As The Office approached its ninth and final season, the actors were asked for their input about how their characters’ stories should play out. John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer “had strong feelings” about how Jim and Pam’s story would wrap up and wanted to give fans the ending they hoped for.
‘The Office’ actors contributed in the writers’ room for season 9
With the show wrapping up all of the storylines, showrunner Greg Daniels invited the actors into the writers’ room and happily accepted their feedback.
During the Sept. 1 episode of An Oral History of the Office, host Brian Baumgartner explained how everyone had a voice in the show’s final season storylines. “As it turned out, the decision to end the series reenergized our entire team,” he explained.
Executive producer Ben Silverman explained that the show had started to lose momentum, but there was a spark moving into season 9. “The way to almost reignite that momentum was around its coming to an end. And that was a way to reinvent and relight it because it gave everybody purpose,” Silverman explained.
Daniels shared that even some ideas the writers had pitched in earlier seasons that had been turned down were fair game for the final season.
John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer wanted a perfect ending for Jim and Pam
Writer Brent Forrester explained how the actors were invited to pitch their ideas and they welcomed it. “Tell us everything you’ve ever wanted to do on the show because this is our last chance,” he explained.
“Two actors, in particular, had strong feelings about their storyline,” Baumgartner said — Fischer and Krasinski.
Fischer explained that she and Krasinski were given producer titles because they “were brought in to really discuss the Jim/Pam arc of the final season.” She added, “So we spent a lot of time up in the writers’ room talking about all the beats of that story and what it would be.”
Forrester recalled that Krasinski wanted Jim and Pam’s ending to be special for the show’s fans. “This last season is for the fans. Imagine them as your primary audience. We don’t have to build an audience now. This is it. Let’s give them the thing they most want,” Forrester said the actor told the writers. “And that informed a lot of creative decisions.”
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This photo was taken by me on our final day on set. Jim and Pam as we always want them to be. In this weeks episode of an #OralHistoryOfTheOffice we explore the relationships that became the beating heart of the show. Including of course… JAM. Available now! Episode 5! @propagatecontent @spotifypodcasts
The show had to introduce drama for Jim and Pam though
“One thing they knew the fans wanted was the perfect ending for Jim and Pam, which Greg felt needed a bit of drama,” Baumgartner said.
Daniels explained, “To get a good ending, you needed to inject a bit of upset in the tranquility… and try and get the intensity back.”
“So they put Jim and Pam’s relationship to the test,” Baumgartner said. Tension between the characters was introduced when Jim pursued a job part-time in Philadelphia, leaving Pam to take care of the family and household.
When the characters got into a fight on the phone, the documentary crew boom operator was revealed, as he came into frame to comfort Pam, breaking the fourth wall.
Daniels felt that creating some potential worry for fans would help them better arrive at the perfect ending for Jim and Pam.
“I don’t know if Brian the boom guy was particularly liked by fans. My guess is that was maybe a misfire,” Daniels admitted. “But you can’t have a happy ending without an act two break and I feel like that kind of worry was good in terms of the fans’ engagement.”
“Like, I needed to worry them, that maybe I was going to give them a bad ending, so that they were happy when they got a good ending,” he added.
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