‘The Office’ Creator Wanted the Series Finale to Be Longer Than 1 Hour

For diehard fans of The Office, not much about the show remains a mystery. Though the show hasn’t been on the air in years, streaming services have allowed it to reach new audiences and retain the loyalty of viewers that have loved the show for years. Still, there are always behind-the-scenes secrets that crop up and throw fans for a loop. One such secret is that the series finale for the hit NBC comedy could’ve been longer than it was.

Rainn Wilson filming a deleted scene of The Office series finale
Rainn Wilson | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Comprised of the 200th and 201st episodes of the series, The Office series finale has an official run time of 52 minutes, with 8 minutes of the allotted hour being reserved for commercials. And while people regard the final two episodes as the official end to the series, Greg Daniels (who created the American version on The Office) once let slip that he thought the show would end up having a few more episodes than it actually did.

‘The Office’ creator wanted the series finale to be longer

“Yeah, we’re going to end up with 203 or 204 episodes, and my hope is that people will treat the last several episodes as the finale and not force us to do everything in the last episode,” Daniels shared about The Office series finale back in 2013 on a press call with John Krasinski. Daniels also revealed that he petitioned NBC to get more time for the show to really make sure all the loose ends were tied.

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“Yeah, it may be even bigger than the one-hour one,” Daniels said about The Office series finale. “We’re trying to get more time and the network’s being very creative about scraping some more time together for us without having us start the finale in a weird time that will cause half the audience to miss the first 10 minutes or something. So, we’ll see how we’re doing, but we’re still hopeful to get slightly more than an hour too.”

Greg Daniels fought with the writers about when the documentary should air

Obviously, Daniels wasn’t able to secure more time for the show. However, fans of The Office were overwhelmingly satisfied by how the series ended. By jumping ahead a year in time, after the documentary aired, fans were able to see a lot of their favorite characters grow within Dunder Mifflin and away from it. However, the original plan was to have the documentary air earlier on in Season 9. In the same press call, Daniels explained why the initial timeline was changed.

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“We didn’t start off with that as the finale,” The Office creator admitted. “This year, the plan was to air the documentary in Episode 17, and as we got closer and closer to that point, writers and I would have furious debates and we ended up having promos air for the documentary at that point. And we got the best of what we were looking for, in terms of the characters seeing old footage and everything. But, we thought it would be difficult to have a bunch of episodes after it had aired, and so we ended up pushing it off and off.”

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Clearly, The Office series finale didn’t go exactly the way that Daniels planned. But we’re sure that most fans of the show will agree that it was fantastic either way.