Is it Time for B.J. Novak to Give His Office Opening Credit to Ed Helms?

Thanksgiving is something of a dead zone for primetime TV, and so it was that I found myself watching a repeat of The Office's one-hour Jim-and-Pam wedding and wondering, more than ever, what B.J. Novak is doing in the opening credits.

I wondered about it in the first season, when it seemed like Novak's new temp Ryan would be the audience surrogate experiencing the office through fresh eyes (a conceit that appeared to be abandoned in roughly ten seconds). I wondered about it in Season Two, when Ryan's formerly anonymous coworkers were suddenly granted about as much screen time as Novak usually has, and in Season Three, when Angela Kinsey clearly overtook him. Now, though, it's clearer than ever that the show has no intention of ever doing all that much with Ryan, yet producers protect Novak's opening credit like it was Dumbo's magic feather.

I've got nothing against Novak -- hell, when the show premiered, I kinda thought he was the hot one. (I've got that in common with Michael Scott, I suppose.) Certainly, I can understand how Novak would want the publicity and pay grade that comes with being one of five billed regulars in that opening title sequence, but ever since the show added Ed Helms and began to write more and more for him, Novak's opening title credit seems like a running joke.

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  • chase says:

    The reason: he's one of the head writers/executive producers.

  • wuBe says:

    Considering this was written specifically concerning the opening, saying they haven't tinkered with the opening is blatantly wrong. There have been quite a few versions of the opening, including the very obvious changes during the Michael Scott Paper Company episodes. The theory of it being a running joke is valid though, and it wouldn't surprise me if they have some monumental way of changing that in the future.

  • Jeff says:

    Chase is right. Plus now he's directing a few episodes on top of writing and producing.

  • tgpo says:

    In addition to them changing the opening for the Michael Scott Paper Company episode, they also did a full cast opening last season where they introduced all of the primary cast.

  • stretch65 says:

    HA HA BJ on top...
    I crack myself up...

  • Claire says:

    Ed Helms got his credit! Yet B.J. Novak remains. Curious.