‘Christmas’ Miracle That Saved ‘The Office’ From Being Cancelled
“The Office” was almost cancelled until their Christmas episode came along and warmed the hearts of fans everywhere, pushing it’s notoriety into the limelight.
Speaking with Yahoo! Entertainment, Brian Baumgartner and Angela Kinsey, who respectively played Kevin Malone and Angela Martin, told the story of how Christmas saved “The Office” from utter cancellation.
“We were almost canceled two, three, four, 10, 12 times at the beginning,” explained Brian. “We were struggling week to week,” Angela continued. The ratings “declined rapidly” since the pilot, “and then came back and [that episode] really served as a significant event for us,” Baumgartner said.
The episode that saved them from a perilous cancellation was “Christmas Party.” It was a landmark moment for the series, with the episode drawing in nearly 10 million viewers for the first time since its earliest episodes.
To the casts surprise, the show boomed from there. “After that episode aired, we were the number one streaming show on iTunes and all of a sudden we were like, ‘Hold up. We found our audience,’” Kinsey fondly remembers. “It turned a corner from there and we were set.”
Brian recalls why those episodes hold such significant magic: “And the other thing is while some of the secondary characters had storylines before that, it was an episode that was truly an ensemble. Everybody had something, or some moment, some storyline around the Secret Santa swap.”
The episode produced one of the most memorable gags from the entire series, when Meredith flashes Michael.
“Steve Carell’s face at the end of that episode when Meredith flashes him and he takes the pic … it’s just genius,” says Baumgartner, who clearly loves the episode as much as fans do.
After the success of “Christmas Party,” the holiday episodes became a fan favourite tradition, with with a total of nine during the series’ run.