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Spin Doctors: Is "The Office" About to Hatch a Spin-off?

I was out of the office yesterday but received nearly a dozen emails yesterday from impassioned (and irate) readers about the rumor spreading like a paper warehouse on fire of a potential Office spin-off.

I'm highly dubious about the rumor of the proposed spin-off. TV Guide's Michael Ausiello says, "Multiple sources confirm to me exclusively that the Peacock is developing an episode of The Office that would introduce several new characters who would then be spun off into a new series à la Private Practice."

Personally, I've heard not even a peep about this purported backdoor spin-off, which according to Ausiello, would not include any characters from the original and instead focus on all-new characters to be introduced later this season. (So, sorry Kinsey fans, but there will be no Angela! spinoff in works about the feline-loving accountant.)

My sources indicate that this rumor is just that: a rumor. Greg Daniels has often floated the idea of a spin-off to his writing staff in past seasons but nothing has ever been set into motion. As for NBC actively courting a big-name star to anchor this spin-off? That seems unlikely as well as no one I spoke to had seen a script for this alleged spin-off.

Given the fact that The Office has been suffering creatively lately, methinks that Daniels and the writers need to focus on a way to save the original Office before even contemplating expanding the brand to another series. At the end of the day, this is just a spectacularly bad idea that seems borne out of commerce rather than creatively. (I do not want to see The Office: Miami nor The Office: NY.)

Some spin-offs have gone on to become fully appreciated, brilliant series in their own right--I think now of NBC's Frasier in particular, which only launched AFTER Cheers ended, or Angel, which broadened the Buffyverse in unexpected ways--but most of the time they are mawkish, sub-par attempts to cash in on the success of a series. (The Tortellis, I am looking at you.)

Let's focus on getting back to basics now that The Office has finally returned to its half-hour format and concentrate on telling the best possible stories for THIS group of characters. There's a reason why viewers return to The Office each week. It's not the workplace comedy setup, it's not the pranks or the gags, and it's not the quirky Scranton location. At the end of the day, it's about the people. Huh, maybe David Brent was on to something after all...

Comments

Anonymous said…
Yes - terrible, terrible idea.
The CineManiac said…
I agree, I was not happy to hear about this, what-so-ever.
Like you said, lets get the original back on track before we head to spin-off territory.
One great spin-off you forgot about it 'Joey' one of the best recent examples of a successful spin....
Sorry I can't even pretend to continue that paragraph. Spin-offs are only good in very few situations and I think you named the best two: Angel & Fraser.
Anonymous said…
The only good reason for an Office spin-off would be if the original was ending and they continued the storyline with one of the other characters (as you mentioned with Cheers and Fraiser). Otherwise, this is just a silly, Dunderheaded idea.
rockauteur said…
I hope this isn't true. Horrible idea.

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