The Office

Mitchell Haasesth/NBC

Hello, my friends. Korbi here, seriously geeking out at Press Tour, as NBC's comedy block panel just came to an end.

Digest this lineup: Scrubs' creator Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff, Office creator Greg Daniels and John Krasinski, 30 Rock's Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey and My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia accompanied by Jason Lee. Can I just say it was a clusterfrak of funny, and the burden of having to relay just how special the half hour was is a bit overwhelming.

I think Bill Lawrence expressed it best when he informed us of how honored he felt to be sitting up onstage with representatives from the three other shows: "[Compared to NBC comedy blocks past], this lineup is better. [Historically], it was a s--t sandwich, with three great shows and a big, giant piece of doo-doo right in the middle...like Caroline in the City [yup, he said it]...there's no weak link here."

And perhaps to further promote camaraderie among each of the shows, NBC is planning a green-themed Thursday night sometime later this season, in which each of our favorite comedies will attempt to encourage environmentally friendly behavior. John Krasinski's take on the whole idea? "We're a paper company. We're screwed." 

All right, now for the news and random fodder. I think I'll tackle it show by show...

The Office: Rashida Jones, John Krasinski

Justin Lubin/NBC

The Office:  Rashida Jones, aka Karen Filippelli, will be back this fall. Greg Daniels and company were able to work out a deal where she’ll show up for at least an episode or two when The Office returns this fall. 

Jenna is doing fine, though still recovering from her May injury, and will most definitely be sitting behind the reception desk at Dunder-Mifflin come September, but the producers may have to go easy on her the first few episodes. Says Daniels, “Luckily, Pam sits a lot on the show.” 

We’ve seen the last of David Denman, aka Roy, for the time being, since he’s been fired and is no longer dating Pam. However, he’s not dead and, according to Greg, could return at any time. 

We will see more of Ryan this season! There will be great stuff between Michael and Ryan now that Ryan’s the boss. But sadly for Kelly, things between her and Ryan are not going well. 

Jan really is moving into Michael’s condo, and when I asked if she’ll be wearing stretch pants, Greg Daniels was kind enough to confirm.  

The hourlong episodes (announced earlier this year) will be the first four of the season, probably because Scrubs won’t be on yet. 

The season-three DVD drops Sept. 4, and Daniels says they overproduce so much, there will be about five or six  hours of extras on it.

30 Rock, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin

NBC/Barbara Nitke

30 Rock:  After moving through the initial season, Tina Fey says they've learned a lot about the tone of the show. They want the characters to be believable enough that you're able to actually care about them, but at the same time still able to do crazy jokes with them: "I think you can make [Jack and Tracy] big, but it's probably better if, at some point, you believe they're actual human beings." 

Speaking of Jack, Alec Baldwin will be back on the show, despite Tina insisting she's never actually met the man. According to Lorne Michaels, the reports of his possible departure are false: "He's brilliant on the show. I think he loves the show. He'll be back."

Tina said she's tremendously excited to have Jerry Seinfeld joining them for the season premiere: "Maybe people in America will actually watch it, even if it's just for that one time."

How has her life changed since jumping from head writer on Saturday Night Live to head writer and actress on 30 Rock? "The biggest change is working the day shift instead of the night shift. Going to work at 5 a.m., instead of getting home at 5 a.m., took some getting used to. But I would rather shoot a scene for seven hours where I'm pretending to write a sketch than actually have to write a sketch!"  

The biggest difference between Tina and her TV counterpart, Liz Lemon? Apparently, Liz's jugs are bigger. 

Regarding Studio 60, if Tina had been told a year ago that only one behind-the-scenes-of-SNL-type show would get a second season, she'd have been 100 percent sure it was 30 Rock: "I have a nasty SNL competitive streak." Lorne Michaels concurred, "She really does."

The season-one DVD will be available Sept. 4. Tina has listened to the first 15 minutes of Tracy Morgan's commentary and insists there is no evidence he's ever watched the show.

Scrubs: Zach Braff

Dean Hndler/NBC

Scrubs:  According to Bill Lawrence, he believes this is the year Scrubs becomes a big hit: “We always really geared the show to peak in its seventh year.” Yes, that joke got big laughs.

Regarding the possibility of J.D. and Elliott ending up together, Lawrence says the relationship between those two is not a Sam-and-Diane, will-they-or-won’t-they sort of thing. However, he felt it was a good way to end the season, with two dysfunctional people screwing up their respective relationships. As far as whether or not the two characters belong together, Bill said he does keep up with Scrubs' passionate online fan base and, as cheesy as it might sound, will strive to give them the ending they desire when the series finale rolls around later this season. 

As far as the decision to end the show on NBC rather than moving to ABC for its final year, Bill said it really wasn’t a difficult choice. He was clearly appreciative of ABC president Steve McPherson’s guarantee to pick Scrubs up if NBC had opted to cancel it. Apparently, ABC did offer an extra four eps (NBC will produce an 18-episode final season as opposed to the usual 22), but Bill shared that they really wanted to finish the show’s run where they began. 

Zach is looking forward to the final season: “There’s something really exciting about saying ‘Okay, there are 18 more.’ I think it will reinvigorate [the cast and crew]. We’ve had pretty much the same crew since the beginning, and as cliché as it might sound, it really is a family. [It’s really nice to be] going out with a bang, and going out the way Bill wanted to.” 

My Name Is Earl, Jason Lee

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

My Name Is Earl:  Regarding the changes the show underwent from the more formulaic episodes in season one to more serial type storylines in season two, Greg Garcia said they were certainly looking for more flexibility going into the second year. They decided to tell some stories that would play out throughout the year. Earl ending up in prison is one of those stories, and yes, he’s in prison for a while this fall: “We’re very fortunate that Earl has a past where he happens to know a lot of people in prison. There are people in there on his [to do] list...” Of course, the list will always exist; however, they’ll be looking to move the action forward in other ways, including flashbacks.   

Is Jason Lee afraid of what might happen to Earl in prison? Well, Garcia said there are a few scripts he hasn’t yet shown to Jason... 

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