‘The Office’ BFFs Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer Believed the Show Would Be Canceled Every Week

The Office co-stars and “BFFs” Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer truly believed the series wouldn’t make it past season 2.

The sleeper hit began with a cult following on NBC, but the slow burn quickly took over the country, and eventually, The Office became a legendary hit. The cast was more surprised than anyone when the series took off. “I took my nameplate off the door because I thought, well that’s it, we’re not coming back next week,” Kinsey recalled on the Today Show.

‘The Office’ cast wondered if they would make it week to week

“Every week we wondered, are we gonna be on?” Kinsey continued. “And then we turned a corner and here we are.” Kinsey and Fischer are spilling The Office secrets in their new book, “The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There.”

Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer from 'The Office' smile for a photo during a live talk show appearance
Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The “corner” came during The Office Season 2, Episode 10. The series had been slogging along, sustaining low ratings and on the verge of cancellation. NBC only contracted for half of a season, fully anticipating the series would tank. But then “the stars aligned.” Steve Carell who played Michael Scott exploded in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the new hit series My Name is Earl was scheduled before The Office. Plus episode 10, the “Christmas Party” debuted as one of the first videos on Apple iTunes.

Angela and Jenna thought ‘The Office’ would be canceled – what saved it?

Actor Brian Baumgartner who played Kevin Malone revealed how everything changed for the series on his podcast, An Oral History of The Office. His guest was Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Schrute. “It was young people, with iPods, who knew how to set up an iTunes account because their parents didn’t,” Wilson recalled. “And that was the amazing thing. I think that blindsided everyone, including NBC, that we would be so popular with young people.”

Baumgartner recounted how putting the episode on iTunes was an absolute game-changer for The Office. “The network really started paying attention because, for the first time, people were paying to watch our show.”

The Office cast then took the iTunes stream further and interacted with fans on social media – which was groundbreaking for actors to do at the time. “As cast members, we were doing everything we could to reach viewers,” Baumgartner said. “Some of us created Myspace pages for our characters and we interacted with our fans from our desks. And because Dwight would be above all of that, Rainn created Schrute-Space.”

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey revealed why they wrote ‘The Office’ book

During their appearance on the Today Show, Fischer and Kinsey revealed they had journaled throughout their time on The Office. They planned to create a scrapbook but instead wrote a book, which took years to create. It started as “Let’s band together and get rid of all our clutter project,” Fischer recalled. “Best friend project. And then we said we should take all this stuff and make a scrapbook.”

“And then Angela said –,” Fischer started. “Why don’t we write a book?” Kinsey finished. At first, Fischer was against the idea but eventually changed her mind.

They shared that they are still best friends, even years after The Office wrapped. But even best friends can keep secrets from each other. They joked about how no one knew Carrell make a return to The Office. Fischer knew but was sworn to secrecy to not tell Kinsey. “Jenna knew and she didn’t tell me!” Kinsey laughed.

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