

    What’s the motivation for creators to try new things when they can pour their efforts into a project and have it killed before it even gets a chance?