NBC News Produces ‘The Office’ Special

By Alex Weprin 

Last night NBC aired the series finale of its sitcom “The Office.” The show, which follows the wacky and touching goings-on at the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was never as big a hit as comedies like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Two and a Half Men,” but found a loyal audience large enough to sustain it for nine seasons.

Leading up to the finale, NBC aired a retrospective of the series, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, and video footage from a trip they made to Scranton celebrate the show. An astute reader noticed that the retrospective was actually produced by NBC News, although it didn’t feature any notable news talent.

As strange as it may seem, NBC’s news division–not unlike ABC and CBS–will occasionally be commissioned for specials that are more entertainment than information. Peacock Productions, a production house within NBC News, is producing daredevil Nik Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon next month on Discovery Channel, just as ABC News produced his walk across Niagara Falls. Still, having the news division produce a retrospective on a show that could easily have been produced by the show’s own staff is sure to raise some eyebrows.