Following a rather protracted pregnancy (thanks, Lindsey Vonn et al!), ‘The Office‘s Pam is finally ready to pop. The blessed event takes place this Thursday in a special hour-long episode of the NBC comedy, starting at 9/8c.
‘Office’ scribes Daniel Chun and Charles Grandy were tasked with ushering the supersized bundle of joy into the world, and after some controlled breathing, feel strongly that they delivered.
“It’s definitely exiting and cool to be a part of this,” Chun tells Fancast, “but the second we started thinking about it, we realized that baby episodes of sitcoms are hard to do.”
“A lot of the ‘moves’ you think of have been done before,” adds Grandy, “so it’s hard to find a fresh take.”
What’s more, since a documentary crew is ostensibly tailing Jim and Pam, ducking into the delivery room for the actual childbirth (as, say, ‘Friends‘ famously did) was off limits. “We had some extra challenges,” notes Chun.
Says Grandy, “How do you do a baby show where you can’t show the baby being born?!”
What the two writers came up with lays a bed of dramedy – Pam is determined to fend off contractions and not check into the hospital until midnight, lest her HMO charge her for an extra day – and then peppers in humorous tangents involving Dwight’s own ticking biological clock and the romance forming between Andy and Erin.
Watch a sneak peek of Thursday’s episode:
Still, it had to be daunting to conceive an event that could rival Pam and Jim’s wedding.
“The bar had been set so high” with that October 8 episode, Grandy says. “But I’m really happy with how [“The Delivery”] turned out. I think it’s super sweet.”
Says Chun, “It has a more intimate feel than the wedding episode, which was about a big party and took place over a whole weekend. This is more about Jim, Pam, and the two of them with their baby.”
Let’s talk about that baby, shall we? Is a little girl on the way, or a boy who can grow up to emulate his father’s cockeyed grimaces?
For that answer, you’ll have to wait until the episode airs. Noting that there are “pros and cons” to picking either gender, Grandy says they were leaning one way for a while, “and then it switched.” Why? “There is a slight story point that’s nice and that has to do with the gender,” he says. “But ultimately it wasn’t something that we spent too much time on, because neither choice is really the wrong one.”
Nonetheless, measures were taken to keep everyone in the dark regarding the matter of pink versus blue. “It was well-guarded,” says Grandy. “After table reads, scripts were collected, nothing really left the room…. They went to pretty great lengths to keep it hush-hush.”
Come Thursday, ‘Office’ fans will see what all the fuss was about, as an appropriately supersized audience undoubtedly checks in for the big event. Grandy and Chun, in turn, will let out a deep breath as their own “baby” sees the light of day.
When penning a script such as this, “You have a ton of eyes on it – not just on the show, but at the network,” Grandy reports. “It gets a lot more scrutiny.”
Watch two more clips from “The Delivery”: