The Office (American TV series) season 1

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The Office
Season 1
DVD cover
No. of episodes6
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMarch 24 (2005-03-24) –
April 26, 2005 (2005-04-26)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes

The first season of the American television comedy The Office premiered in the United States on NBC on March 24, 2005, concluded on April 26, 2005, and consists of six episodes. The Office is an American adaptation of the British TV series of the same name, and is presented in a mockumentary format, portraying the daily lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictitious Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. The season stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and B. J. Novak.

This season introduced the main characters, and established the general plot, which revolves around Michael Scott (Carell), regional manager of the Scranton branch office, trying to convince the filmmakers of the documentary that he presides over a happy, well-running office. Meanwhile, sales rep Jim Halpert (Krasinski) finds methods to undermine his cube-mate, Dwight Schrute (Wilson); receptionist Pam Beesly (Fischer) tries to deal with Michael's insensitivities and flubs; and temporary employee Ryan Howard (Novak) is acting mostly as an observer of the insanity around him.

Season one of The Office aired on Tuesdays in the United States at 9:30 p.m. The season debuted to high numbers, and garnered moderately positive reviews from critics aside from the pilot which received mixed reviews. While some enjoyed the pilot, others opined that it was a mere copy of the original British version. Universal Studios Home Entertainment released season one in a single DVD on August 16, 2005. The DVD contained all six episodes, along with commentaries from creators, writers, actors, and directors on most of the episodes, as well as deleted scenes from all of the episodes.


The first season of the show was produced by Reveille Productions and Deedle-Dee Productions, both in association with NBC Universal Television Studios. The show is based upon the British series created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who are executive producers on the show, and it is produced by Greg Daniels, also an executive producer, along with consulting producers Larry Wilmore[1] and Lester Lewis.[2] The show's writers include Daniels, Gervais, Merchant, and Michael Schur,[3] while Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, and B. J. Novak double as writers as well as actors in the show, and between them, wrote three episodes on the season. For this season, Schur was a co-producer, Kaling was a staff writer, Lieberstein was a consulting producer, and Novak was an executive story editor. The first episode, "Pilot", was written by Daniels, but the majority of the episode was adapted from "Episode One" of the British series, with many scenes being transferred almost verbatim.[4]

Season one featured episodes directed by five different directors. The Office features both a "team of directors" as well as several directors who are freelanced. Ken Kwapis directed the first two episodes, "Pilot" and "Diversity Day", and would go on to direct another eleven episodes in total, including the final episode of the series. Ken Whittingham, who directed "Health Care", would go on to direct another eight episodes in total. Daniels both produced and directed the episode "Basketball". The Office was almost entirely filmed in an actual office building in Los Angeles, California for its first season. Aside from Los Angeles, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the show is set, was also used for shots for the opening theme.[5]


Many characters portrayed by The Office cast are based on the British version of the show. While these characters normally have the same attitude and perceptions as their British counterparts, the roles have been redesigned to better fit the American show. The show is known for its generally large cast size, many of whom are known particularly for their improvisational work.



Notable guests[edit]

  • Toby Huss as the voice of Todd Packer, a rude and offensive traveling salesman, and Michael's best friend[13] (David Koechner would play the character in later seasons).
  • Larry Wilmore as Mr. Brown, a consultant who arrives to teach the office about tolerance and diversity.
  • Patrice O'Neal as Lonny Collins, a warehouse worker.
  • Amy Adams as Katy Moore, a handbag saleswoman.

Broadcast and reception[edit]


Ratings for the first season of The Office

The first episode of The Office scored well in ratings, gaining over eleven million viewers, as well as ranking third in its timeslot on the night of its airing.[14][15] But the episode aired on a Thursday evening, and between the change from the first episode and the second episode, The Office moved to its regular time slot on Tuesday evenings. The Office tumbled in the ratings, averaging under 6.0 million viewers, just over half that of the previous episode.[16][17] The first-season finale "Hot Girl" received one of the lowest ratings in the show's history, earning just a 2.2 rating with a 10 share.[18] After the lackluster reception of the episode, many critics erroneously predicted that "Hot Girl" would also serve as the de facto series finale.[18] The Office averaged 5.4 million viewers for its entire season, ranking it #102 for the 2004–2005 U.S. television season.[19]


A man with black hair, Steve Carell, is standing in a tux. He is looking towards the camera and smiles.
Steve Carell was initially criticized for his portrayal of Michael Scott, although his character soon garnered critical favor.

The series premiere, "Pilot", received largely mixed reviews from critics.[20] After the first episodes, critics thought The Office would be another failed remake of a British comedy, much like how the American version of Coupling was in relation to the original British series.[21] The Deseret Morning News believed The Office was a failed remake, and said "Maybe, after The Office dies a quick death on NBC, the network will decide that trying to Americanize British TV comedies isn't such a great idea."[22] The New York Daily News said the show was "neither daring nor funny", adding that "NBC's version is so diluted there's little left but muddy water".[23] The Los Angeles Times complained that Steve Carell, who portrays Scott and also appeared in the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, was "too cartoon" and said: "Lost in translation is the sadness behind the characters."[23]

Despite these criticisms, the remainder of the season earned mostly positive reviews among critics. The season scored 62 out of 100 on Metacritic (a website that assigns a weighted average score for media), which translates to "generally favorable reviews".[24] Time magazine wrote that "It's ironic that NBC's most original sitcom in years is a remake, but who cares? The Office is a daring, unflinching take on very American workplace tensions."[20] felt that the first season of The Office was good, and the differences between the characters of the American and the original series added to the popularity of the series.[25] Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette felt that The Office succeeded in its first season, and that although NBC had failed in the past with television shows such as Coupling, it had found achievement with The Office.[26] Entertainment Weekly awarded the season a "B+" and wrote that The Office "is clever and insular, capturing all the drudgery, awkwardness, and rivalry of cubicle living" and that the last five episodes help to illustrate that the series has "crossed the pond handily."[27]

In addition, "Diversity Day", the season's second episode, has been regarded as one of the best episodes of the entire show. TV Guide named it the nineteenth greatest episode of any television show in 2009.[28] Rolling Stone magazine named the scene wherein Michael shows the office his diversity video the third greatest moment from The Office.[29]


In its first year, The Office was nominated for several awards, including three Writers Guild of America Award nods. These included nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best New Series. In addition, for his work on "Diversity Day", B. J. Novak was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay – Episodic Comedy.[30]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [31]Prod.
code [31]
U.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Ken KwapisRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant and Greg DanielsMarch 24, 2005 (2005-03-24)100111.23[32]
A documentary crew arrives at the Scranton, Pennsylvania, offices of Dunder Mifflin to observe the employees and learn about modern management. Regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) tries to paint a happy picture in the face of potential downsizing from corporate. The office also gets new employee Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak) as a temporary worker, while salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) pranks and antagonizes fellow salesman Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), much to the enjoyment of receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer).
22"Diversity Day"Ken KwapisB. J. NovakMarch 29, 2005 (2005-03-29)10025.95[33]
Michael's controversial imitation of a Chris Rock routine forces the staff to undergo a racial diversity seminar. A consultant (guest star Larry Wilmore) arrives to teach the staff about tolerance and diversity, but Michael insists on imparting his own knowledge, aggravating both the consultant and the entire office staff, and creates his own diversity seminar. He eventually assigns each staff member an index card with a different race on it, causing tempers to slowly simmer until they finally snap. Meanwhile, Jim struggles to keep hold of a lucrative contract extension, but Dwight makes the sale for himself. Nevertheless, when Pam falls asleep on Jim's shoulder at the end of the meeting, he concludes that it was "not a bad day."
33"Health Care"Ken WhittinghamPaul LiebersteinApril 5, 2005 (2005-04-05)10065.83[34]
In an effort to save money to prevent downsizing, Michael puts Dwight in charge of choosing the company's new health care plan. Dwight's chosen plan slashes benefits, much to the chagrin of the other employees. In an attempt to appease them, Michael promises the entire office a surprise, and then spends the rest of the day scrambling to come through with his promise. The employees wait for Michael's surprise, which he awkwardly never delivers. Meanwhile, Jim and Pam amuse themselves with Dwight's medical forms.
44"The Alliance"Bryan GordonMichael SchurApril 12, 2005 (2005-04-12)10045.26[35]
As downsizing rumors swirl, paranoia takes over the members of the office. Dwight forms a "Survivor"-esque alliance with Jim against the other employees—later adding Pam also. Meanwhile, Michael arranges a morale-boosting birthday party for Supplier Relations representative Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery), although her birthday is more than a month away. Michael agonizes over writing the perfect greeting in her birthday card, and in the end, his joke (and subsequent rejected ones) falls flat, ruining the party.
55"Basketball"Greg DanielsGreg DanielsApril 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)10055.03[36]
Michael and the office staff take on the workers in the warehouse in a basketball game. Through racist and sexist ideals, Michael chooses many of the lesser skilled office workers over their more athletic peers. Michael claims a "flagrant personal intentional foul", stops the game, and declares his team as the winners. The warehouse finds the call unfair and Michael caves under pressure, and concedes the victory to the warehouse staff. Michael eventually tells the office that they don't have to come in on Saturday either, but it does little to calm them: "Like coming in an extra day is going to prevent us from being downsized."
66"Hot Girl"Amy HeckerlingMindy KalingApril 26, 2005 (2005-04-26)10034.83[37]
When an attractive purse saleswoman named Katy (Amy Adams) comes to the office, Michael and Dwight openly vie for her attention. Meanwhile, the corporate office allocates $1,000 as a prize for the top office salesman, but Michael spends the money on an espresso machine, trying to impress Katy. However, in the end she leaves with Jim, devastating both Michael and Dwight.

DVD release[edit]

The Office: The Complete First Season
Set details[38] Special features[38]
  • 6 episodes
  • 1 disc set
  • 1.78:1 aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Commentary on 4 episodes by the actors, writers, and producers:
    "Diversity Day"
    "The Alliance"
  • Deleted scenes from every episode
Release dates
Region 1 Region 2
August 16, 2005 (2005-08-16)[39] April 10, 2006 (2006-04-10)


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  2. ^ Adalian, Josef (July 5, 2005). "WB Finds King of 'Kings'". Daily Variety. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2013. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Paumgarten, Nick (October 3, 2005). "Fender Bender". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  4. ^ "In Conversation: Greg Daniels, Executive Producer/Showrunner of The Office (U.S.)". HeyWriterBoy. June 20, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
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External links[edit]