Everything We Know So Far About Peacock’s New Spinoff of The Office

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More than a decade since the last episode of the fan-favorite and award-winning sitcom The Office aired, its fictional universe is set to expand.

NBC streaming service Peacock announced Wednesday that it will pick up a new yet-untitled spinoff series from showrunners Greg Daniels, the screenwriter and producer who adapted the British sitcom for a U.S. audience, and Michael Koman, known for writing for Late Night With Conan O’Brien and co-creating Nathan for You. (Koman is also married to former The Office actress Ellie Kemper.)

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of the original British The Office and executive producers of the American adaptation that ran for nine seasons from 2005 to 2013, are also set to return as executive producers of the new series—as are executive producers Howard Klein and Ben Silverman and production studio Banijay Americas (formerly known as Reveille).

“It’s been more than ten years since the final episode of The Office aired on NBC, and the acclaimed comedy series continues to gain popularity and build new generations of fans on Peacock,” said Lisa Katz, president of NBCUniversal Entertainment. In 2019, NBC paid some $500 million for the exclusive rights to stream The Office on Peacock, after it had amassed a massive audience from years of being on Netflix. Peacock has put out “Superfan” extended episodes of the show since 2020 to maintain and grow The Office’s streaming viewership, which topped 57 billion minutes—more than any other show—in 2020.

The Office - Season 6
A scene from The Office season 6 episode “Niagara.”Byron Cohen—NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Universal Television will produce the new series and production will begin in July, according to Peacock. The release date has not yet been revealed.

Here’s what we know so far about the spinoff.

What is the new show about? 

The new show is neither a reboot nor a sequel of the beloved franchise. It’s also not a spinoff centered around any of the popular on-screen characters from the former series. Rather, the new show will retain the same mockumentary format of The Office but focus on a different kind of paper company.

“The documentary crew that immortalized Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch is in search of a new subject when they discover a dying historic Midwestern newspaper and the publisher trying to revive it with volunteer reporters,” Peacock said in its announcement. “This new series set in the universe of Dunder Mifflin introduces a new cast of characters in a fresh setting ripe for comedic storytelling: a daily newspaper,” said Katz. 

Who will be in the new show?

Like The Office—which made stars of actors John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, and more—the new show is set to revolve around an ensemble cast. Only two actors have been announced so far: Domhnall Gleeson and Sabrina Impacciatore.

Domhnall Gleeson and Steve Carell attend FX's The Patient Season 1 Premiere at NeueHouse Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2022 in Hollywood, Calif.
Domhnall Gleeson and Steve Carell attend the premiere of The Patient in Hollywood, Calif., on Aug. 23, 2022.
Matt Winkelmeyer—Getty Images

Gleeson—an Irish actor known for his lead roles in sci-fi film Ex Machina and romantic comedy About Time, as well as supporting roles in the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies—recently co-starred alongside The Office’s former boss Steve Carell in the FX psychological thriller series The Patient, for which Gleeson earned Critics Choice and Golden Globes award nominations.

Impacciatore, an Italian actress, gained critical acclaim for her recent role as hotel manager Valentina on the second season of HBO’s celebrated dramedy The White Lotus, for which she shared a Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series and was nominated for an Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series.

Italian actress Sabrina Impacciatore, in Ferretti clothes, during the photocall for the presentation of the film 7 donne e un mistero in Rome, Italy, onDec. 15, 2021.
Sabrina Impacciatore in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 15, 2021.Marilla Sicilia—Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

How did this new spinoff come about?

NBC has been keen to extend the life of The Office in one form or another since even before it ended. 

A spinoff had reportedly been in the works in 2008, with a pilot planned for the following year. Daniels worked with The Office writer Michael Schur to create the new show, but the two ultimately decided a standalone series would work best, resulting in Parks and Recreation, which premiered on NBC in 2009 with no The Office tie-in other than its similar mockumentary format.

Another spinoff was planned in 2012, tentatively titled The Farm and centered around Rainn Wilson’s character Dwight Schrute. But NBC ended up passing on the pilot, which was re-edited and aired as The Office’s ninth season’s 17th episode, which earned poor reviews.

Daniels told TVGuide in 2013 that other spinoff ideas that were scrapped included one that would follow Ed Helms’ character Andy and his suburban family—which was nixed after Modern Family came out with a similar premise—as well as ones focused on Craig Robinson’s character Darryl or another branch of Dunder Mifflin elsewhere.

In 2021, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Dakota Johnson’s appearance in the series finale of The Office was supposed to set up a future series featuring fresh Dunder Mifflin employees. In 2017, TVLine reported that a reboot of the show was eyed for the 2018-2019 TV lineup, but it never materialized. The reboot was reportedly going to be set at the same Dunder Mifflin office in Scranton and was to incorporate a mix of old and new cast members, except for Carell’s Michael Scott.

Carell told TIME in 2018 that he has no plans of ever reviving his role, for which he won several acting awards. “I’ve never thought of it as a good idea,” he said. “I love it too much to ever want to do it again.”

Steve Carell as Michael Scott in the 8th episode of The Office's second season, entitled "Performance Review"
Carell as Michael Scott in season 2 episode “Performance Review.”Justin Lubin—NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Leslie David Baker, who played salesman Stanley Hudson in The Office, launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2020 to finance a web pilot episode of his proposed spinoff, Uncle Stan. The show would have followed Hudson coming out of retirement in Florida to help his nephew run a motorcycle and flower shop in Los Angeles. But in August, Baker returned over $110,000 in donations from fans who tried to help him launch the show, which he said had been set back by the COVID-19 pandemic and entertainment industry strikes.

News of a new project with Daniels back in creative control surfaced last year. Daniels told The Wrap in November that if The Office were to return, it would not be a reboot but instead something closer to Star Wars’ spinoff shows: “I would never want to redo that same show with a different cast, because I think we got the luckiest cast, the best cast ever, in TV, to do that show,” he said.

At the time, he hinted at the direction he was thinking: “Something like the notion of this documentary crew doing a documentary about a different subject,” he said. “That, I think, could be intriguing and creative. But I don’t even know what you would call that. I don’t know if that’s like a sister show or something.” Sources told The Hollywood Reporter in January that Daniels was assembling a writers room to work on his new take on the series.

How have people reacted to the announcement?

Initial reactions on social media to the announcement of the new show are mixed—particularly from journalists and those in the real news media business.

There is certainly some excitement. Josh Awtry, senior vice president at Newsweek, posted on X: “BRB subscribing to a thousand Peacocks.”

Meanwhile, journalist Tiffany Moustakas posted: “Available for hire as a consultant in case the Office spinoff at a local newspaper needs someone to share 3 years worth of comedic trauma!!”

The Washington Post’s Gene Park posted: “‘the office’ for dying newspapers is great. it’s still a paper business. our management is famously out of touch and incompetent. and the variety of situations you can throw a reporter into is infinite.”

And Park’s colleague Herb Scribner posted: “Been saying this for years. Newspaper offices can be hilarious!”

But others have taken issue with one specific part of the announcement: “I know people love ‘The Office’ but these creators can f*ck right off with this ‘volunteer reporters’ premise,” Nina Metz, TV and film critic for the Chicago Tribune, posted on X.

“I’ve long thought that a Parks & Rec type show about local journalism would be a great way to help humanize reporters & show people the funny and at times heartwarming quirks of a small newspaper. There are lots of ways to tell that story w/out the ‘use volunteer reporters’ plot,” Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Leigh Giangreco posted.

Washington Post media reporter Elahe Izadi posted: “my immediate take (and not being in the writers room so what do I know!): there’s comedic gold in adhering more closely to reality rather than this ‘volunteer reporter’ idea (like 3 local reporters making like 30k a year trying to do the work that 20 people used to do).”

“The Office spinoff taking place at a ‘dying newspaper’ is a little too close to home to be funny,” posted Sarah Rogers, creative director for Long Lead.

Other social media users have complained that the forthcoming series’ description feels like the old series’ brand is doing much of the heavy lifting. One X user posted: “this is so stupid…i like the premise of the show, i’ma socket for mockumentaries but they really don’t need to share a universe.” And another posted: “Sounds to me like Greg Daniels’ production company had a pitch for a new sitcom set at a newspaper and were told ‘we’ll green light this show if it’s called The Office.’”

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