Talks for a potential reboot of The Office have been going on for so long, the topic has started to become a running joke and was spoofed in star Steve Carell’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live last fall.
But fans’ long wait for a new Office series may be coming to an end. The upcoming NBCUniversal streaming platform today unveiled its name, Peacock, and its initial slate of original series, which includes reboots of three NBCU series, Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster. They could soon be joined by a new incarnation of The Office.
“It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot,” NBCU’s Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, told Deadline.
NBCU recently acquired streaming rights to NBC’s The Office for $500+ million, taking it away from Netflix where the series starring Carell has flourished. “The Office comes back to us in January 2021. It is my hope that we can figure what that great reboot would be,” Hammer said, adding, “We are having conversations.”
An Office reboot would fit into Peacock’s strategy for original scripted series, including reboots, in which “we want there to be some connective tissue to what we also have in the library,” Hammer said.
For instance, Sam Esmail’s new Battlestar Galactica reboot will run alongside the popular original Sci Fi Channel series, which also will be available on Peacock. The new Mike Schur comedy series Rutherford Falls starring Ed Helms shares sensibility with two acquired series, The Office, which co-starred Helms and on which Schur was a key writer-producer, and Parks & Recreation, which Schur co-created.
“All of our choices, especially in the beginning, we are doing them strategically so they connect back to our legacy,” Hammer said.
While The Office is currently at the top of Hammer’s reboot wish list, any NBCU-owned series whose reruns are carried by Peacock is a candidate.
“We will be looking at all of them down the road and see what makes the most sense,” Hammer said. “When we see what the usage is on the service, if something is popping, and it’s ours, you better believe that we are going to be looking at it as a new original.”
Carell, who left The Office at the end of his seven-year contract, had stated repeatedly that he is not in favor of revisiting the Emmy-winning comedy series, and last year said that his character Michael Scott’s boorish shenanigans at Dunder-Mifflin might not play so well in today’s climate of heightened awareness of offensive behavior.
Carell and The Office developer Greg Daniels are currently working on an Office-esque comedy series for Netflix entitled Space Force.