Happy anniversary, ‘The Office!’ Hey, remember when we used to go to offices? Good times.

Happy anniversary to The Office, which apparently premiered 15 years ago today. Who knew it was a midseason show! This now makes me wonder what the most successful midseason shows have been … I SMELL A CHRONICLE SLIDESHOW! Anywhoodles, Vulture has an excerpt from the book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History in which producers and actors tell the story of how the two-part “Fire Drill” episode was made.

Also revealed in the book: Steve Carrell didn’t want to leave the show, but NBC let his contract expire for reasons some crewmembers call “mind-boggling.” It really was the death knell for the entire season.

James Gandolfini was apparently thisclose to being Michael Scott’s replacement but got cold feet when he realized he would have to do comedy. James Spader was hired instead and we all know how that went. (NOT GREAT, BOB.)

TV Line has ranked The Office‘s 15 best cold opens.

And Vanity Fair reminds us what the critics had to say about the series when it debuted.

Ava DuVernay and Netflix have had one of the defamation lawsuits for When They See Us thrown out of court. You’re next, Linda Fairstein.


Going Viral

The virus continues to be good news for the networks — for now. The number of people watching TV jumped a full 8% last week. And that’s terrific! The problem is, networks are going to run out of new programs pretty soon … and then what?

Some networks have been delaying new episodes especially those shows that have not yet been able to film their final episodes. Supernatural, as mentioned yesterday, is going to hold back all remaining new episodes after last night’s episode. It’s looking like The CW is also holding back Batwoman and Supergirl, as well.

The virus also messed up Law & Order: SVU‘s plans: first of all, they had planned an episode that would bring back “two prominent characters from earlier seasons” that they aren’t going to film now — at least not this season, and second of all, the 20th episode looks like it will be the final episode of the season instead of the 24th episode.

As for the pilot season, it might not have been hurt by all of this as much as imagined: because writing is about the only part of television production that can be done right now, all of the networks have ordered backup scripts for the pilots already in production. Interestingly, this shutdown might be the thing that finally breaks the networks of the traditional pilot season and move towards a model that streaming services have been using for a while.

Robin Roberts is now hosting GMA from home.

YouTube is setting its default to standard definition.

The Democratic National Convention is still set to happen in July.


The Olympics are officially postponed until next year. Which just gives me time to plan a trip with Bobby to attend, at least that’s what I’m going to pretend to keep my spirits up. My thoughts go out to all the athletes who had been training for this moment, only to have it yanked out from underneath them.

More postponements:

In sad news, playwright Terrance McNally has passed away from complications from Covid-18.

More people who have tested positive that you’ve heard of:

  • The Young and the Restless, Major Crimes and Dawson’s Creek alum Greg Rikaart who reported that the virus was “the hardest experience” of his life:

View this post on Instagram

I just tested positive for coronavirus. I am a pretty healthy 43-year-old who doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink much, eats well and exercises regularly and this has been the hardest experience of my life. Two+ weeks ago, everyone in my house had a bit of a cough and my son came home from school with a high fever. Everyone recovered, but I deteriorated. I isolated from my family and have been in solo quarantine since Saturday the 14th. I had a fever for 11 days, difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with pneumonia. I’m confident that I have finally turned the proverbial corner and am fever free today for the first time since this all started. I was told to stay isolated for another 72 hours before I acclimate back into my family. So, nice try coronavirus, but I have another 4-5 decades worth of experiences to have with these guys. Furthermore, I want to thank you all for the well wishes and I hope you heed the warnings. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay inside. ❤️

A post shared by Greg Rikaart (@gregrikaart) on

And then there’s poor Rolo, who is so happy to have everyone home he sprained his tail from wagging it so much.

Poor James Corden. Last night was his show’s fifth anniversary. This was not how he wanted to celebrate:

Ugh, the politics of this.

Yesterday was an especially dark chapter in this nightmare we are all living through. After a little over a week of some cities being on lockdown, President Attention Deficient Disorder is growing bored with this whole social distancing thing, and hinted that he would reassess where we are in the next 15 days. He’s made it more explicit today, saying that he wants the country “opened up” by Easter.

Now, we haven’t hit the peak of this thing yet in New York City. Deaths are still climbing there, as the full effect of social distancing hasn’t yet taken effect. It’s so bad the WHO declared that if we continue on our current trajectory, our country could be the next epicenter of this disease. And there are entire swaths of the middle of the country that has not done any social distancing yet. While the deaths in places like New York City and Seattle and Los Angeles might come down in the next couple of weeks, we might not see the impact of this virus in the middle of the country UNTIL Easter, and this asshole wants to send everyone back to work by then? Because he’s worried about the stock market?

Well yes: as my own Lt. Governor Dan GoddamnedFuckingMonster Patrick made explicit on Tucker Carlson’s show last night, he believes your grandparents and parents will be happy to give their lives to make sure we don’t have to cut back on our vacations and Netflix subscriptions:

And just take a look at this piece of shit:


I mean, I guess the upshot of all this is that conservatives are finally being honest about how much they actually value life.

Anyway. Let Stephen King explain how viruses spread, please, and shut the fuck up about prioritizing the economy over people’s lives.

And also, ALSO, the same man who wants — against medical and scientific advice — to fling the economy back open before it might be ready, has been going out in his makeshift rallies press conferences, insisting that a malaria drug has been effective against Covid-19. In one press conference, Dr. Fauci clarified that they had not done any testing and that we maybe shouldn’t buy snake oil from a snake oil salesman and we haven’t seen him at a press conference since. (I’m paraphrasing but you get it.)

Here’s the danger: President Cult Leader’s base believe him, they trust him over the egghead scientists, and grasping for any semblance of hope, they do what he says. A couple in Arizona who trusted Dear Leader found chloroquine phosphate in some fish aquarium cleaner tablets and took them as a preventative measure. The husband died, the wife is in ICU, and has learned her lesson the most painful way possible:

Let’s find some good to hang onto:

After the owner of the 76ers cut staff salaries, player Joel Embiid vowed to support the staffers himself and donated $500,000 to medical relief efforts. Josh Harris, the owner of the team was appropriately shamed, and reversed the decision to slash salaries. It should be noted that Embiid is not the only professional NBA player who has stepped up to help arena and team staff.

Broadway producers have pledged $1 million in matching funds for the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

(After dragging his feet about it and arguing with people on Twitter that hospitals didn’t need them yet) Elon Musk donated 1,000 ventilators to Los Angeles hospitals.

And for you TV fans, The Paley Center would like to entertain you: they have launched Paley@Home on YouTube, where fans can watch, for free, panels from NYC and Los Angeles events. Supernatural 2018 is available now, to be followed by This Is Us 2017 (on March 24), Parks and Recreation cast reunion 2019 (March 25), The Daily Show With Trevor Noah 2016 (March 26), Blue Bloods 2017 (March 27), The Office 2007 (March 28) and The Walking Dead 2017 (on March 29).

And go binge some CBS All Access for free for the next month:


Mark Your Calendars

  • The Most Dangerous Game will debut on Quibi on April 6.
  • Middleditch & Schwartz: Dream Job; Middleditch & Schwartz: Law School Magic; and Middleditch & Schwartz: Parking Lot Wedding, all improv comedy specials from Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz are coming to Netflix on April 21.


Alberto Uderzo, Comic book writer and illustrator most famous for Asterix

Jeremy Marre, Documentarian of world music


This is Us: The Pearsons celebrate Jack’s first birthday — and there will be a time jump — in the season finale. 8 p.m., NBC

One Day at a Time: A census taker comes to the house in the season premiere. 8:30 p.m., Pop TV

Council of Dads: So, This is Us inspired A Million Little Things which clearly inspired this new series about a man who creates a “council of dads” to take care of his family when he has a health crisis. Series premiere. 9 p.m., NBC

Project Bluebook: Hynek and Quinn try to prevent World War III in the season finale. 9 p.m., History

Cherish the Day: Gently throws a birthday party for Miss Luma. Season finale. 9 p.m., OWN

East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story: This documentary film looks at how Atlanta destroyed a public housing project with the promise of something better for the residents, and spoiler alert: how it didn’t work out. A reminder in this very scary time for a lot of us that there are populations amongst us who are always scared and on the precipice. 7 p.m., PBS


TUES. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Conners
Bless This Mess
For Life
FBI: Most Wanted
CW The Flash
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
FOX The Resident
NBC Ellen’s Game of Games
This is Us
Council of Dads

One thought on “Happy anniversary, ‘The Office!’ Hey, remember when we used to go to offices? Good times.

  1. James Gandolfini was apparently this close to being Michael Scott’s replacement but got cold feet when he realized he would have to do comedy. James Spader was hired instead

    So he didn’t have to worry about doing comedy anyway is what you are saying. Ay-Oh!

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