NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It's been a long four months since the Dunder Mifflin company picnic. But fans of NBC's "The Office" finally got to find out last week how Pam and Jim were handling their big news, the revelation at the end of last season that they were going to become parents. The couple, the center of normalcy in the midst of the Scranton wackiness, are moving up their wedding date and trying to keep the bambino news under wraps.
The producers of the Thursday night comedy have done their best to keep the conversation going about the show while it was on hiatus, thanks to a Facebook fan page (with 824,725 fans), a MySpace page (80,444 friends), and the social network known as Dunder Mifflin. The show also now boasts several Twitter feeds, which feature the entertaining and spat-a-licious exchanges between characters Kelly (IamKellyFierce) and Ryan (veRY_ANgelic). Newbie Erin Hannon joined the conversation on Sept. 17, the day of the show's season premier.
The show has also crafted a place on NBC.com for character blogs. You can catch up with Dwight's paranoia at Schrute Space; Meredith's exploits at Sex and the Electric City; Creed's "Creed Thoughts"; and catch up with Angela in her video series, "Adventures with Angela."
Fans can also buy a plethora of "Office" merchandise from the NBC Store. Each character has its own bobble-head, and you can also grab both travel and regular coffee mugs that say Dunder Mifflin, or go for a "World's Best Boss" mug. But wait! There's more! Now here comes "The Office" version of board game "Clue." Forget Colonel Mustard and Mr. Body, this game lets fans figure out who killed human-resources manager Toby.
Given all the extracurricular activities surrounding the show, one wonders what we'll see as this season's plotlines roll out. Will we see a Pam and Jim wedding page, à la Angela and Andy's? Will "The Office" let us vote on baby names? And does all this outreach really boost the show? NBC certainly thinks so. It's already set up a similar web presence for new Thursday night comedy "Community" under the banner Greendale Community College. Soon we can look forward to Twitter feeds from Pierce, a.k.a. Chevy Chase.