The Office opens another branch

Spin-off planned for US series

America’s NBC network is to launch a spin-off from The Office.

The show is set to launch in February 2009, but otherwise little is known about its premise.

Some of the cast from the existing show could feature in the spin-off – or the show could simply use the mockumentary format to focus on a new group of workers at a different company.

The show was announced at a network presentation to potential advertisers today – and will be given a high-profile launch, with the debut episode currently scheduled to go out immediately after the Super Bowl.

Executive producer Greg Daniels said: ‘Who would have ever thought that Americans would be subjected to a mock-documentary after the Super Bowl? What has happened to this country?’

The Office has proved a rare comedy hit for NBC, which relocated Ricky Gervais’s show to Dunder-Mifflin paper merchants in Scanton, Pennsylvania. Hour-long episodes of the show will air in September, the network also announced today.

The spin-off will be one of the first shows to be made under NBC’s new policy of making fewer expensive pilots, and putting the shows direct to air instead.

The network has also announced that long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live will be launching a temporary Thursday night spin-off covering politics in the lead-up to the presidential election this autumn. The news follows the success of other topical comedies, such as Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Also in the works is the previously announced remake of Australian sitcom Kath & Kim, starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair.

My Name Is Earl and 30 Rock have also been given new series; but a return of hospital comedy Scrubs is not on the network’s slate.

Published: 2 Apr 2008

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