Two Weeks (The Office) - Production


"Two Weeks" was written by Aaron Shure and directed by Paul Lieberstein. Executive story editor Charlie Grandy conceived the idea of Michael leaving Dunder Mifflin. Shure said there was a great deal of debate among the writers about Pam's decision to leave Dunder Mifflin with Michael, but they decided to move in that direction to demonstrate Pam was trying to figure out what she wants in life. Lieberstein thought of the idea of the final scene in which Michael and Pam's faces go from optimism to concern, because he felt it would anchor the episode. The decision to have Charles choose Stanley as productivity czar and Kevin as receptionist was made by Shure the day before the episode's draft was handed in because he wanted to have Charles make "rookie mistakes, despite all his poise." "Two Weeks" was the second of six episodes guest starring Idris Elba, best known as Stringer Bell from The Wire. Elba said he did not watch the episode after it aired because "I'm hypercritical about my work, so I try not to torture myself."

The official The Office website included three cut scenes from "Two Weeks" within a week of the episode's original release. In one minute-long clip, Michael asks Darryl for warehousing advice for his new paper company; Darryl gives Michael encouraging words about the new business venture before admitting, "I'm messing with you. This doesn't sound like a good idea." In a second one-minute clip, Michael tries stealing office supplies from the Dunder Mifflin office for his new company, until he is caught by Charles, who literally chases him out of the office; Charles then tries to describe what Michael's like to the camera but finds himself shocked into silence. In a final 38-second clip, Kelly visits Michael's office to ask what he will do with his life, then starts talking about her own fantasy of running off to Mexico with Charles. B. J. Novak wrote a talking-head segment for Toby, where he compares Michael to a movie on a plane because "it's not great, but it's something to watch, and when it's over you're like, how much longer is this flight? Now what?"

An original draft for the episode included more dialogue between Pam and Jim about the decision, in which Pam brought up Jim's impulsive decision to buy his parents' house without consulting her in the episode "Frame Toby," but it was ultimately cut because they felt it added too much time to get to the resolution. A number of documentary-style interviews with Dwight about Michael's defection and his thoughts about Charles Miner were cut for length issues.

Immediately after "Two Weeks" was first broadcast, NBC Universal's The Office website sent mass e-mail messages said to be from "Michael Gary Scott" encouraging people to join his new company, "The Michael Scott Paper Company." The message, which included a link to the website, said "As the manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton I learned two things: everything about the paper business and that Dunder Mifflin is a suckee company. I’m taking that expertness and creating The Michael Scott Paper Company. … I cannot promise success, but I will promise you the best effing time of your life!!!"

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