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"Office" finale rocks; Ch.2 headed to sweeps win

By Alan Pergament

If you were watching "Grey's Anatomy," "American Idol" or the New York Knicks Thursday night when the series finale of "The Office" was playing, head to On Demand or Hulu in the next few days.

Writer-producer Greg Daniels somehow found time to give all the series' 100 or so characters (OK, I exaggerate slightly) a decent send-off and even was able to get himself in a staged photo of the cast. Daniels was the tall guy standing next to Pam (Jenna Fischer) when she organized the group photo that matched an oil painting she had drawn to celebrate the occasion.

Daniels' deserved the bow, having written one of the best series finales in recent memory. It was funny, it was nostalgic, it was a little weird (as "The Office" always is) and it was moving.

 

Greg
Greg Daniels: Deserved "Office" Bow

 

I won't provide too many details to avoid spoiling things for those of you who will watch it in the next few days. (That said, stop reading now if you don't want to hear about a few  spoiler alerts that I am sure are around water coolers today.)

I will say that the episode revolves around the wedding of Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsey) a year after last week's semifinal episode in which they became engaged. (If you missed that one, watch it On Demand, too.)

Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam are front and center for much of the 75-minute episode. The story of the couple who married in Niagara Falls has a predictably sweet ending that would have made O. Henry proud.

Steve Carell, who starred as Michael Scott for most of the series' nine-year run, also shows up in a cameo. I wouldn't call it a surprise even if it wasn't announced.

The line of the night came from delusional Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), who left the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company recently to become an actor and eventually found his true calling at Cornell University.

"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them," said Andy. The line immediately became a hit on Twitter.

That would have been a great finish line, but Daniels had Pam wrap it all up when she said she came to the conclusion that it was a good idea to do a documentary about an ordinary paper company.

"There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things," said Pam. "Isn't that kind of the point?"

The point of this review is it was an extraordinary finale that deserves to get a huge On Demand audience.

Going into the final week of the May sweeps, Channel 2 News is poised for victory over Channel 4 in most time periods, with Channel 7 remaining a poor third.

Channel 2 holds significant ratings leads over Channel 4 at 5 a.m, 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. It had led in all those time periods a year ago, though the 6 p.m. battle was tight in 2012. Channel 2 now holds a wider edge at 6 p.m.

Channel 4 continues to have big leads at 10 p.m., where both stations have seen growth from a year ago, and at 11 p.m. The lead of Channel 4's 10 O'Clock News on WNLO-TV over Channel 2's 10 p.m. now that it has moved to Fox affiliate is tighter than it was a year ago, but Channel 4 still dominates there despite getting terrible lead-ins from CW programs.

Thursday night was a good one for the local broadcast affiliates. As usual, CBS' "Big Bang Theory" (16.8) was the top-rated show of the night on Channel 4.

Fox's "American Idol" (9.1) has had a tough year locally, but the crowning of Candice Glover as this year's winner almost had the same rating on WUTV as last year's finale. The large "Idol" audience gave Channel 2 (4.6) a rare 10 p.m. news victory on WUTV over Channel 4's 10 O'Clock News (4.5) on WNLO by the slimmest of margins. And even that comes with an asterisk because Channel 2's newscast apparently is getting credit for an "Idol" overrrun of a few minutes.

ABC's season finales of "Grey's Anatomy" (8.1) and "Scandal" (7.1) had ratings well above their season averages on Channel 7.

And "The Office"?" It had a 5.1 rating on Channel 2, which is well above its season average. All the Thursday finales are expected to get large DVR and On Demand audience boosts, with "The "Office" likely to be one of the largest gainers.    

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Sitcoms | Television | TV news
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