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Here’s How the Last a Season of ‘The Office’ Was Almost Even Worse

NBC made some mistakes on The Office. For example, letting it continue for even a second after Steve Carell left. Or pushing Steve Carell out the door when he was more than willing to sign a new contract. Andy Greene’s behind-the-scenes book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s also details other mistakes that happened or nearly happened as the show overstayed its welcome in later seasons.

In the original plan for season nine we would have seen Jim and Pam split up after Pam had an affair with a member of the documentary crew who had been filming the show. Remember that episode where the boom operator knocks out the guy who attacks Pam? That was meant to lead to a story of Pam’s affair and Jim and Pam’s split.

Vulture reported that much of this was already filmed but the reaction from fans was so negative that finished episodes had to be recut and the ideas for the final season changed overnight.

“People just absolutely did not like that,” Ellickson said. “They were bothered that there might be some triangle that Pam and Jim would be involved in and even more insulted that we thought they might believe that. That’s how it felt to me. Greg absolutely turned on a dime after that and we pivoted away, I think pretty skillfully given how quickly we had to do that.” As a result, the subsequent two Office episodes had to go through “decently sized edits” to remove any suggestion of cheating. In fact, Krasinski grew to dislike the idea he originally campaigned for, as he realized it would be “too painful” for “the ultra fans of the show” who were still watching.

This actually explains a lot about the last season of the show. Jim and Pam’s relationship troubles and the stress Jim’s new job in Philadelphia put on their marriage we’re a big part of the final season and the plot just kind of fizzled out without any real growth. Everything just kind of worked out. Now we know why that plot seemed so odd, but it would have been better had they avoided the storyline altogether. Or just ended the show with Michael taking off his mic pack in the airport.

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