Steve Carell is responsible from stopping The Office for falling victim to an unfortunate television trope! As People reports, it was revealed that the subplot originally planned for The Office's season 6 finale could have led to the show "jumping the shark" had Carell not intervened.
"Jumping the shark" refers to a moment in a television show when something ridiculous happens that changes the show's trajectory, suggesting that the writers are out of ideas. Find out what was supposed to happen in "Jim" & "Pam's" wedding episode!
The Office nearly had "Pam's" ex crash her wedding on horseback
The Office's surprising original plans for its season 6 finale were revealed in a new tell-all book about the series! As People mentions, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s was recently released. The book was developed by Andy Greene— a senior writer at Rolling Stone— and excerpted by Collider.
According to Collider, the episode's director Paul Feig shared that "Pam's" ex, "Roy" (David Denman) was going to show up on horseback and crash the wedding! "It was supposed to be that Pam and Jim are in the middle of the ceremony and Roy has been haunting around and regretting that he let her go and wanted her back," Feig said.
"When they were in the middle of the ceremony, it was supposed to be that Roy rides into the church on horseback dressed like a white knight to win her back."
The Office's "Dwight" was supposed to leave horse at Niagara Falls
The Office tell-all book also mentioned that in the original script for the episode— which was written by showrunner Greg Daniels and star Mindy Kaling— Rainn Wilson's character "Dwight" struggled with suicidal ideation at Niagara Falls. It revealed that when "Dwight" ran into "Roy" at the wedding, he took his horse and headed to the Falls!
Collider says that "Dwight" was meant to then abandon the horse before it plunged to its death, just as the camera cut to "Jim" and "Pam" sharing a romantic moment. Reportedly, the shocking subplot was locked into the script just a week before filming! During a table read however, Carell— who produced as well as starred in The Office— took issue with this subplot.
Carell strongly objected to subplot of horse plunging to its death
The Office's producer Randy Cordray acknowledged Carell's concerns about the storyline. "[Steve] is a producer on the show and he has some say over the writing of the show," Cordray said. "Steve was the first one to speak up. He said, ‘Guys, I love the episode but you can’t throw a horse over Niagara Falls.'"
"And he’s like, ‘Yes, it’ is funny. I love your writing. I love all of you, but this is really an animated joke. This is a cartoon joke. This is a joke we might see on The Simpsons," Cordray explained. "I know many people think that The Office has already jumped the shark in many different ways, but let me just say, throwing a horse over Niagara Falls is really jumping the shark. I’m not in favor of this.’"
Collider shares that after Daniels ultimately decided to cut the ridiculous subplot, the show's budget then allowed for the entire cast to travel to Niagara Falls to film the episode!