Archive for November, 2007

“Quarterlife” Web Series Worth Logging On

Isn’t it ironic that while the WGA strike has put a stranglehold on fresh television episodes, a new Web TV series has launched that may be as good or better than anything (except “Pushing Daisies”) that we’ve seen this year on the standard tube?

The strike boils down to writers getting their just earnings from the Web, and some say that the strike might allow for some cosmic shifts in the TV universe. Like viewers moving away from their television sets to watch series produced, and shown, on the Internet.

Like “Quarterlife” by TV veterans Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (“My So-Called Life,” “thirtysomething” ) about aspiring writer Dylan Krieger (Bitsie Tulloch, known to YouTubers as Alex from lonelygirl15), who vlogs her life, and the life of her twentysomething friends, for the entire world wide web to read.

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Bitsie Tulloch as Dylan

Before we get too rah-rah-y over this being the death of television as we know it, we should mention that Variety has already reported that NBC might buy the whole dang thing – which means this may just be a clever way of getting a show backdoored.

And in fact, the eight-minute segments tantalize rather than satisfy. We’d like to see this series play as an hour drama, and apparently so would the producers, who have told anyone who would listen that they would prefer this series be shown on television.

And even for eight minutes, the look of the show is very much high quality network drama standard issue. They’ve even signed on Toyota as a sponsor, and the cast includes the Prius in a substantial co-starring role.

But if it is difficult to determine if a pilot will fly, it’s downright dangerous to watch eight minutes and determine it’s the next cool show. But since it comes from Herskovitz and Zwick, who have a proven track record for quality shows, we think it has more than a good shot at being better than most new fall shows.

The series centers on Dylan, her life at 25 not quite as she expected. As bloggers often do, she reveals a bit too much about herself and her friends, including sexy roommate Lisa (Maite Schwartz).

“When Lisa wlaks into a room, the gravitational field changes,” vlogs Dylan. “Did I mention she drinks more than she should?”

Not only drinks more, but as Dylan’s webcam shows, sleeps with inappropriate people.

Dylan’s own crush is Jed (Scott Michael Foster, “Greek”) who “is in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. What could be more unhappy than that?”

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Scott Michael Foster of “Greek”

The problem with showing this on the Web is the quality, at least of the MySpace version. We’ll check out the version on Monday. If you run it in a half-postcard frame, the picture is crisp and clear. Go for the full screen, and it’s out of focus. They’ll have to do better than this if they want to show high quality series on the Web.

The series was originally shopped in 2005 to ABC, which passed. Herskovitz and Zwick then revamped the series for the Internet. The series comes in 36 eight-minute webisodes airing today on MySpace, then shifting to on Monday. Two webisodes air each week, on Sunday and Thursday on MySpace and the day after on

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Henry Tenenbaum’s ’stasch

KRON’s premiere commentator and weekend anchor Henry Tenebaum has been known by his trademark facial hair for as long as I can remember, so when posters Andrew and Dave mentioned the Ten Man’s ‘stasch, Henry responded.

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Henry and his hair on KRON Website

Andrew’s post was: “Henry Tannenbaum, are you listening too? Guys, your mustaches look RIDICULOUS and they challenge your looks big time.”

Turns out Henry WAS listening, Andrew:

Hey, Andrew,

Gimme a break! have no control over my moustache. It’s got so much seniority on my mug that it tells ME how to shave.

Time for an informal poll? Yeah or Nay on facial hair?

Oh, and who knew Henry started out as a classical music announcer in Buffalo? Is that like a play-by-play guy for the cellos and flutes? For more fascinating info on Tenenbaum, check out his profile.

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Gizzie Flunks Chemistry on “Grey’s Anatomy”

Well, George and Izzie discovered something the rest of us knew all along: They’ve got no sizzle.

Now, come on. A show of hands from anyone who thought these two had a smokin’ hot thing going on. Even the night they got drunk and did the deed, it was only the hazy afterglow of booze that made them think the night had magic.

I lost all respect for George, who is always looking to trade up. When he set his sights on Meredith in the very beginning, it seemed like a puppy who just didn’t know any better. She was so out of his league. Then Callie fell for him and all he could think about was anyone BUT Callie.

You’re a loser, Georgie.

Tonight was a particularly charming and touching episode, with one notable exception. Bailey. My idol, Dr. Miranda Bailey showed that she should have gotten the job as chief resident. She was sassy and brassy like always, but when Dr. Richard Webber told her she had the job he should have given her in the first place, she broke down and cried like a little baby.

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Next week, Dr. Bailey (CHANDRA WILSON) treats her high school crush (D.B. WOODSIDE) (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

Not my Dr. Bailey.

She might have held back some tears, maybe a little head-dip to hide her watery eyes. But a full-on sobbing fit as she crumbled into Richard’s chest. Oh, I don’t think so.

We did like the movement in Meredith’s forward motion to become more human. She’s had her moments in past seasons, but not so many lately. Tonight, Meredith redeemed herself with a father who recently adopted an infant, only to have his wife fall ill and die in the hospital. He doesn’t think he’s can handle single fatherhood. But he eventually comes around after Meredith points him in the right direction.

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And we get to see Meredith and Lexie’s dad as a drunk when Karev takes Lexie home. Very telling moment that shows, despite what Meredith thinks, Lexie did not have a Norman Rockwell childhood.

Dr. Hahn’s making Cristina’s life a living hell, yet we still like her. Especially when she tells McSteamy, when he comes on to her at the bar, that he doesn’t really find her attractive. He just likes the way she handles herself around the hospital.

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Very insightful, doctor. We still think there might be some heat coming from that duo, however.

What I really like, however, is how McDreamy and McSteamy are buddies again. Now there’s some chemistry in action.

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“Survivor: China” Gambler cashes out

James, you sly dog.

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At first, I thought Todd was the guy to beat. But James, you’ve got some serious game. You’ve already snagged both immunity idols and when it came to tonight’s showdown, you showed gambler Jean-Robert how to hold your cards.

I was sure you’d play the immunity idol, which would have been a win-win for the other tribe members. If you played the immunity idol, they would have gotten one idol out of play and the obnoxious J-R would have been out.

And I think I noticed a little fear factor in your face when at one point, you thought you might have overplayed your hand.

We ponder so many mysteries of the universe in this episode. Why do people still trust Todd? And why, oh, why is Courtney chosen for challenges. She’s got neither strength nor brains.

In tonight’s challenge, teams had to try and pour enough water into little boats to sink ’em. Of course, they put the lightest teammember in the boat so that it would take more water. Peih-Gee, Frosti, Erik, Courtney went up against Jean-Robert, James, Todd and Amanda.

Courtney not only failed to bail, she also kept her boat right next to the bucket brigade.

Todd bailed like a pro, and even Amanda stayed out of the way of buckets of water. But Frosti and Courtney ended up in the soup.

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Todd and Courtney

Courtney couldn’t figure out how to stay away from the competition’s bucket brigade as she quickly got sunk in her boat. And in round two, she could barely pick the bucket up to bail water into the competition’s boat.

Then Courtney won the tailor-made challenge: Sitting quietly on a suspended barrel with no movement.

“I am lazy,” she proudly proclaimed. Finally, a challenge you can win. All you have to do is sit there and do nothing.

With J-R gone, James has a big target on his back. How will he play this one out?

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Goofy Jean-Robert is out

So who’s next?

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“24″ Delayed in new Fox Schedule

Between the strike and the fires in SoCal, even Jack Bauer didn’t have a chance.

Fox announced today that “24” would be delayed so the planned rollout of all 24 episodes without interruption could still be a happening thing. They also offered up a tentative winter/spring schedule in the event the writers’ strike continued.

(By the way, if you haven’t checked it out, we’ll give a silent prayer to the L.A. Times which whipped up this schedule about how many shows have been shot, etc.)

Of course, Fox knows “American Idol” will keep them afloat during the tough times no matter what. And we’ll probably get even more of all those weeks of tryouts. For goodness sakes, they could probably run the tryouts every day through the end of the season.

But we’ll hope they don’t.

“American Idol” returns with a two-night, four-hour premiere on Jan. 15 and 16. But it won’t be all reality shows. The impressive “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” will air on Jan. 13 and 14, and the creaky “New Amsterdam,” about an immortal, shows up on Feb. 22. “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has “The Return of Jezabel James” in March, the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy “Unhitched,” and “ER” alum Julianna Margulies comes back to TV in “Canterbury Law.”

But the rest is a laundry list of reality programming.

The new schedule is subject to change, pending resolution of the strike.

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES: Again facing relentless Terminators that will stop at nothing until 15-year-old John Connor (Thomas Dekker), the future leader of the resistance, is eliminated, Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) stops running and starts fighting back against fate and the machines that are out to get her son. The show also stars Sumnmer Glau as John’s classmate, the fearless, otherworldly Cameron; and Richard T. Jones as FBI Agent James Ellison.

UNHITCHED: Executive-produced by the Farrelly Brothers, this single-camera comedy revolves around four unattached friends who actually want to be married and must navigate the tricky waters of dating in their 30s. The series stars Craig Bierko, Rashida Jones, Johnny Sneed and Shaun Majumder.

THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES: From Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, this comedy stars Parker Posey as Sarah, a successful children’s book editor who reconnects with her estranged and free-spirited younger sister Coco, played by Lauren Ambrose. The series also stars Scott Cohen as Sarah’s no-strings-attached boyfriend, Marcus; Michael Arden as her loyal and slightly terrified assistant, Buddy; and Ron McLarty and Dianne Wiest (in a recurring role) as the girls’ meddlesome parents, Ronald and Talia.

NEW AMSTERDAM: This drama series tells the story of a brilliant and enigmatic New York homicide detective, John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who has a profound secret: He is immortal, and will not age until he meets his one true love. Also starring are Zuleikha Robinson as Amsterdam’s new partner, Eva Marquez; Alexie Gilmore as Dr. Sara Dillane; and Stephen Henderson as Omar, Amsterdam’s sole confidant.

CANTERBURY’S LAW: From the producers of “Rescue Me,” this courtroom drama centers on rebellious defense attorney Elizabeth Canterbury (Julianna Margulies), who’s willing to bend the law in order to protect the wrongfully accused. The series also stars Aidan Quinn (in a recurring role) as Canterbury’s husband, Matt; Ben Shenkman as her colleague Russell Krauss; and Keith Robinson and Trieste Dunn as Chester Grant and Molly McConnell, the associates rounding out Canterbury’s legal team.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: Game show that puts contestants to the test – the lie detector test – to reveal whether or not they are willing to tell the truth for a chance to win half a million dollars. The new game show is hosted by Mark L. Walberg.

WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD: Set in a primitive, remote location, this unscripted series explores what happens when a group of strong, educated and independent women, tired of living in a man’s world, rule over a group of unsuspecting men used to calling the shots.



Monday, Jan. 7:



Mondays, beginning Jan. 14:



(Time Period Premiere)

Monday, March 3:


(Series Premiere)


Mondays, beginning March 10:


9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)



Tuesday, Jan. 1:


Tuesday, Jan. 15:

8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 1)

Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 22:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Time Period Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

Tuesdays, beginning April 1:


9:00-10:00 PM HELL’S KITCHEN (Season Premiere)



Wednesday, Jan. 2:


Wednesday, Jan. 16:

8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 2)

Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 23:


9:00-10:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Series Premiere)

Wednesdays, beginning March 12:

8:00-9:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Time Period Premiere)


9:30-10:00 PM BACK TO YOU (Time Period Premiere)



Thursday, Jan. 3:


Thursdays, beginning Jan. 10 (No changes to lineup):





Fridays, beginning Jan. 4:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Time Period Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

Friday, Feb. 22:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM (Series Premiere)

Fridays, beginning March 7:

8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH (Time Period Premiere)

8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (Series Premiere)


Fridays, beginning April 11:

8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH


9:00-10:00 PM CANTERBURY’S LAW (Series Premiere)



Saturdays, beginning Jan. 5: (No changes to lineup)

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS


11:00 PM-Midnight MADtv




Sundays, beginning Jan. 6: (No changes to lineup)





9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sunday, Jan. 13:

7:00-7:30 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)

7:30-8:00 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)


(Series Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sunday, Feb. 3 (Super Bowl Sunday):

6:00 PM ET SUPER BOWL XLII (Approx. 4 hours, LIVE)

Approx. 10:00 PM ET HOUSE (Original episode; guest star Mira Sorvino)

Sundays, beginning March 2:


(West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)


(West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)



9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM UNHITCHED (Series Premiere)

Sundays, beginning April 13:





9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

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Dennis Richmond Back, Mark Curtis Reporting

Dennis Richmond is back at his desk, and the people at KTVU couldn’t be any happier.

Dennis returned on Friday to anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

“I watched him and thought he was back 100 percent (after his neck surgery),” KTVU-Channel 2 news director Ed Chapuis says. “He looks good and his voice is strong.”

Dennis said in an interview with Alameda Magazine back in 2006 that he was looking at spring 2008 as a target date and that doesn’t seem to be changing although Ed says nothing new has been announced.

“Look, we all retire at some point,” Ed says. ” But we haven’t made a statement about Dennis yet.”

As for Mark Curtis, who was ousted as the early morning anchor at KTVU in favor of L.A. anchor Dave Clark, Ed says he hopes viewers will give Dave a chance.

“Mark has made the transition from anchoring to reporting. He’s still working here at KTVU and still using his skills to the best advantage,” Ed says. “Dave Clark just started last Thursday and has only been on for four mornings so far. I think he looks terrific and like a part of the team.”

Ed says he understands that viewers might not like the change, but it was done in an effort to improve the newscast.

“If you are watching KTVU news, you see a lot of people who have been here a long time,” Ed says. “I think we do the best job of covering local news in the Bay Area, but we are always looking for ways to improve our coverage and that includes adding people who have the experience and the level of quality of a Dave Clark.”

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“Heroes: Out of Time”

What in the world has happened to “Heroes”?

Yeah, I’m late jumping on the critic wagon wondering how such a good series could go so terribly wrong. Call me an optimist, but I kept thinking it would get better. Instead, I’m hoping the writers’ strike gives the scribes some time to rethink this entire season.

Tonight’s aptly named “Out of Time” did nothing to make me want to extend my stay in “Heroes” land.

First, the Irish adventure could not have gone worse. Maybe it was the whack Irish accents, or the lack of crackle between Peter and Caitlin, but tonight when they were split up I found myself cheering.

And Peter’s amnesia? I’m so over that. Then we have the baring Peter’s chest to the world at least once an episode. Nice the first time, but tonight just made me yawn.

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Could there be less passion between Katie Carr as Caitlin and Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli? — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Thank god the wonder twins didn’t pop up again. The black-eyed death has seeped through the fourth wall and into my living room, making me want to curl up and die every time I see them on the screen.

Claire Bear has become unbearable. Daddy, if you can kill and abduct people, then I can at least have a boyfriend. Oops. Sorry he killed you daddy, but gosh I need my independence. Claire Bear, and her twisted little boyfriend West, must go.

The whole Molly-Matt-Suresh triangle has turned into My Two Dads, the Twilight Zone edition. Suresh has lost his sex appeal through this little daddy adventure, and Matt’s just trying too darn hard. As for Molly, well, we won’t knock child actors but perhaps this wasn’t the most inspired casting.

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Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh, Adair Tishler as Molly, Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

And just when we think we’ve finally gotten rid of Kensei, he pops up as the mysterious Adam. Adam’s the guy we’re all supposed to fear, the one really going after the people in the Company. Apparently, Hiro’s little frolic with his princess has left this immortal spending centuries nursing a grudge.

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David Anders as Kensei — NBC Photo: Justin Lubin

Lord, make it stop now.

How could this series go from my No. 1 pleasure to this?

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Next week, we’ve got Kristen Bell back. As much as I hate to admit it, my Veronica Mars didn’t add the much need punch “Heroes” needed when she popped up the first time.

The episode goes back four months earlier to answer some questions. Nathan pays a terrible cost for his heroic actions. While Peter survives his detonation over New York City, the Company “bags” him as a threat to the world, eventually leading to violent confrontation with Elle (Kristen Bell) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis). D.L. (Leonard Roberts) makes the ultimate sacrifice for Niki (Ali Larter) and Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey). Maya (Dania Ramirez) horrifically manifests her dark powers for the first time, driving her and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) to America for help. A mysterious, yet familiar face is introduced.

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“Amazing Race”: Coincidence or Sloppy Casting?

Coincidence or just sloppy casting?

A lot of people have commented on just how many SoCal folks are competing in this season’s “Amazing Race” – but the real news comes from Nikki who says that four of the competitors all went to high school together.

Not only are most of them from socal, I went to high school with Nathan, Staella, TK, and Rachel…we all graduated in 2001 (TK in 2002) all from Fountain Valley High school. They all know and have known each other well for the past ten years…it’s kinda odd that the AR went with that dynamic, maybe it will make for some interesting situations/rivalries/alliances…maybe not.

One thing’s for sure, the former high school classmates never let on that they knew each other.

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Teammates Ari Bonias (front) and Staella Gianakakos (back)

Staella and her partner Ari got the bad sport of the night award after they stole the cab that was called by another team. But the two got their come-uppance when they tried to get their donkey moving.

Turns out that Staella and Ari acted like asses, and a fuzzy brown donkey decided to be the instrument of karma.

Nathan also hit the spotlight as the guy who thinks he has the worst partner ever in this race. Although he tried to make it up later to girlfriend Jennifer, it was obvious he thinks she’s a slacker who can cost him the game.
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Jennifer Parker (back) and Nathan Hagstrom (front)

TK and Rachel have been dubbed “The Hippies” for this round, and they seemed to be nice enough people, although they did little to stand out in the first episode.

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TK Erwin (standing) and Rachel Rosales

We’ll never know if Staella would have revealed her connection to TK, Rachel or Nathan, because she and Ari came in dead last and were elminated from “The Amazing Race.”

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Brian Williams “SNL” natural

Brian Williams became the first network anchor to host “Saturday Night Live” and he kicked booty.

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During a “SNL” sketch, Brian Williams imagines a new opening for the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

Yes, it would appear Mr. Williams has a second career in his future if he so chooses. And let’s face it, he was probably seen by more viewers last night than he gets in an entire week of anchoring the NBC “Nightly News.”

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Williams, a former volunteer fireman, plays Bronx firefighter Paul Dooley, who gives safety tips to “Bronx Beat” hosts Betty Caruso (Amy Poehler) and Jodi Dietz (Maya Rudolph). NBC Photo: Dana Edelson

There were plenty of critics who felt that Williams was risking his gravitas creds by hosting, and more importantly, taking part in sketches. I believe Williams has finished the gig with his gravitas fully intact. Williams is a news man, but he’s a news man who doesn’t take himself too seriously when he’s away from the anchor desk.

Williams took part in six sketches, from playing a laconic Publisher’s Clearing House winner to mocking himself as a network anchor. The latter had him greeting people outside his office, waiting for people to recognize him. When someone thinks he’s Stone Phillips, Williams says, “Close enough.”

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From an SNL Digital Short detailing a day in the life of Brian Williams — the NBC anchor practices the ‘ancient art of meditation’ as visions of rock superstar Bono repeat “Looking good Brian… you’re way cooler than me… I’d do anything to be you.” — NBC Photo: Dana Edelson

I like the way he showed himself to be a pretty funny guy away from the anchor desk. How we judge him as an anchor should be from the years he’s been doing a solid job, not the 90-minutes he spent hosting a late-night show.

Also stopping by the show on Saturday was Presidential candidate Barack Obama, who played himself in a sketch set at a Halloween party at his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s house where he arrived in an Obama costume.

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(l-r) Darrell Hammond, Amy Poehler, Sen. Barack Obama. Dana Edelson/NBC Photo

In case you missed that sketch, here it is courtesy of YouTube:

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Officetally Scores in Scranton with Tanster

Our favorite “Office” blogger Jennie Tan of Palo Alto scored in the first “The Office” convention in Scranton, held Oct. 26 to 28.

The Tanster was as much a celeb as the folks from the series, with a blogger fan giving her a parking sign for Dunder-Mifflin with her name on it. She was featured in a TV news story.

As you know, Jennie and Angela Kinsey of “The Office” did a SueTube talking about the show. Jennie’s an amazing woman who clocks in way too many unpaid hours on her Web site.

To find out everything you ever wanted to know about “The Office,” check out officetally.

Next week on “The Office,” –After Ryan (B.J. Novak) excludes Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) from a corporate wilderness retreat, Michael heads into the woods for his own survival adventure with nothing but the suit on his back. Back at work, Jim (John Krasinski) tries to revolutionize the office birthday party.

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Rainn Wilson (Dwight) and John Krasinski (Jim)

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