September 29th, 2011
06:15 PM ET
Audiences have had several seasons to get used to Andy Bernard on "The Office," but they've only seen him as a manager for one episode. So what can we expect from Ed Helms' character in the long run?
"I feel like Michael [Scott, Steve Carell's character] was promoted to the level of incompetency," executive producer Paul Lieberstein (best known as "Toby" on the show) told reporters at a conference call on Tuesday.
"He's a very good salesman who had no management skills. With Andy it's different," he added. "I feel that he's more like a very talented quarterback who has been given a professional football team, except no one's told him how to throw a ball yet. It's just like for the first time he's picking up this football."
Lieberstein said that the producers never seriously considered getting an actor new to the series to play the manager. "[We said at the time] Our cast is amazing. And we don't need anybody else. People want to watch our cast. We still want to write for our cast. Although maybe [we] batted around different views, we were never really considering changing the focus on the show to anyone else but our people."
Helms also spoke about filling Carell's shoes: "Steve and I have a few signposts along our careers that match up. And I really credit Steve certainly going back to 'The Daily Show.' When Steve did '40 Year Old Virgin,' that really broke the mold for all of the correspondents on 'The Daily Show' in a really wonderful way. It allowed the general public, as well as the entertainment industry to suddenly see the 'Daily Show' correspondents as something more than just these sort of snarky news reporters. He's always just been really supportive, and even going into this new season, remains so. And I even got a really lovely note from Ricky Gervais the day after the premiere. So that means an awful lot."
Fans of Erin and Andy's relationship (or lack thereof at the moment) will also have this year's Halloween episode to look forward to, according to Lieberstein.
"They're a pretty odd pair because they have very strong emotions and very poor communication skills. And so there's something kind of charming about watching them try to connect and try to communicate," he said. "Of course now with Andy's new boss position, there's a power dynamic that comes into play, which just makes all of that tension and awkwardness that much more difficult. Erin finds herself in a place where she doesn't know how to interpret the fact that Andy's not giving her work and being a little quiet towards her."
To which Helms chimed in, "Her Halloween costume is just preposterously adorable this year. So it just makes it that much weirder."
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