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Steve Carell Unlikely To Return For ‘The Office’ Finale: TCA

By | Sunday January 6, 2013 @ 12:12pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

When he announced in August that the current ninth season of The Office will be the series’ last, developer/executive producer Greg Daniels was hopeful that the final season and especially the series finale would feature original central character Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell for The Office‘s first seven seasons.”We certainly wish Michael Scott would return,” Daniels said at the time. “But we’re not going to put pressure on Steve to write something only he could do.”

Related: NBC’s Greenblatt “Absolutely Hopeful” About Fifth Season Of ‘Community’

Today NBC boss Bob Greenblatt all but shut the door to that possibility. “We’re hopeful but I don’t think (Carell) will,” Greenblatt said after the NBC executive session. “He left in the way he wanted to leave, and he and Greg talked about it, and I don’t think he will. There’s maybe a little Hail Mary pass on a cameo, but I think the decision would be compromising his schedule.”

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Fleming Q&A’s Matt Damon/John Krasinski: ‘Promised Land’; A Bat Stamp On ‘Bourne 4’; Ending ‘The Office’; Cheating On Affleck

By | Monday December 10, 2012 @ 8:27am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Even before Focus Features made Promised Land a late Oscar entry, the film’s writer-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski came under fire from the energy industry. Their film deals with “fracking,” which mixes chemicals, sand, water and drilling to loosen underground shale deposits to harvest natural energy. Damon and Fran McDormand play gas company reps using the lure of potential riches to convince struggling farmers to allow fracking on their lands, despite the risks for their crops and livestock. Krasinski plays a grassroots activist fighting the reps as the town prepares to vote. Promised Land reunites Damon with Gus Van Sant, who directed Good Will Hunting, which brought Oscars and fame to Boston neophyte scribes Damon and Ben Affleck. Damon and Krasinski are fun guys, the type who’d be a blast to invite over to watch football…as long as you aren’t a fan of the New York Giants and the two Super Bowls they won over the New England Patriots.

DEADLINE: Matt, you’ve said recently that the Bourne Legacy spinoff didn’t make it any easier for Jason Bourne to return. What has to happen for us to see your signature character back onscreen?

DAMON: Just a couple things, really. Paul Greengrass has to want to do it, and secondly and equally important, it comes down to Paul and I knowing what the hell we want to do. We just don’t have a story, and we haven’t had one. I quietly went to Jonah Nolan, because he and his brother Chris did such a brilliant job on Batman and that whole mythology. I just said, can you put your brain on this? I can’t figure it out. And he took a run at it and he couldn’t crack it either. Paul and I have been talking about it for years. And we can’t quite see what the movie would be. If we could get line of sight on that…

DEADLINE: We are force-fed so many unnecessary sequels, and here is a smart thriller that we actually want to see more of…

DAMON: Neither of us is against it. I would love to do another one. I love that character. To me, the reason to make that movie is because people want to see it. Paul and I have said that to each other. We don’t take for granted the fact that we’ve built an audience for Bourne, that’s a real privilege. But our part of that bargain is that the movie is good and belongs with the other three. Until we can deliver that, we just can’t make it.

DEADLINE: I watched last week as Brad Pitt’s bankability got questioned after Killing Them Softly tanked. How much do stars like you and Brad worry about taking on projects like that or Promised Land? You see them as specialty pictures made at a price, but if they fail, they go down in the loss column.

DAMON: Some actors don’t make these movies for exactly that reason. I couldn’t bear to have a career like that. These are exactly the kind of movies I like to go see. That might put me in the minority of the movie-going public, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make them. In writing Promised Land, John and I talked a lot about films like Local Hero and The Verdict, a movie I absolutely love. I don’t know what that movie would do today, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to be in The Verdict.

DEADLINE: How helpful then are hits like Bourne

DAMON: It’s always nice when one hits. It buys you relevance in the industry for a couple years and gives you cover to do these other things. But I would never just protect my beach head. That would be a career built out of fear and I won’t live that way. I want to challenge myself in different genres, playing different characters, and I don’t want to get pigeonholed and forced to do the same things. If Promised Land does not do a lot of business, it’s not going to end my career. But I am mindful like we all are that you don’t get to keep doing this if your movies don’t perform at the box office.

DEADLINE: John, how hard is it for you to end your long run on The Office?

KRASINSKI: It’s as hard as it gets, to be honest. This is so much more for me than just ending a television series. I was a waiter when I got the job. No one would know my name if it wasn’t for this job and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten the career opportunities. To be part of something special enough to have a final season rather than just getting canned is an honor. The show is everything to me. By the end of whatever career I have, there’s a part of me that will always be defined by this show and I’m supremely honored that is the case. I got this job when I was 23 and now I’m 33 and that’s a pretty important decade to spend on one project with one group of people. This is the most important thing I’ve ever done, the proudest thing I have. I will never forget a minute of it nor would I take back a second of it. Read More »

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NBC Not Going Forward With Potential ‘Office’ Spinoff ‘The Farm’

By | Monday October 29, 2012 @ 3:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: It looks like the series finale of The Office next spring will wrap the stories of all characters on the Emmy-winning workplace comedy. I’ve learned that NBC will not be proceeding with The Farm, its planned spinoff from The Office. The project, starring Rainn Wilson, was to be introduced as an episode of The Office this season before launching as its own series. That episode will still air. NBC is not commenting, but rumors about The Farm‘s demise started circulating just before lunch. Wilson then confirmed the news on Twitter. “NBC has passed on moving forward with The Farm TV show,” he wrote. “Had a blast making the pilot – onwards & upwards!” Read More »

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‘Office’s Craig Robinson To Star In NBC Comedy From Series Boss Greg Daniels

By | Friday October 19, 2012 @ 1:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Craig Robinson OfficeGreg Daniels Office EXCLUSIVE: The proposed Office spinoff starring Rainn Wilson is not the only NBC comedy series hopeful for next season toplined by an Office co-star and backed by key Office auspices.

In his first major sale this season, The Office developer/executive producer Greg Daniels has set up a comedy at NBC starring The Office regular Craig Robinson and written by the show’s supervising producer Owen Ellickson. The untitled project centers on a talented musician (Robinson) with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school, where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms. The comedy hails from Universal TV, Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods and 3 Arts Entertainment. Ellickson, Daniels, Deedle Dee’s Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein and Mark Schulman executive produce, with Robinson serving as producer. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC’s Thursday Lineup Down In Return, ‘The X Factor’ Up

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 9:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

When NBC in May announced its new Thursday lineup consisting of softly rated returning comedies and Rock Center With Brian Williams, it felt like the network was writing off the night for the fall. Well, that certainly seems to be the case judging by the lineup’s launch last night, following strong showings for NBC on Monday and Tuesday.

The first Saturday Night Live Election special (1.6/5 in adults 18-49) failed to jump-start the night, down 69% from the comparable special four years ago when Saturday Night Live was riding the Sarah Palin wave. SNL had a big election story to play off last night, the secret Mitt Romney tape, but it may have been hurt from lack of publicity. Still, the SNL special did better than its lead-out, the second-season premiere of Up All Night, which pretty much sealed its fate with an underwhelming 1.3/4 in 18-49, down 46% from last year’s series premiere, to finish fourth in the time slot. With that number, it doesn’t look likely that the comedy will go beyond its partial 13-episode renewal.

There was not much enthusiasm for the final season of The Office (2.1/6). It opened down 48% from last season’s premiere, which revealed Michael Scott’s successor, to an all-time low for a season opener of the veteran comedy.  Office was also down from its May season finale, by 9%. At 9:30 PM, Parks And Recreation (1.7/5) also posted its lowest-rated premiere ever. Compared with last fall, it was down 19%. And at 10 PM, one of the the biggest headscratchers on NBC’s schedule, Rock Center, mustered a 1.1/3, down 21% from last week with no original competition in the hour. NBC (1.5/4, 4.0 million) finished third for the night behind Fox (3.1/9, 8.6 million) and CBS (1.8/5, 7.4 million), which aired repeats. Read More »

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‘The Office’ To End Run After Upcoming Ninth Season; Steve Carell May Return

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 11:12am PDT

“This will be the last season of The Officethe series’ developer/executive producer Greg Daniels just announced. Daniels, who ran the veteran NBC comedy from season one through five and has returned for the upcoming season nine, made the announcement on a conference call this morning. “It was a hard decision but this is going to be a real gangbuster season,” added Daniels. The producer stressed that creative closure was the primary reason behind the decision to end the series. “Certainly we’re not leaving for any reason other than that one,” said Daniels. “This year feels like the last chance” for The Office to have “an artistic ending.” With The Office still ranking as NBC’s highest-rated scripted series, Daniels said he feared the network might want to “cling to it” when he approached NBC executives with the idea of ending the show. “It’s actually a big surprise to me that NBC was so supportive of this decision,” he said. “We all had a lot of passion for it and persuaded them.”

The Emmy-winning comedy struggled to recover from the exit of its leading man Steve Carell at the end of Season 7. After his anointed successor James Spader exited this May, word was that Daniels had a plan to reboot the long-running series heading into Season 9, which premieres Sept. 20. The series was able to secure its core cast, with Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer all coming … Read More »

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Jake Lacy Joins ‘The Office’ As Regular

By | Saturday July 28, 2012 @ 2:29pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Better With You alum Jake Lacy will co-star on a series next season after all. Lacy played one of the leads in the Fox drama pilot The Goodwin Games that recast the role with T.J. Miller when picked up to series. Now Lacy has been cast in a new series regular role on NBC’s The Office. According to our sister site TVLine, Lacy will play a new staffer at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton. Lacy joins Clark Duke who also has been cast as a new regular on the veteran comedy series this fall.

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Mindy Kaling To Return To ‘The Office’ For Guest Stint: TCA

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 11:00am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

TCA 2012 Mindy Kaling ProjectUPDATED: The Office co-star/writer/producer Mindy Kaling, who left the NBC comedy at the end of last season to topline her own series, Fox’s The Mindy Project, will make a return visit to The Office. Mindy Kaling Office“I’ll definitely be in the first episode next season and probably at least one other one too, which I’m really excited about,” Kaling said this morning during the TCA session for Mindy Project. She said she will return to resolve the story involving her character Kelly Kapoor. ”I got attached to that character”, she said. “It’s fun top see what’s going to happen to Kelly.” All Office regulars are coming back next season with the exception of James Spader, who left after a season, and Kaling. B.J. Novak scaled back his presence to recurring.

Kaling said earlier in the panel that Office costar Ed Helms would be one of her love interests on her new series and that her former show’s co-creator Greg Daniels would direct an episode. “It’s like, hey, who’s the boss now?” she joked. Earlier, she responded to a question about the rise of Indian-American actors such as herself in primetime. “It’s really exciting,” Kaling said. “I don’t think about it all the time, but it is a cool … Read More »

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Ed Helms Sets Two Film Roles Before Returning To ‘The Office’

Mike Fleming

Ed Helms MoviesEXCLUSIVE: Before he returns for another season on The Office, Ed Helms will star opposite Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in They Came Together, the David Wain-directed comedy that Wain and Michael Showalter wrote for Lionsgate. Helms is playing Eggbert, which is Poehler’s character’s love interest and accountant in this twisted take on the romantic comedy which Showalter’s producing. Poehler plays a small-business owner being crushed by a larger concern. The film shoots in July.

Helms will also do a cameo in We’re The Millers, the New Line comedy directed by Rawson Thurber and which stars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. Tucker Tooley, Vincent Newman, Happy Walters, and David Heyman are producing. Helms plays Brad, who is Sudekis’ boss and who may be hiding something nefarious and shady.

Helms then returns to The Office on July 30. He’ll shoot The Hangover 3 on September 16. He’s repped by CAA and Principato-Young.

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EMMYS: ‘The Office’s Ed Helms

By | Sunday June 17, 2012 @ 2:35pm PDT

Michael Ausiello is editor-in-chief of TVLine.

Boardwalk EmpireIt’s safe to say The Office’s Ed Helms faced one of the most daunting acting challenges of the past TV season — succeeding Steve Carell as the manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. But while the show itself struggled a bit to find its creative footing in the post-Michael Scott era, the 38-year-old Helms — who has played the adorkably insecure Andy Bernard since Season 3 — never made his task look like work.

AWARDSLINE: You were in the unenviable position having to step in for Steve Carell. Did you feel the weight of that?
ED HELMS: I never felt pressure to fill these shoes; I don’t think that’s possible for anyone to do. For me, it was just an exciting chance to take Andy to different places. The actual hierarchy of the office itself was altered by bringing in [James Spader’s] Robert California [as Andy’s boss] so there were enough differences that I didn’t feel like ‘Here I am needing to fill a void.’ It was more like, ‘Here we go in a different direction — let’s see what happens!’ There were places [the story went] that I didn’t understand as well, but the work experience there is just so wonderful and rare. The Office is about the best work experience you could ever hope for.

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview Read More »

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Dan Sterling & Brent Forrester Named Executive Producers On NBC’s ‘The Office’

By | Monday May 21, 2012 @ 11:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Brent Forrester The OfficeDan Sterling The OfficeDan Sterling and Brent Forrester have been tapped as executive producers on NBC’s flagship comedy series The Office next season. The two are expected to fill the void left by the departure of executive producer/showrunner Paul Lieberstein, who is segueing to The Office spinoff starring Rainn Wilson, which the two created together. Sterling and Forrester have been drafted by The Office developer/executive producer Greg Daniels, with whom they previously worked on his animated Fox comedy King Of The Hill. Nobody has been designated showrunner on the upcoming ninth season of The Office. Daniels has been very involved, spearheading a major creative overhaul on the show, which includes changes for existing characters and the introduction of new ones. All Office cast members sans Mindy Kaling, who got her own series on Fox, will be back. Forrester has been a consulting producer on The Office since the third season. Sterling most recently co-created/executive produced Sarah Silverman’s NBC comedy pilot and served as a consulting producer on the new HBO comedy series Girls. Both are with UTA.

Related: ‘The Office’ Stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski & Jenna Fischer To Return

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NBC Boss Bob Greenblatt: No End Date Set For ‘The Office’, Community’ Or ’30 Rock’

By | Sunday May 13, 2012 @ 12:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

When writers deals were made for 30 Rock for next fall, they were were made with the presumption that the upcoming 13-episode seventh season will be the Emmy-winning comedy’s swan song. But during today’s NBC conference call the network’s chairman Bob Greenblatt said that there no decision has been made to end 30 Rock, The Office or Community after the upcoming season. “We haven’t definitively said that on anything yet,” he said. Like 30 Rock, Community was picked up for 13 episodes and is being moved to the Friday 8 PM slot where NBC sent Chuck for its final 13-episode season last fall. The Office was renewed for 22 episodes. Asked whether Community creator Dan Harmon will return as showrunner next season, Greenblatt said, “I expect his voice to be part of it,” adding that it is still unclear if that will be in his current role or as a consultant. Greenblatt dismissed the notion that the discussion about Harmon possibly stepping down from day-to-day oversight of the show stems from his ongoing feud with co-star Chevy Chase, saying that there are larger factors beyond that.

Related: ‘The Office’ Renewal Update: Cast Deals Finally Closing As NBC Upfront Looms

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‘The Office’ Renewal Update: Cast Deals Finally Closing As NBC Upfront Looms

By | Saturday May 12, 2012 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 5 PM: I hear the expectation is that the deal for The Office will close in time for NBC’s announcement. I also hear the order may be for 13 episodes. Is it just me or this nail-biter closely resembles the down-to-the wire renegotiations with Charlie Sheen for Two And A half Men two years ago, which didn’t close until hours before the CBS presentation.

PREVIOUS 1 PM: Less than 24 hours before NBC unveils its 2012-13 schedule tomorrow ahead of the network’s upfront presentation on Monday, NBC’s flagship comedy series The Office has not been renewed yet even as a slew of lower-rated NBC half-hours, including Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, Up All Night, Community and Whitney already have. The delay has to do with the cast deals, which are taking longer to close. After lengthy negotiations, stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer on Thursday reached what some described as agreement in principle but I hear negotiations with some of them have continued, picking up speed today with the clock ticking until NBC’s scheduling announcement tomorrow. I hear that the final points are being closed as we speak, clearing the way for the series’ renewal. Complicating negotiations was the fact that The Office has no showrunner in place for next season, with Paul Lieberstein leaving to run the Rainn Wilson Office spinoff, which he co-created with the actor. I hear the show will accommodate the stars’ … Read More »

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Where Are NBC’s ‘The Office’, ‘Parks & Recreation’ And ‘Up All Night’ Renewals?

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 7:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

While Fox wrapped its new series pickups and existing series renewals within a couple of hours yesterday, for NBC, whose upfront presentation is on the same day as Fox, it has become a week-long ordeal. After early series pickup of comedy Go On and renewals of Grimm and Smash last month, the network began its orders/renewals in earnest on Monday morning. Four days later, it’s still nowhere near done.

NBC’s highest-rated comedy series, The Office, is yet to get a renewal. (With stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer poised to return that now appears imminent.) The fate of NBC’s second most watched drama series, Harry’s Law (8.8 million viewers, only a fraction behind the Voice-boosted Smash with 9.0 million), is hanging in the balance. There’s no word on Parks & Recreation, Up All Night and Whitney. The Office, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night are all fully expected to return, and I hear their renewals may be done in one fell swoop. Buzz is also encouraging on Harry’s Law, which I hear is eyed for a potential 13-episode midseason order. The multi-camera Whitney is on the fence but not dead as the sole multi-camera comedy series picked up for next season so far, newbie Guys With Kids, is still looking for a companion.

Which brings us to the NBC pilots. Word is the network has not officially released those that haven’t been picked up despite speculation that it is pretty much done with its orders. That includes two of NBC’s highest-testing and well-received pilots, the multi-camera comedies Daddy’s Girls and Lady Friends, which had been in limbo but presumed dead. (Will ABC or CBS make a play for them?) On the drama side, none of the pilots that have not been picked up already seem to be in contention anymore. Read More »

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‘The Office’ Stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski & Jenna Fischer To Return

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 2:16pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: All is well when it ends well. I’ve learned that after lengthy negotiations, The Office stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer have reached an agreement in principal to return to the veteran NBC series next season and are inches away from signing on the dotted line. I hear the fourth original Office cast member whose deal is up, B.J. Novak, has not started discussions, but he has a dual role on the series as an actor and writer/executive producer.

Related: ‘The Office’ Update: Series Reboot Eyed As Talks With Cast Still In Holding Pattern Read More »

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‘The Office’ Update: Series Reboot Eyed As Talks With Cast Still In Holding Pattern

By | Thursday April 12, 2012 @ 6:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s The Office went through a major transformation at the beginning of this season, following the departure of original star Steve Carell. But I hear the show, which has not been officially renewed, may undergo an even more dramatic change going into next fall. Word is that The Office executive producer Greg Daniels, who originally developed the American version of the cult British comedy, is mulling a reboot of the series, now in its eighth season. Daniels is expected to meet with NBC brass to lay out his idea for The Office 2.0, which I hear would feature existing characters as well as new ones. As for The Office key original cast members John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and B.J. Novak, whose contracts are up at the end of this season, as well as that of Ed Helms, there hasn’t been a lot of movement in the negotiations over the past few weeks, following an early overture by the network around the time The Office spinoff starring Rainn Wilson came together. There are a number of major outstanding questions, including the number of episodes the stars would sign for. Helms has The Hangover threequel and Krasinski is eying a possible January movie shoot, so potential new deals for them will likely accommodate that the way House accommodated Olivia Wilde when her feature career took off. Also unclear is how long The Office would keep going. I hear the main cast … Read More »

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‘The Office’ Showrunner Paul Lieberstein Preps His Exit As Return Of Key Cast Members Still In Limbo

By | Wednesday March 21, 2012 @ 7:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Paul Lieberstein The OfficeThe Office will have a new behind-the-scenes boss next season as Paul Lieberstein is stepping down as executive producer/showrunner. He is expected to land a hand while he preps the potential spinoff series starring Rainn Wilson, The Farm, which he co-created, but a search is under way for a new showrunner to take the reins of the veteran comedy series next season. Meanwhile, conversations continue with key Office cast members John Krasinski, Ed Helms, Jenna Fischer and B.J. Novak, who have no deals beyond this season, though I hear that they have stalled for the moment. Locking in as many actors of the core quartet as possible is critical for the future of the series in light of the potential departures of Wilson, who would segue onto the spinoff series sometime next season, and Mindy Kaling, who has a pilot in the running at Fox. Additionally, this season’s addition James Spader recently announced he will be leaving in May.

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James Spader Not Staying At ‘The Office’

By | Monday February 27, 2012 @ 5:43pm PST

The Office executive producer/showrunner said today that James Spader will not return to the NBC comedy next season. The actor, who parlayed a two-scene appearance at the end of last season as Robert California into a full-season gig, had only signed a one-year deal. “James always wanted this to be a one year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television,” Lieberstein said. “He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that.”

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‘The Office’ Head Writer Daniel Chun Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Thursday February 23, 2012 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

After stints at The Simpsons and The Office, Daniel Chun is embarking on development with a two-year overall deal at ABC Studios. The seven-figure pact, which will start in the summer, was made in a competitive situation, with ABC going agressively after the sought-after writer-producer. “Danny is multi-talented in that he’s not only a fantastic writer but a terrific producer,” ABC Studios’ SVP and head of creative development Patrick Moran said. “We’re continuing to strengthen our comedy roster, and getting Danny to add his unique voice to our team is a real coup for us.”

Before segueing into his ABC Studios deal, Chun will finish up his duties on The Office through the end of the season and will make his directing debut with an episode of the Emmy-winning comedy this spring. While studying biological anthropology at Harvard, Chun honed his comedy writing skills at the famed Harvard Lampoon. After a year in Hollywood working odd jobs and writing as much as possible, Chun landed a job in 2003 on The Simpsons where he spent more than six years, rising to co-executive producer. He then started pondering a switch to live-action comedy and got a gig on his favorite non-animated series, The Office, where he has been for the past three years. “I am humbled by ABC’s commitment, and my goal is to earn back their investment thousandfold, every second, until the end of time,” Chun said of his ABC deal. … Read More »

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