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We all know (and love) Jenna Fischer as the instantly recognizable Pam from The Office — but, spoiler alert, that exact sentiment has actually proven to be an issue for the actor!



©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Recently, on the Office Ladies podcast, Jenna revealed that the role became so closely associated with her as a person that she was actually fired after shooting a pilot for the CBS sitcom Man With a Plan.



©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

The series starred Matt LeBlanc — who is best known for playing Joey on Friends — and, apparently, test audiences couldn’t believe that “Pam and Joey” would ever be married.



Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Man With a Plan ran from 2016 to 2020 and followed a father who began to pick up more parenting responsibilities after his wife decided to rejoin the workforce, only to find out that his children were a handful and a half.

“They said — this is a literal quote — they said, ‘I don’t believe Pam would marry Joey. The chemistry doesn’t work between these two,'” she told podcast co-host and The Office co-star Angela Kinsey. “That was the feedback they got.”


©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Initially, network executives wanted to shoot more scenes between her and Matt, but changed their minds after showing the pilot to a test group.


Axelle / FilmMagic, Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Liza Snyder was eventually cast in the role.



Axelle / FilmMagic, Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Liza Snyder was eventually cast in the role.

Aaaaaand it gets worse: Jenna found out a few days before she was meant to go to New York to begin coordinating ads for the show.


Tony Gonzalez/Everett Collection

“The first thing I said was, ‘Is [Man With a Plan] not getting picked up?’ And they said, ‘It’s worse than that, hun.’ And I was like, ‘What’s worse than that?’ They said, ‘It’s getting picked up, but without you.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, I guess I’ll unpack my suitcase.'”


©CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

Oof.

Still, I think this is just a testament overall to how incredible Jenna’s acting was as Pam!



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