5PM UPDATE: It’s Official: It’s ‘The Office’ Un-Spin-Off. So my sources tell me showrunner Greg Daniels won, NBC lost, and all is right with the world. I’m glad everything is finalized because, geez, I’m sick of reporting on this. (And I don’t even watch The Office. Not my kind of show. Don’t hate me…)

PREVIOUS: NBC is going to absurd lengths to keep its so-called “The Office Spin-off” hush-hush. For instance, I just found out that NBC pitched the new show to Amy Poehler with the ridiculous condition that she keep it secret and not tell anyone what it’s about — not even her representatives. C’mon, who does that? Meanwhile, the media debate rages about whether this will be a true spin-off or an unrelated show. Here’s why there’s such confusion: because nobody knows yet! (Which begs the question: what the hell did NBC actually tell Poehler about the show?)

nbc-logo-rgb-pos2.jpgI understand that not even showrunner Greg Daniels nor NBC has firmly decided which tack to take. This is being figured out right now. Here’s what I’m know from insiders: Daniels wants to do an unrelated series with an Office-like tone and vision. But NBC wants a directly related Office spin-off, again with the same tone and vision as the American version of the original British series. “What NBC keeps arguing is that they want to cast Steve Carell in the first episode of the new show debuting after The Office on Super Bowl Sunday, and why would he show up if it’s not related?” a source tells me. “But Daniels is a stubborn, stubborn guy. I bet Greg gets his way.”

Certain sources insist to me the new show won’t be a spin-off.  Yet what’s hilarious here is that the NBC pinheads are so lacking in imagination that they don’t think Daniels can come up with an easy plot device to feature Carell in the first episode without the show being an actual spin-off. I really think NBC’s founder David Sarnoff is spinning in his grave. “The General” helped Dwight D Eisenhower win World War II. Thank god NBC’s current corporate feebs weren’t in charge of that war — or we’d all be Nazis.

Amy Poehler just confirmed to the media what I reported back on Tuesday: that she’ll be joining “The Office Spin-off”. “I can kind of confirm that I will be working in some capacity on that show,” Poehler told the AP. “I don’t really have any other details yet.” She just picked up an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series today for her great stuff on Saturday Night Live. (Poehler’s husband Will Arnett also received an Emmy nomination today for his guest performance on 30 Rock).  But Poehler will stick with SNL for its expanding programming during the election. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep calling this “The Office Spin-Off” even if it turns out not be, because “Greg Daniels’ Other Show That Has The Tone And Vision Of The Office But Isn’t An Office Spin-Off ” is too damn long…