Should The Office have ended when Steve Carrell left the show? Maybe (there was a noticeable dip in quality), maybe not (Hipster Erin), but the fact of the matter is, Michael Scott moved to Colorado in season seven and the show continued for two more seasons. The biggest problem facing the post-Carell Office was: who is the new Regional Manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc.? With the benefit of hindsight, we know the job went to Andy, but there was a lot of discussion over whether it should be the Cornell University alumnus or Dwight Schrute.
Rolling Stone published an excerpt from Andy Greene’s The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, featuring interviews with those involved with the show, including the writers who debated over who should become the new Scranton boss.
“I remember a lot of discussion about what we should do. I did not think it should be Andy. I loved the character of Andy. I loved Ed [Helms]. I don’t think I could see yet what Andy would bring to the table that felt distinct with him being the boss… I think people would have been more excited to see Dwight as the boss because he’d been wanting it for so long,” writer Justin Spitzer said, while Aaron Shure offered the counterpoint, “I did not think Dwight should be the boss because I think Dwight is not as benign as Michael Scott… There’s just so many candy bags to draw from that he carries around that I was worried that if we gave him the boss position it would just be disastrous.”
Most of the writers wanted Dwight in Michael’s office, but the network had other ideas.
“The writers and the cast, generally speaking, were really excited about Dwight becoming the boss. It just felt correct, and that was our creative thrust,” writer Brent Forrester said. “Mostly it was pushback from the network saying, ‘Well. Is there someone more famous that we can put in here?’ Of course, the creators always bristle at that and just want to do the right thing creatively. That was a big thing. But Ed Helms had this giant advantage because of course he was in The Hangover. Not to completely read the minds of the network, but that was my understanding of how that decision got made.”
Owen Ellickson, a writer in seasons eight and nine, put it bluntly: “I think the Hangover calculus sort of shifted things toward Andy pretty quickly.” Basically, and with no disrespect to Ed Helms, Andy Bernard became the boss because The Hangover grossed $467.5 million at the box office. If it had made as much money as, say, Rainn Wilson’s The Rocker ($8.8 million), then Dwight probably would have gotten the gig.
Should’ve been Mose, imo. You can read the rest of the excerpt here.
(Via Rolling Stone)