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The Office getting some new castmembers
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Jul 28th 2006

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC's "The Office" is adding some new drones.

Ed Helms, a correspondent on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," and Charles "Chip" Esten, formerly of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," have joined the cast of NBC's quirky comedy.

Additionally, former "Boston Public" co-star Rashida Jones has landed a potential recurring role.

Helms and Jones will play employees at the Scranton, Pa., regional office of the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company where the series is set.

Esten will play Josh Porter, the regional manager at another branch of Dunder Mifflin. He originated the character in the "Valentine's Day" episode this past season.

The stint on "The Office" reunites Helms with series star Steve Carell. Helms, who has been at "The Daily Show" since 2002, worked alongside fellow "Daily Show" correspondent Carell for three years before Carell left the hit Comedy Central series in 2005 to do "The Office." Helms also will appear in Carell's next feature, "Evan Almighty."

Jones, whose recent credits include the TNT drama series "Wanted," also appeared in the feature "Little Black Book."

Jul 28th 2006 edited

Interesting. A lot of guesses can be made on the direction of the show based on this info. I wonder if it should be moved to the spoiler thread? It was announced in national media though so I guess it can't be considered a secret.

Hadn't heard of Rashida Jones and it was a chore to find pics of her on the net but she is a beautiful woman and very exotic. I wonder how she will be presented on the show?

Jul 28th 2006

Wasn't John Krasinski dating Rashida Jones? Perhaps, it was just a rumor.

Well, I still believe John Krasinski's fans would not be happy to hear this.

Jul 28th 2006

Haha, CC, I was just thinking....isn't that the girl JK was dating? I'm still hoping that was a rumor, but now that she's on the show...interesting.

Jul 28th 2006

I am kind of excited to get new blood on our show. It will make it all the more hilarious. Especially, if Michael has to share his position with someone. I don't think he will handle that well and I can't wait to watch that! I am a Jam fan but Pam isn't biting yet , so bring on the new girl for jealousy! That'll snap Pam out of it... eventually.

Jul 28th 2006

I'm all for what new concepts the writers will bring to the show. But if Helms and Jones are additions to the Scranton branch, it might upset a lot of fans. For two seasons, we've grown attached to the regular employees, but to have additional cast members... I don't know, it gets under my skin.

Jul 28th 2006

For two seasons, we've grown attached to the regular employees, but to have additional cast members... I don't know, it gets under my skin.

I'm a little skeptical as well. They are just getting to the point of really establishing the secondary characters after 1 1/2 seasons and now they're adding a couple more? Potential overkill.

Trust the writers, trust the writers, trust the writers...that's what I'm telling myself.

Jul 28th 2006

For two seasons, we've grown attached to the regular employees, but to have additional cast members... I don't know, it gets under my skin.

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw that. Of course, I trust the writers to know what they're doing, but still....I feel a little protective of these characters, I guess. Plus, we all saw what happened when they gave us Ana Lucia on "Lost" ;-)

Jul 28th 2006

this thread does sound a little spoilerish. but, cant unring a bell so i'll go with it. is there anything to say all these new characters are not from the stamford branch?

Jul 28th 2006

Plus, we all saw what happened when they gave us Ana Lucia on "Lost" ;-)

On a similar tangent, my second favorite show Entourage added a new character for a couple episodes this season and it was a disaster in my opinion.

However, after thinking a little more about it, it is representative of real life. People are changing jobs and companies are hiring new people and going through reorgs all the time. Having the same exact people doing the same exact jobs in an office would get unrealistic after a while.

Jul 28th 2006 edited

is there anything to say all these new characters are not from the stamford branch?

That's a distinct possibility...they're only identified as "Dunder-Mifflin employees"... I think sending Jim to Stamford after all would be a mistake, given the reasons he was going in the first place. But we'll see how they set it up, I guess.

EDIT: Wait, the article in post 1 does mention Scranton by name for two of them. What branch was Josh Porter from?

Jul 28th 2006

Actually, the article says:

Helms and Jones will play employees at the Scranton, Pa., regional office of the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company where the series is set.

Nathan, I agree with you, I think he'd be inclined to stay in Scranton after everything that happened in the finale.

Jul 28th 2006

Josh Porter is regional manager of the Stamford branch

Jul 28th 2006

Boy, I always seem to be on the opposite end of what everyone thinks! I'm still stickin to it, though. I, too, love our present office crew but adding a few more won't hurt. Plus, they are probably temporary characters anyway, like Katy. These people are there to aid in new storylines. Once done, I don't feel they'll stick around, especially Jim's love interest.

Jul 28th 2006

As long as there's not an annoying "cute kid" or "hip new guy" added in a sad attempt to boost ratings, I'll be happy. Right, T-Bone

For sure, Mr. THPJ!

(Simpsons fans might pick up on that one) ;-p

Jul 28th 2006 edited

Oy. I think I died a little when I saw that JK's alleged GF Rashida Jones was joining the cast. Clearly out of the gossip loop, I just learned about her yesterday. [Spirit deflating slightly.] With the cast's significant others showing up (JK's RJ and Steve's wife Nancy), will we see James Gunn next (that wouldn't be bad, he was great in "Lollilove")?

Trust the writers, trust the writers, trust the writers...that's what I'm telling myself.

Right on, JLJ. Change can be good, change can be good...

Jul 28th 2006

I was hoping for a James Gunn appearance as well!! How great would that be? But I asked Jenna about it a couple of weeks ago, and she said, no, there are no current plans for James to make an appearance.

Jul 29th 2006

Rashida Jones is cute. I know her from Chappelle's Show.

Fine by me. Fine addition to the cast. Fine, fine, indeed.

Jul 29th 2006

I guess this news can't be considered a spoiler anymore so we might as well speculate on what it could mean.

Having the Stamford branch manager as a regular member leads one to believe that Jim will indeed transfer there. You have to think he will find his way back to Scranton eventually. Will it be by a merger of the two branches?

Don't know anything about Ed Helms. Maybe he will replace Jim as a salesman? I could also see him as an efficiency expert or management consultant brought in to help Michael because the branch isn't doing well. Then Michael would resent him and butt heads with him which would be funny. Also maybe everyone in the office would really like Helms which would upset Michael even more.

And Rashida Jones, the biggest question. Just by seeing pictures of her I'll bet she is presented as opposite-Pam - exotic looking and a very trendy dresser with an outgoing personality. Initial and obvious thought is that she will be a love interest for Jim. But maybe they will throw us a curveball. Other potential outcomes:
* Maybe she will be attracted to Ryan, which would obviously upset Kelly.
* Maybe her and Roy will be an item (doubtful).
* Perhaps Jim and her will not get romantically involved but be good friends, causing Jim to stop spending so much time with Pam, which would upset Pam and cause her to pursue Jim more aggressively.
* Or maybe she will become good friends with Pam, and help Pam to realize that she needs to be with Jim.

But I think the safe money is on Jim dating her for a while, but it never getting too serious. I am still predicting that Jim & Pam are together by the end of S3.

Jul 29th 2006

It seems like many of the actors on the show are played as not as attractive as they really are (examples being Jenna, Steve, Rainn, and even John, I daresay). So I wonder if they are going to have Rashida be the hot trendy girl in the office (as Jenna Loves Josh suggested, or if they will make her slightly dorkier. I'm guessing they keep her hot - major competition for Pam, plus good eye candy to add more viewers. I'd like to see her looking dorky, though - frizzy hair and a slightly outdated waredrobe - and come in as Pam's best friend or something.

Jul 29th 2006

I just hope that Michael's cousin Oliver never shows up to be adopted by the Scranton staff (and hijinks ensue) or Stanley, Toby, Creed, and Ryan have to form a singing group and enter a contest to save the branch from foreclosure ;-p

Jul 30th 2006

An interesting tidbit: Rashida Jones is the youngest daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton. She is the perfect age to be a love interest for Jim.

I'm speculating that Jim transfers to Stamford (Josh Porter's Branch) and works with RJ. He may become interested in her character or not. Either way, I think JR will be a cause of jealousy for Pam, just like the pursegirl, even though she really wasn't Jim's type.

According to Jan's conversation with Michael in the Pilot, Josh Porter's Stamford branch and the Scranton branch are both in danger of closing/downsizing. Scranton kicked it up a notch (BAM!) since then when they acquired the deal with Lackawanna County. Jim said that the deal with Lackawanna County could assure him job security at Scranton for years, but Scranton was still in 4th place according to Jan at the season finale. That means Stamford is 5th out of the 5 branches that Jan oversees, so I don't think Scranton in danger of closing, Stamford is.

I think Jim will transfer to Stamford then return to Scranton with Josh Porter and JR's character due to a company merger.

Jul 30th 2006

It's really hard not to keep from having a spaz attack right now. I'm a huge fan of Ed Helms (I love TDS), but I'm not sure that a show that has developed close to 20 characters can really afford to develop some more. What I'm most worried about is the show losing sight of what type of show it is. I love the balance between comedy and drama; between painfully real and slightly exaggerated. I know I should lay off the "what if"s, but I can't actually think of what I want to happen next season. Anyone watch Scrubs? I don't want this show to turn into Scrubs.

Jul 30th 2006

little kid luvr- I share some of your concerns about the direction of the show. We don't want it turning into farce and fantasy, like Scrubs. But with Jim moving to Stamford, there will necessarily be new characters (and a new possible love interest). It's only natural. I don't see any danger signs...in fact I like the actor choices they've made. Ed Helms playing a real person (as opposed to his preposterous news correspondent Daily Show character) could be great.

And remeber, it's only approximately 130 miles or so from Stamford to Scranton, with New York City ("The City of Love" according to Michael) located between them.

Jul 30th 2006

I figured Albany would be the branch in trouble, not Stamford (as it seemed to be in Valentine's Day, when the incompetant manager showed up and actually made Michael's video look good by comparison to his lack of a presentation).

Of course, if I've learned anything from my years of working it is that mediocrity is rewarded more often than merit, so long as you can suck up to the boss. And the Albany branch could actually be performing above and beyond both Scranton and Stamford, so that would be an interesting turn of events.

With Jim gone (and keep in mind, we don't know that for sure), they're going to need a new salesman, that's a given. And in the first season of the Brit version, David Brent hired a "secretary" to keep up the appearance of a successful branch (my favorite monologue of his, about the salesman buying an expensive car when he's basically broke), so it might be a nod to the original to have RJ come on board. And in a real-life work situation (I don't know much about office work, but I base this on my years at grocery stores) people tend to come and go pretty regularly, so it wouldn't be unrealistic if a new face came in (and replaced an old one...the never-seen Marjorie, perhaps?).

Jul 30th 2006

Yeah, they should totally lay off Marjorie. She hasn't shown up to work in months! :-)

Jul 30th 2006

Introducing a new love interest for Jim makes absolutely no sense to me, given the way the season ended. The writers have already played that card with Katy, and things are too far along with Pam now for him to start looking elsewhere. Whatever Rashida's role will be, it won't be that. At least, it better not be.

Side note: How is this branch fourth of five? They've got the area Salesman of the Year working for them, as well as another guy in the top ten despite a questionable work ethic. They've got a sweet deal with the home county besides. Makes you appreciate just how good Michael is at hemhorraging company money.

Jul 31st 2006

I'm not going to make any assumptions on how the new people will affect the show. Who knows how they will handle the extra people. We'll just have to see how it works out.

Little Kid Luvr.. you a rep from NAMBLA? (I love TDS too)

Jul 31st 2006

Introducing a new love interest for Jim makes absolutely no sense to me, given the way the season ended. The writers have already played that card with Katy, and things are too far along with Pam now for him to start looking elsewhere.

I'm with Nathan on this one. I don't follow online happenings that much, so when I saw this thread, I was surprised. And as I read each post, my eyes bugged out more and more. I'm loving The Office the way it is - I really enjoyed the season 2 development of some of the other cast members. And now there are three new ones coming? Jim FINALLY confesses his feelings for Pam and we all know she feels the same...now's not the time to bring in someone new in my opinion.

I know it's purely speculation in regards to RJ as a love interest for the Jim character, but I'm just going on record as being really unexcited about that (if it happens). I was hoping the show would have the nads to bring JAM together early in the season and then we see them work out all the difficulties that would surely bring (with Roy downstairs, being romantically involved AND working at the same place, etc...)

Jul 31st 2006 edited

The only reason that Jim would accept the job offer in Stamford is if Pam rejects him. I have posted the reasons for that assumption before. It is based from comments Jim made in several episodes.

If the staff from Stamford are introduced as regular cast, it is most likely due to either a merger, or the filming of Jim working at the Stamford office, or a combination of the two.

If Jim transfers to Stamford because Pam has rejected him, even after the kiss, I can totally see him trying to forget her by getting involved with someone else. He started talking to Katy after Roy started tickling Pam in The Hot Girl episode. In The Carpet episode, he called Brenda to ask her out, because he saw Pam and Roy spending some nice RAM time together.

Both of these instances made Jim feel uncomfortable, so what does he do? He makes an effort to try to get over Pam by getting involved with someone else. After everything that has happened now, if Pam rejects Jim, he is really going to be uncomfortable working around Pam and Roy. He will have to leave Scranton. If he is true to his character, he will start dating someone else. Afterall if Pam rejects Jim now, he probably holds out no hope of ever being with her. He must move on.

If Pam doesn't marry Roy, (and I don't think she will) Jim may not even know that the wedding never occurred. He was not planning on attending the wedding anyway. He would have been in Australia during the wedding. If he returned to work at Stamford, he may not even know and will assume that Pam is married.

This is the way I see it. It's not what I want to see happen. I am a true JAMMER. I just see it this way. I do think that Jim and Pam will eventually end up together, just not yet. I hope I'm wrong.

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