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Producer Greg Daniels Says He Learned His Lesson After Working On The Office And Parks And Recreation Simultaneously

Greg Daniels has become known for his work on critically acclaimed, though slightly off-the-wall comedies such as "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation." He's continued that reputation with the recently canceled "Space Force," which saw him reunite with Steve Carell. He's also the showrunner of the romantic comedy "Upload," which just finished filming its third season for Amazon. Even if "My Mom, Your Dad," the reality show he created with his daughter, Haley, doesn't get picked up by HBO Max for a second season, he still has a "Parks and Recreation" movie fans are waiting for, so he's got his hands full.

Both of Daniels' recent shows, "Upload" and "Space Force," consisted of seven episodes, which Daniels admits was a struggle at times. "Just trying to pack in all of our best ideas is really the challenge," he told Consequence. "Part of me says, 'oh, I wish that I had a 20-episode season so I could put more in.' And then another part of me goes, 'yeah but each season is — even a short season is twice as long as a movie.' So, you've already done like five 'Harry Potter' movies. In terms of just screen time."

While Daniels can lament the struggle of getting as much as possible into shorter seasons, he also admits he learned his lesson after working on the longer seasons of "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" simultaneously.

He doesn't miss the grueling 50 episodes

Greg Daniels, at one point, was working on two hit series, "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," at the same time, and it is no easy feat. 

While it may have felt like deja vu when he was running both "Upload" and "Space Force," Daniels is the first to acknowledge the differences now, from when he was running "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office." "Back then, I think 'Parks' had 22 episodes [per season], and 'The Office' had 28, so I had 50 episodes, and I'm never going to be in that position again," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Even though Daniels prefers the shorter seasons, he admits there were positives around having more episodes in a season. "When you were doing 22 a year, and the average writer contract was three years, [you could take] the first 20, 22 episodes just to train them so that they're writing in the voice of the show," Daniels recalls. "Then, they pay off in the second two years." But with shorter seasons, "the writing staff's there for 20 weeks, and I'm there for two years," he says.

Daniels knows there's positive and negative aspects to everything, and he's trying to focus on the positives, such as making what he wants, without any deals or commitments to one studio. "Everything I work on, I really like," he admits.