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NBC's The Office: Season 8 Speculation
A Jaggernaut Heads Into The Home Stretch
Since 2005, The Office has run for more than 150 episodes on NBC, anchoring a Thursday night time slot.
The Office was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It ran for two seasons on the BBC.
The United States version of The Office has far eclipsed the many versions of the show that run around the world and is easily among the most successfully syndicated shows of all time.
How much longer can it continue and what stories remain?
The Office Will Surely Need A New Intro This Season
Is This The Final Season?
Filming recently began on the eighth season of NBC’s The Office, which kicks off September 22. Coming off a challenging but ratings successful season seven, which saw the departure or star Steve Carell as Michael Scott, The Office faces a slate of new challenges.
Good news for the mockumentary show about office life in Dunder Mifflin-Sabre, a fictitious Scranton, Pennsylvania paper slash printer company is that they maintain their 9 pm time slot on Thursday nights. Their competition for ratings consists of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, Person of Interest, a new crime drama on CBS, and Bones on Fox.
More good news for The Office is the addition of newest cast member, James Spader as Robert California, a role he guest starred as during the season seven finale. Spader will be a full-time member of the cast.
It will be explained that Robert California successfully interviewed for the regional manager position made vacant by the departure of Michael Scott. Within hours, California leaps immediately to the top, replacing CEO Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates. Bates became unavailable to continue the part when her legal comedy was picked up for a second season by NBC).
So while the hiring committee found a successful replacement for Michael Scott’s position, they will soon be tasked with finding another replacement. The replacement will likely come from the other interview candidates from the season seven finale.
Those candidates were show regulars Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), Daryl Philbin (Craig Robinson,) and Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), as well as guests Rupert Murdoch, Rick Gervais (as David Brent from the UK version of the show), Jim Carey, Ray Romano, and Katherine Tate.
I predict the season will begin with the explaining of the situation involving Robert California, now the new head of the company.
As the regional manager position goes to the drawing board, the following candidates will have a big chance of getting hired:
- Jim Halpert – His life will be changing in a big way and he will need more money.
- Andy Bernard-He is rather unaggressive but his portrayer Ed Helms is a bond fide movie star and will benefit the show’s rating with increased face time.
- Dwight Schrute-He actually held the position briefly but lost it when his gun discharged accidentally.
- Ray Romano, who is available now that his Men of a Certain Age show has been cancelled, might be an outside possibility. Katherine Tate, who is based in the UK, might be a possibility.
Still, the “who’s going to be the boss” storyline has dominated much of the storyline of the show last year, even putting off other key supporting storylines. It’s past time for them to make a choice. I think they will go for a safe bet and Jim Halpert will get the nod.
As mentioned above, Jim Halpert will need more money because of a life changing event. His wife, Pam Beesly Hapert (Jenna Fischer) will, as the season begins, be pregnant with their second child. This new storyline will be because Ms. Fischer is due to give birth some time in September.
Whereas Jim was a bit of a slacker when he had the position before, look for him to change quite a bit.
With the “who’s the boss” storyline coming to a much needed end, look for the wonderful support cast storylines to get more time. They include:
- Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) relationship with a state senator will come to an end when details of the politician’s closeted personal life are exposed. Angela will rekindle her involvement with Dwight Schrute;
- Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) will finally get things right between her and Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak). While Mindy’s contract to work behind the scenes as a writer has expired, she should have more time to shine in front of the camera;
- Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) should awkwardly find her way back to Andy Bernard. This underrated gem of a romance was put on hold when Erin became involved with reed thin corporate administrative assistant Gabe Lewis (Zach Wood). Gabe left to go back to the corporate office in Florida at the end of season seven but we have not seen the last of him.
- Creed (Creed Bratton) will be in cahoots with newcomer Cody Horn, a model turned actress. There storyline will likely explain what is going on with Creed after his temporary gig filling the regional manager position is ended. Creed is hilarious and gets far too little face time.
I’m not sure what they will do with the rest of the supporting cast though I anticipate we’ll get to see more from Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), and Kevin (Brian Baumgartner).
One final prediction: Many sources are speculating on how much contract time is left on certain players on the show. Many of the cast have only one year remaining.
As a result, I believe season 8 will be the last season for the show.
The show needs to get a storyline going about how the documentary, which has been in process for a long time, has affected their lives.
This was done to great success with the original UK version of the show that ran as a special on the BBC after the regular episodes ended.
It would be a great way to end one of the longest-running “mockumentary” in the United States.