Everything old is new again. Earlier this year, NBC president Bob Greenblatt basically admitted he’s open to bringing back every successful NBC series of the past two decades, with standing offers for revivals of 30 Rock and The West Wing on the table, as well as The Office. The latter is the one that seemed the most likely, given its ratings success and the evergreen premise, and indeed, it sounds like it’s happening.
TV Line reports that NBC is eyeing a The Office revival to air on the network during the 2018-19 season. Steve Carell, who kicked off the U.S. version of the series in the role filled by Ricky Gervais in the UK version, will not be involved in the revival in any way, but NBC is already on the hunt for a new Regional Manager to spice up The Office redo. The rest of the cast is said to be filled out by some folks from the original series and some newcomers.
This actually doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The show itself basically rebooted a couple of times in the wake of Carell’s exit in Season 7. Showrunner Greg Daniels smartly didn’t replace Carell right away, and instead had fun with the idea of filling the boss’s shoes, bringing in guest stars like James Spader and Kathy Bates to have some fun in the role before appointing Ed Helms as Carell’s successor. Frankly, the show was never the same after Carell left, with some truly terrible episodes, but it ended pretty strong and the bond and friendship amongst that staff remained the reason the tune in. Moreover, Season 2 remains one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen.
It’s unclear which cast members will be returning. It’s hard to imagine John Krasinski having time to do the series, as he’s not only starring in the Amazon series Jack Ryan but also has a pretty successful career directing movies. That said, I could see him popping in for a cameo or two. Helms likewise has a pretty busy movie career, but you never know, especially depending on how many episodes NBC is looking at here.
This new trend of reviving old series is weird, but it makes sense. The broadcast networks are grasping at straws looking for ways to compete not only with cable and premium cable, but streaming outlets. The one thing they have the those other networks don’t is catalogue classics, and in most cases they have to power to get those casts back together and give folks a pure hit of nostalgia. The Office revival is playing on folks’ love for the original to be sure, but I also have a feeling this is a way to simply continue the series with new cast members. It’s a pretty evergreen premise, and if you get the right cast, this thing could last for a few years. So yeah, I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see the same The Office here, but the brand will certainly be making a comeback.