“The Office” may soon be back open for business. Insiders confirm a report, first revealed by TV Line, that NBC is developing an updated version of the hit comedy, which originally ran for nine seasons (from 2005 to 2013).
Greg Daniels, who developed the U.S. “The Office” based on the U.K. series from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, is behind the potential revival. (Coincidentally, Daniels was also kicking the tires on potentially bringing back another one of his old shows, “King of the Hill”).
The “Office” revival would once again take place at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, and include some of the supporting cast from the original, coupled with new stars. Such a move would continue the evolution of the show, which brought in new stars to fill the void after original lead Steve Carell departed. Per TV Line, Carell would also not be involved in the new version.
Most of “The Office’s” other main stars, including Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson and Mindy Kaling, are also busy with other projects. But the show boasted a rich repertory of characters playing an eccentric batch of office mates. As “The Office” continued for several years, many of those characters were elevated from the background and wound up with their own storylines and histories.
A new “Office” wouldn’t actually be the first attempt at expanding the show’s domain: NBC developed a spin-off series, “The Farm,” featuring Dwight Schrute (Wilson) returning to his family’s farm.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has said in the past that he would be interested in reviving “The Office.” But the success of NBC’s recent “Will & Grace” return likely cemented the idea, and put an “Office” reboot on the fast track. (The Peacock hasn’t strayed away from workplace comedies, as “Superstore” is currently its longest-running half hour.)
The original “Office” almost didn’t make it to air at all. “It’s one of the worst-testing pilots ever, alongside ‘Seinfeld,'” Wilson told us as part of a tribute to the show when it retired in 2013. Other tidbits: Then-Universal Pictures chairman Stacey Snider first suggested Carell to play the lead role of Michael Scott, but Carell took a job on the NBC sitcom “Come to Papa” instead. Daniels then looked at Bob Odenkirk, David Koechner, Alan Tudyk and even Wilson, but then “Come to Papa” was quickly canceled. Also: Daniels flirted with casting Pam (Fischer’s eventual role) as an African American character, played by Erica Vittina Phillips. (Robinson would have played her boyfriend Roy.) Eric Stonestreet was in line to play Kevin (a role that went to Brian Baumgartner), while Adam Scott tested as Jim; and Mary Lynn Rajskub auditioned as Pam.