“We’re Trying to Shut Down THE OFFICE” | Give Me My Remote

“We’re Trying to Shut Down THE OFFICE”

November 5, 2007 by  

Greg Daniels, THE OFFICE“We’re trying to shut down THE OFFICE.” Those seven words just made my heart break. And to know these words came from Greg Daniels…ugh. This is really starting to sink in, and as a TV viewer and lover, I’m starting to get really bummed out…and it’s only day one.

We learned earlier today from James Gunn (married to Jenna Fischer) that Steve Carell wasn’t on set today and now Daniels has confirmed. OFFICE readers should read on to get the latest.

And yes, I know ALL shows are on strike and I’ll be passing along info about them as well. But hey, THE OFFICE news just keeps coming so no apologies there.

Daniels Pickets ‘Office’ Production
TV Week.com

“The Office” showrunner Greg Daniels has joined the picket line at his production company’s Van Nuys location in an attempt to shut down production of his show.

“We’re trying to shut down ‘The Office,’” Mr. Daniels said. “We have the star of our show and the entire writing staff behind us.”

Mr. Daniels says he arrived at 4:15 this morning and none of the show’s actors have crossed the line. “The Office” cast includes several performers who are also writers on the show, like B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein. “Office” star Steve Carell is a WGA member and is not showing up for work as well, he said.

Mr. Daniels is one of many writer-producers facing the decision this morning whether to continue acting as producers on their shows. Sources say a group of top showrunners met this weekend and largely decided to not cross the picket lines. Studios maintain showrunners should continue working to fulfill their production duties.

“We have non-writing producers on the show who are perfectly capable of doing any non-writing producing duties,” Mr. Daniels said. “They want me do to writing-producing and just pretend it’s producing. Every decision you make has a writing aspect to it. If they really just thought it was producing, they could just as easily get somebody else to do these tasks.”

Mr. Daniels said there’s only one unproduced “Office” script that’s ready to go, but it’s a good one.

“Last week we had our best table reading of the entire run of the show, and that’s what we were going to shoot this week,” he said.

Filed under The Office, Writers Strike

Comments

29 Responses to ““We’re Trying to Shut Down THE OFFICE””

  1. Psappy on November 5th, 2007 5:19 pm

    Well guys…it’s a wrap. The changes that the WGA reaches an agreement with the MPATP in the next week are about a million billion to one.

    Here’s hoping that the script that caused the best read-through ever is shown next year.

    God my heart hurts right now. I guess I’ll start reading the book I bought 7 months ago.

  2. “We’re Trying to Shut Down THE OFFICE” — All This Nonsense on November 5th, 2007 5:24 pm

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  3. Emily on November 5th, 2007 5:30 pm

    I am glad there is such support from GD and everyone involved (including actors, non writing producers).

    But I don’t think I can survive another HOUR of this strike!

  4. Brian on November 5th, 2007 5:52 pm

    I’m going to be sick. Thanks for the update.

  5. mg714 on November 5th, 2007 5:55 pm

    I also really want to know what the story is for the script they had the table reading for! Really though, this is too bad for everyone involved – writers definitely deserve to be included in profits made off of whatever they’ve created. I’m glad that Greg Daniels as well as the cast and others are supporting the writers in the strike, not that there would have been any doubt of course, considering how much they support one another.

  6. DorkyDancer on November 5th, 2007 6:33 pm

    OMG, a HUGE part of me died while reading that headline. Please, please, please just give the writers what they want and get our shows back on the air!

  7. Jen on November 5th, 2007 7:06 pm

    I will give up on television if “The Office” does not survive.

    Please work something out!! I will seriously have a mental breakdown.

  8. MJ on November 5th, 2007 7:13 pm

    This blows!

  9. CF on November 5th, 2007 7:40 pm

    Serisouly, screw ’em. If they don’t care enough about the viewers who have made them what they are, if their brainchild and legacy that they’ve worked so hard to build means so little to them that they would just sit back and let it be destroyed because they’re greedy enough to not be happy with more money than most of us will ever see in our lives, to just sit back and let the show be destroyed, screw ’em.

  10. katayla on November 5th, 2007 7:44 pm

    I completely support Greg Daniels doing this, but it also breaks my heart a little.

  11. GMMR on November 5th, 2007 7:49 pm

    CF – You are more than entitled to you own opinions. But based on your comments I have to wonder if you’ve read up on the whole situation. The “rich” people that are affected are getting the press but there are many other writers in the WGA that will benefit in the long run.

  12. Jennie on November 5th, 2007 8:46 pm

    I was thinking this over today and thought, yes, this sucks, but they are just TV shows. Worse things can happen. I know it sucks for people who depend on this money to live, but I don’t think people on our end (the viewers) should be as upset as they are over losing the show they watch every Thursday night. I LOVE The Office, but, if I don’t see any more new shows for the rest of the year, it’ll be ok. There are thousands of excellent books out there people can be reading if you want a distraction from real life. There are also video games, and this great huge internet. It does suck to lose something so amazing, but….it’s just TV. (I know that this website is probably the worst place to reveal that I have this view on things!)

  13. Nicole on November 5th, 2007 8:50 pm

    CF, I respect your opinion, but I feel as though the wrath should be directed at the studio heads, not the writers. If you want to talk about greedy…think about how rich THOSE people are, and they’re the ones refusing to pay the much less well remunerated writers the residuals that they absolutely deserve. As much as this strike sucks for viewers, it is important. I don’t see how somebody could make a logical argument for not giving writers a cut of the revenue from their own work. Studio chiefs, you’re pissing off a lot of viewers over this, and the vast majority side with the writers. Cut a fair deal so this can all be over as soon as possible.

  14. Ryan on November 5th, 2007 9:22 pm

    Everyone is this situation is greedy to some extent. Its just a question of who is more greedy. Probably the studios, but the WGA isn’t made up of assembly line workers or garbage men. Writers make some serious bank and aren’t going to have trouble paying the bills or feeding their family if their demands aren’t met.

    I think this whole situation is being handled wrong by both sides. Everyone knows a deal will eventually be worked out and reportedly progress was being made, but the WGA went with the strike anyway. Seems counterproductive to me. Studios know the writers deserve a cut of the DVD/Internet sales, but are pushing the WGA toward a strike which is going to cost the studios themselves viewers and money. Seems counterproductive to me as well.

    The WGA is hurting themselves in a lot of ways. If this strike goes long its going to mean more reality shows that have the potential to gain an audience and stick around past the strike which means fewer jobs. Also shows that were on the verge of being canceled have been all but killed by this strike (assuming it goes awhile) which also means people actually losing their jobs in the very near future.

    This is very much like strikes and lockouts in professional sports. Rich people trying to get more money from richer people. The only real losers are the fans.

  15. Christina on November 5th, 2007 9:34 pm

    [GMMR note: Per my email please revise your comment before reposting. Everyone at GMMR has the right to their own opinion and need to be treated as such.]

  16. Give Me My Remote on November 5th, 2007 9:34 pm

    Ryan, like others, I completely respect your take and opinion on the situation. But I just urge everyone to remember that although we are talking about the TV writers who make decent to REALLY good money, the WGA writers affected include those who don’t make a lot of money. There are people who write something and could live off the residuals until their next paying gig. Yes, in many many cases it will be a matter of the rich getting richer but it’s about more than those people. Also, we need to remember that some of these really rich actors will be losing money by going on strike.

    I encourage everyone to look past the TV writers and read up on how those in the WGA who do not have steady gigs are affected.

    But again, you are of course entitled to your opinion.

  17. Christina on November 5th, 2007 9:45 pm

    CF – What you are essentially saying is that writers should be happy with just writing and sell their work a pittance, only to have it sold off for millions of dollars to a third party.

    If any wants a little insight into the whole thing I recommend James Gunn’s blog.

    This thing is not for the rich writers (of which there are few) but for the ones that have to live off what they earn every week.

    Also I recommend to people that you let the studios know how you feel. I am (sadly for me) boycotting the cinema and DVDs purchases for a while and letting the studios know about it. I know people might think it’s not making a difference but I’ll do anything I can to support people who are trying not to be exploited.

    Aslo, I just read on the WGA website is that they have, as of today, withdrawn their DVD proposal.

  18. Ryan on November 5th, 2007 9:57 pm

    Fair points. I think you also have to look at the fact this strike also hurts the writers who are at the lower end of the income bracket and that don’t have steady work. They can’t write at all now and will be hurt the most from the lack of work. If this strike goes long I doubt the extra money from iTunes downloads and DVD sales is going to make up for the hit they are taking now.

    Does the WGA have a war chest to help out the writers during the strike? I think remember reading a couple weeks ago they did.

    I’m not trying to pretend that I have all the answers or even am the most knowledgable about the situation. If I had to pick a side it would be for sure the WGA. I just am not happy with the situation and the potential of my tv being filled with nothing but crappy reality tv. In a time where TV is struggling to have good scripted shows this seems to be hurting the cause more then helping it.

  19. Jen on November 5th, 2007 10:11 pm

    Okay, I really hope something works out. I have so much respect for all of the writers in Hollywood, and, it would be so disheartening to see all the people who made all these shows possible loose their creations.

    And to think I couldn’t see the lovely Jim Halpert every Thursday night makes me cringe a bit. 🙁

  20. CrazyGringa on November 5th, 2007 10:52 pm

    I think James Gunn described it best when he said:

    “This strike is absolutely not a matter of the rich getting richer. We’re not striking because of guys like me who have made numerous feature films, or guys like Greg Daniels who have created popular TV shows. This is for middle-class writers – your regular TV staff writers and people who may have done one or two small feature films. Residuals are a way they can make perhaps a few thousand dollars a year between gigs. This is a way they can put food on the table and pay the rent during downtime – and downtime is something almost all writers (and actors and directors) have.

    And the writers guild are striking not only for themselves – they’re striking for the actors and directors as well. Most likely, whatever deal we agree to is the same deal the actors and directors will get when their contracts are up later this year.

    None of the TV shows or movies you watch would exist without us, the people who created them, who poured our hearts and souls into the making of them. And yet, again, the studios think that only they should be making the money off of them. And new media is exceptionally important – in just a few years that may be the way most of us experience most of our entertainment.”

    I totally support the writers on this one and hope they get what they are fighting for.

  21. Laura (Fancy New Beesly) on November 6th, 2007 1:12 am

    CF-You obviously don’t understand a lot of things about the industry. I wrote a blog on myspace today about exactly that. There are so many people with this ridiculous mentality of “Oh, well, without US, the FANS, they wouldn’t have shows.” You know who else they wouldn’t have shows without?? WRITERS. You’re saying that THEY are being selfish by shutting down production? YOU are being selfish by wanting these people to risk their own integrity, pride, & talent by becoming the doormats to studio executives. The people on strike are not marketable robots for everyone to push around. They are real people with passion & friends & families who want their career to be successful with their pride intact. If “The Office” goes off the air I’ll be really disappointed because it’s a great show & I’m a huge fan of it. But it’s just a television show…all of these people are going to move on one day & do their own projects & play characters that are not characters on The Office. They’ll take care of their families & continue on in their careers. In the words of Michael Scott….”PEOPLE will never go out of business.”

  22. Give Me My Remote on November 6th, 2007 1:20 am

    A note to EVERYONE!!! CF and all others are entitled to his/her own opinions. Please let’s not make this an attack on another commenter or the comments will be removed. Let’s stick to the subject matter.p>

  23. TT on November 6th, 2007 1:43 am

    It’s funny how some say the writers are being greedy (and maybe some are, how would we know?) but would anyone expect a novelist to accept getting paid for the hardcover books they sell, but not the paperbacks, or an artist to get compensation for their original paintings, but not the prints? I don’t think so. DVDs and streaming video= the same product in a different medium, and the fact remains that the writers “made” the episodes (along with other crew members and actors, of course), and should therefore be paid when those episodes are purchased by the public.

    (Why don’t standard copyright laws seem to apply to TV and film writers? Anyone know?)

  24. Wendy on November 6th, 2007 6:39 am

    I hope all involved remember that this is not 1988. There are other, non-scripted TV shows that get much higher ratings than scripted shows, by and large. Another 22 week strike and you could potentially see a lot of viewers disengage from scripted TV altogether.

    Yes, they do need fans. Yes, they do need viewers. Extremely low ratings=network pulling the plug=scripted TV gets replaced by more reality, etc.

    I’m not choosing sides, and I’m not saying that the writers don’t deserve to get full compensation for what they have created. I just hope they are aware of what is at stake here.

  25. Lisa (aka lmr722) on November 6th, 2007 10:11 am

    I am already suffering withdrawal, ugh, but I support the writers. We only hear about the big stars making scads of money but not all of the tech people behind the scenes just scraping by. This goes beyond the writers to include the costumers and wardrobe, lighting, scenic design, et al. Although not part of this situation, i am just pointing out that this isn’t about greed for most of the creative folks, it’s about getting their due and putting food on the table.

  26. Crystal on November 6th, 2007 11:32 am

    I support the writers. The fact that they make absolutely nothing off of original content they create for new media is just wrong. More and more people are watching shows and add ons to their favorite shows on the Internet. By the time the writers next contract expires DVDs may be obsolete, so they might need the residuals they would make off of new media. Some writers only survive during lean times because of residuals they make on past projects. The studios said that they wouldn’t negotiate because the WGA wanted 8 cents per DVD instead of the 4 cents they get now, but the WGA pulled that off the table on Sunday and there’s still no contract. Its the studios fault that this strike is happening, and we’re all suffering for it. The film and TV crews are going to be unemployed until this is resolved, and we may very well be watching some of the crappiest television and movies we’ll ever see in our lifetimes. Nobody is winning right now, so I hope this gets resolved soon. Give the writers what they want, because they deserve it.

  27. Wifey on November 6th, 2007 4:29 pm

    Hi everyone.I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinin,I just ask that you all please take the information you are being fed by the media with a huge grain of salt. Those media outlets are owned by the same huge corporations that run the studios. You are hearing a lot about greedy writers and how much they make. Just let me say, HA! My husband is walking picketlines at Sony right now. We have a lovely two bedroom one bath place -which we rent. We are middle class in a good year. The numbers you are seeing as minimums are what SOME people make. What they don’t tell you is what those numbers are after agents fees, lawyer fees etc…They also don’t mention the $$$ that the studios are making. They don’t mention the down times, when you have to stretch that big paycheck for a few years.They also aren’t mentioning that they are threatening our healthcare coverage. Writers are not greedy, please do some research on this.

    I have found that the best sources of real info are the WGA site, The SAG site and the LA Weekly coverage.

  28. Wifey on November 6th, 2007 4:30 pm

    Hi everyone.I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinin,I just ask that you all please take the information you are being fed by the media with a huge grain of salt. Those media outlets are owned by the same huge corporations that run the studios. You are hearing a lot about greedy writers and how much they make. Just let me say, HA! My husband is walking picketlines at Sony right now. We have a lovely two bedroom one bath place -which we rent. We are middle class in a good year. The numbers you are seeing as minimums are what SOME people make. What they don’t tell you is what those numbers are after agents fees, lawyer fees etc…They also don’t mention the $$$ that the studios are making. They don’t mention the down times, when you have to stretch that big paycheck for a few years.They also aren’t mentioning that they are threatening our healthcare coverage. Writers are not greedy, please do some research on this.

    I’d like to thank the owner writer of this blog for putting the information out there. I have found that the best sources of real info are the WGA site, The SAG site and the LA Weekly coverage.

  29. dev on November 7th, 2007 10:58 am

    This isn’t about being greedy. This is about fair distribution of wealth. Just because (some) people in an industry are well-paid does not mean that the industry as a whole should have to accept unjust payment.

    Someone brought up sports strikes, and it makes a good point. Baseball has the strongest union in sports, and football the weakest. Baseball players have guaranteed contracts, good healthcare, and good pension – even for the players who never see the kind of money the elite players make. Football players have contracts that can be canceled at any time by their employer for (almost) any reason. Which means that they often choose to play when they are injured, have a concussion, etc.for fear of being released. This leads to hobbled, broken men later in their lives – and the NFL won’t even pay for those work-related injuries.

    So where are the ‘Team WGA’ t-shirts?