Since Netflix started streaming The Office, fans have had a super convenient way to re-watch the classic workplace comedy. But anyone who owns the DVD box sets of The Office will be able to spot some clear inconsistencies between the episodes streaming and those that aired on NBC.
On the latest episode of the , former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey talked about filming the Season 3 episode, “Traveling Salesmen.” But in rewatching it, they learned that the “Traveling Salesmen” episode on the Season 3 DVD box set doesn’t quite match up with the episode on Netflix.
“This whole podcast almost went haywire because Jenna was watching the Netflix episode, and I was watching the DVD episode, and they’re totally different,” Kinsey said.
“Angela and I were so confused, because we were trying to outline this episode and there were all these scenes that Angela was talking about that I remembered shooting…but that weren’t in the version I was watching,” Fischer explained.
After doing a little digging, Fischer learned the story behind the discrepancy. Turns out, two different “Traveling Salesmen” episodes aired on NBC back in the day. The original aired on Jan. 11, 2007. But on March 15, 2007, NBC aired a repeat of the episode.
“They didn’t want to air an exact repeat,” Fischer explained. “They wanted to get more viewers, so they called it a ‘newpeat.'”
“There are now these two different versions of this episode living out in the world.”
“You know, when they would run repeats they wouldn’t get as many viewers, which meant fewer ad dollars for commercials, right? Cause that’s how networks make money. So they thought, ‘If we add a newpeat where it’s mostly the old episode but then some stuff you’ve never seen before, maybe it would up the viewership,'” she told Kinsey. “That’s why there are now these two different versions of this episode living out in the world. Because somebody in marketing at NBC came up with this newpeat idea.”
If you don’t have the DVDs to reference (or didn’t start watching The Office until it was available on streaming), have no fear. Kinsey broke down what you’re missing when you watch the episode on Netflix.
“First of all, ‘Traveling Salesmen’ [S3, Ep12] and ‘The Return’ [S3, Ep13] are one episode on the DVD. They’re not two episodes. They’re one like supersized huge episode,” she said before revealing a few newpeat Pam plot lines.
“Pam gets a phone call that a watercolor she made won a sixth grade elementary school art contest. The sixth graders picked your art, you were really excited,” she told Fischer. “You won $100.00. You were really excited to tell Kevin about it, and Kevin’s like, ‘Yeah, well I won $400.00 betting on a Celtics game.’ And you were like, ‘OK. Thanks for that, Kevin.'”
Kinsey said that Pam was so desperate to tell someone that her art won, but everyone was out on a sales call. So she decided to tell Angela. “Jenna, we have one of those classic over-the-partition Angela and Pam scenes. And she tells Angela, and Angela has all this good favor in her heart towards Pam right now, you know? They’ve gone and got coffee, they’ve bonded. And so Angela goes, ‘Congratulations’ and then she says, ‘I really like having these little moments with you.'”
Kinsey also shared that Angela was in such a good mood that she offers Pam one of Sprinkles’ kittens (the dominant male named Ash). Pam rejects her offer, and Angela is pissed. “[Angela] instantly goes back to just being this cold, snarky person to Pam. That’s it. Their friendship’s over. It was so fleeting,” Kinsey said.
She also revealed that when Jim finally returned to the office Pam told him her good news and wound up sharing an awkward moment with Karen.
“Pam is so excited to tell him, and he’s on his way out to have coffee with Karen. Pam’s like, “Jim,” and he starts talking to her about it, and Karen’s like, ‘Um, we’re going to get coffee…'” Kinsey said.
With all these extra scenes added to the newpeat, Fischer wondered what got cut from the original. The newpeat doesn’t feature the original episode’s cold open.
“So in the opening scene of the Netflix version, it’s Harvey the computer talking to Jim,” Kinsey said. “That’s in the deleted scenes on the DVD. That’s not even in the episode.” [Scene shown below.]
Though Kinsey thought this was the show’s only “newpeat,” Fischer said thinks it happens again in a Season 4 episode. “Phyllis tells Jim about her house that Bob bought her. It’s on the DVD, but it’s cut out of the Netflix version.”
So there you have it, folks. If you’re looking for ways to become an even bigger Office fan check out the DVDs, brush up on deleted scenes like Angela, and be sure to listen to the full podcast episode for more behind-the-scenes stories about filming “Traveling Salesmen.”