EXCLUSIVE: What would a workplace comedy look like in the current environment of offices around the world closed and employees working remotely under stay-at-home mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus? Ben Silverman and Paul Lieberstein, former executive producers of one of the most popular workplace comedies ever, The Office, are taking inspiration from the current situation for a remote workplace comedy series in the works at Big Breakfast, a comedy banner under Silverman and Howard Owens’ Propagate Content.
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond,” Silverman said. “We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
Created by Lieberstein and the Propagate/Big Breakfast team, the series is set around a wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.
“Start with the office comedy, lose the office and you’re just left with comedy. The math works,” Lieberstein quipped.
Lieberstein will executive produce along with Silverman and Owens. Big Breakfast’s Luke Kelly-Clyne and Kevin Healey and Propagate’s Rodney Ferrell will also serve as executive producers.
Lieberstein and Silverman shared in The Office’s 2006 Emmy win for best comedy series. Lieberstein, who also co-starred on The Office, went on to serve as executive producer on two other workplace comedy series, The Newsroom and Ghosted.
Propagate’s recent credits include the Hillary documentary that premiered at Sundance and Berlin and now streams on Hulu as well as the unscripted November 13: Attack on Paris, Haunted and Prank Encounters for Netflix, In Search Of and Kings of Pain for the History Channel and the upcoming Notre Dame documentary for ABC, along with the scripted Blood and Treasure and Broke for CBS, Charmed for The CW and Emma and Wireless for Quibi.