The third season of the American television comedy The Office premiered in the United States on NBC on September 21, 2006, and concluded on May 17, 2007. The season had a total of 25 half-hours of material, divided into 17 half-hour episodes, four 40-minute "super-sized" episodes, and two one-hour episodes. The Office is an American adaptation of the British TV series of the same name as a mockumentary portraying the daily lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictitious Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
The season marked the move of main character Jim Halpert from Scranton to Stamford, and also introduced Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli, and Ed Helms as Andy Bernard—both members of Dunder Mifflin Stamford—as recurring characters. Helms would later be promoted to series regular. The main plot for the early episodes of the season deals with a recurring problem in seasons one and two—the problem of company downsizing—while in the last half of the season, inter-office relationships also became a major plot point.
The third season of The Office aired on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.. The season saw its ratings increase from the previous. In addition, it continued the critical praise that had started during the show's second season. The season was released on DVD in a box set containing four discs. While the DVD features all 25 episodes, the episodes "Traveling Salesmen" and "The Return" were condensed into one episode. The set contained commentaries from creators, writers, actors, and directors on some of the episodes, while also containing deleted scenes from all of the episodes. It was released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
On the heels of Casino Night, Michael inadvertently outs a gay employee; Jim adjusts to his promotion, new office, and life without Pam.
Michael and Dwight head off to Philadelphia to meet Jan for the Northeastern Mid-Market Office Supply Convention. Michael, with the help of Dwight, sets up a party for fellow conventioneers while Ryan goes on a double date with Kelly back in Scranton
Michael is in trouble once again as Jan busts him for declaring it's "Movie Monday" where everyone watches a movie and neglects work. Angela pushes Dwight to make a move on Michael's job while Pam and Jim find creative ways to waste time.
After learning that his old boss, the former regional manager, has died, Michael attempts to guide the Dunder Mifflin staff through their grief as he searches for the right way to honor a company man.
It's initiation time for the full timer Ryan as Dwight takes him out on his first sales call with a side trip to the Schrute family beet farm. Michael is ordered by corporate to log his work activity; and Jim tries to adapt to life at the Stamford branch.
It's Diwali, The Hindu Festival of Lights, Michael encourages the entire Scranton branch to support Kelly and attend a local celebration of Diwali. Meanwhile Ryan faces Kelly's family at the event.
Jan delivers the bad news to Michael that the Scranton Branch is closing. This leads Michael on a quest to keep up the staff's spirits. Meanwhile, everyone imagines what their lives will be like in the wake of the closure.
Old friends Jim and Pam are back together after months apart as the Scranton branch and Stamford branch are finally merged. Michael, Dwight and the other employees are faced with a variety of changes.
Michael tries to be supportive when he finds out one of his new employees -- presumably someone from the Stamford branch -- has a prison record.
In a special one hour Christmas episode, Michael sends out an inappropriate photo Christmas Card which lands him in hot water with his girlfriend Carol (guest star Nancy Walls). Andy (guest star Ed Helms) takes Michael out drinking, with Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Jim (John Krasinski). Tensions on the party planning committee between Angela (Angela Kinsey), Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Karen (Rashida Jones) results in two rival parties being thrown.
A refreshed and rejuvenated Michael returns from his Jamaican vacation with an interesting photograph which circulates around the office. Meanwhile an awkward moment arises when Pam is caught in the middle of an argument between Jim and Karen.
It's time for Michael to revisit his roots with the company as he hits the road for sales call duty. Meanwhile, Dwight attempts to cover up a crucial deadline missed by Angela while Karen is in for some surprising news.
Oscar returns from his vacation and ponders his future with the company, while Andy takes advantage of the current state of the office to make a move towards becoming Michael's number two.
Michael celebrates Phyllis' wedding shower by bringing two adult performers into the office, a stripper and Ben Franklin. Meanwhile, Karen confronts Pam about her past history with Jim.
While the office gets ready for Phyllis big day, an important task appointed to Michael goes embarrassingly wrong. Meanwhile Pam wonders what could have been with her called off wedding and Dwight searches for wedding crashers.
Michael accepts an invitation from Ryan to be a guest speaker at his business school. Meanwhile Dwight battles wits with a bat that gets loose in the office while Pam is entered in her first art show.
Michael and Jan reveal their hushed romance while attending the Dunder Mifflin CFO party. During the party, Jim finally meets Karen's ex. Meanwhile, the rest of the office staff booze it up during happy hour.
Michael and Darryl head to Dunder Mifflen headquarters to lobby for a pay increase. Meanwhile, Jim must deal with the consequences of Pam's confession to Roy.
Andy returns to the office after several weeks of anger management training, determined to make a fresh start with all the Dunder Mifflin employees. Meanwhile, it's safety training day in the office, and Michael and Dwight are on a mission to illuminate the true dangers of the workplace. Staff amuse themselves with a series of office-related bets.
It's crisis time at Dunder-Mifflin paper after a large quantity of paper is accidentally shipped out with an obscene watermark. Michael attempts to explain the situation to the media while Jim and Andy try to calm down the high school principal who has sent out prom invites on the affected stationary.
When Phyllis gets an unexpected eyeful from a flasher. Michael decides to take the women of the office on a special outing. Meanwhile, Dwight and Andy work to track down the flasher.
Michael is being considered for a position in corporate, but also plans a day of "Survivor" like competitions while the office workers visit Lake Scranton. Pam is not asked to join in on any of the competitions and is forced to sit and watch Jim and Karen have fun.