B.J. Novak aka "Ryan"


It's Review Time at The Office!

Someone has the Dwight idea.

Well, here it is. My last regular blog about The Office [Tuesdays at 9:30 pm/ET on NBC] for TVGuide.com.

Don't worry. There'll be plenty of chances for an "Office" fix elsewhere. We'll be on Today this morning, and our newest episode, "Performance Review," airs tonight.

It has been fun to write about my experiences on the show. And it's been especially great to hear back from readers. It turns out that a lot of people want to know the same things about the show: What's going to happen with Jim and Pam? What's Steve Carell like in real life? Those are definitely Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the show. But everyone does Frequently Asked Questions. That's a Frequently Done Thing (FD read more

The Office Presents: The Client

Steve Carell  in The Office

This week's episode of The Office is called "The Client."  It starts when Michael (Steve Carell) heads off to the local Chili's to try to close a very big deal with a major client (played superbly by Tim Meadows). 

Once Michael takes off, so does the episode, in a number of directions, leading to a bunch of moments that involve both literal and metaphorical fireworks.  I don't want to spoil the suspense (although I guess "suspense" is overselling it, since we're a comedy…. maybe "surprise" is the better word), but here are some of the funnier moments and the stories behind them.

  • While Michael Scott is gone, the staff discovers a screenplay he's been writing, "Threat Level Midnight." It's an action thriller about an FBI agent named Michael Scarn. (His love interest is creatively named "Catherine Zeta-Jones.") The staff divides up the roles and performs the script out loud.&nb
read more

The Office Presents: Karate Kidding

The Office

Tonight's all-new episode of The Office [9:30 pm/ET on NBC] is called "The Fight." Around here, we know it as "Karate," or "The Dojo," since the most memorable scenes involve a karate fight. (I won't dignify it enough to call it a karate "match.")

The show takes place on a day when the boss, Michael Scott (Steve Carell), has one relatively simple task — initialing a large pile of forms — but instead embarks on a mind-boggling journey of procrastination. This — ultimately, amazingly — leads everyone to a karate dojo during the office lunch break, where Michael battles his underling Dwight (Rainn Wilson) before an audience of stunned coworkers.

In one sense, it's an episode about procrastination carried to the nth degree. In the sense of what's memorable... it's the episode in which Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson jump-kick each other i read more

Someone Gets Axed on Halloween!

Does Kevin's leotard make him "fire"-proof?

Tonight's episode of The Office [8:30 pm/ET on NBC] is the Halloween episode. 

It takes place on Halloween, during a workplace-wide party in which all the employees show up in costume. The much bigger story, however, is one that inspires far more fear in the employees than anything Halloween-related, and through very unfortunate luck it takes place on the same day as this party: October 31 is also the last day of the quarter, and the day on which Michael (Steve Carell) must finally, after months of procrastinating, fire somebody. 

(Yet another level on which Michael is a bad boss: When it's time for him to actually be a bad boss — i.e., make a simple decisive move and lay off an employee — he can't bring himself to do it, and instead pulls off the Band-Aid interminably.)

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Which Office Stars Have the Write Stuff?

B.J. Novak

I've been keeping a blog here about The Office for four weeks now, and it is time to come clean. This is not a real blog. A real blog is updated at random times at the whim of the writer. A real blog has a place for people to leave comments. A real blog does not involve an editor from TVGuide.com calling you and asking, "Hey, man, how's your blog coming along?" 

I'll reintroduce this then. This is a weekly article about what it's like to work at The Office. I can't tell if people have been bothered by this — after all, there's not a space for comments, since it's not a real blog — but I've been self-conscious about it. 

Tonight's episode of The Office [airing at 9:30 pm/ET on NBC] is about a fire that temporarily drives everyone into the parking lot. Jim (John Krasinski) intro read more

Michael and Co. Hit the Road

B.J. Novak

It's Tuesday again. Tuesday, of course, is a tough day for a lot of people, because it's halfway between the weekend and Hump Day. This is why many people call it "Tuesday the Bluesday."  Or at least they will, now that I just invented it here.

The good news about Tuesdays this fall is that there are all-new episodes of The Office [airing at 9:30 pm/ET on NBC], and, in turn, all-new stories on TVGuide.com — stories about what it was like to make the show.

Tonight's episode is about the "Office Olympics," an impromptu event that organizes all the weird little office games that people play into one giant, "point"-ful event. This takes place while Michael (Steve Carell) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson), the two people who would normally prevent these games from taking on epic read more

The Boss Man and "Packman"

B.J. Novak

Previously, on B.J. Novak's blog…
 

— "Have you ever seen that show The Office on NBC?  The place where I work is just like that."
— "I work on the NBC show The Office.  I play Ryan the temp, and I'm also one of nine writers who come up with ideas for the show and then take turns turning them into scripts."
—  "Like many people who work in offices, I am going to start keeping a blog — in my case, for TVGuide.com."
— "Don't open the hatch!"

This week's episode of The Office is entitled "Sexual Harassment." First, let me say that I like it when things have very straightforward titles, so that the audience knows exactly what they're going to get. read more

Office Gossip's Exclusive Blog!

B.J. Novak

Have you ever seen that show on NBC, The Office?  The place where I work is just like that.

I play Ryan, the temp, on the The Office. I'm also one of nine writers who come up with ideas for the show and take turns turning them into scripts.

If you've seen the show before, you'll know that Ryan is the new guy, sort of an observer in the office. He's a character who exists to provide a crucial, impartial point of perspective with which the audience can identify. This is a nice way to say that I don't have that many lines. 

Sometimes I'm doing amazingly exciting things like improvising scenes with Steve Carell and revising scripts that we can't believe the network censors are actually going to allow on television. And other times, I'm just sitting in the background for hours, staring at my computer, "in character." For all the excitem read more

Office Gossip's First Exclusive Blog!

B.J. Novak

Have you ever seen that show on NBC, The Office?  The place where I work is just like that.

I play Ryan, the temp, on the The Office. I'm also one of nine writers who come up with ideas for the show and take turns turning them into scripts.

If you've seen the show before, you'll know that Ryan is the new guy, sort of an observer in the office. He's a character who exists to provide a crucial, impartial point of perspective with which the audience can identify. This is a nice way to say that I don't have that many lines. 

Sometimes I'm doing amazingly exciting things like improvising scenes with Steve Carell and revising scripts that we can't believe the network censors are actually going to allow on television. And other times, I'm just sitting in the background for hours, staring at my computer, "in character." For all the excitem read more

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