Is NBC thinking seriously about life without The Office? That’s the suspicion that arises out of the report that the network is developing a spinoff sitcom for Rainn Wilson’s character, Dwight Schrute.
According to Deadline, the proposed series would deal with the Schrute family’s combination beet farm/bed and breakfast, which has been mentioned enough times on the parent show that some at the network began to feel as if it was fertile territory for a potential spinoff featuring the extended Schrute clan. The new show is being developed by Wilson and The Office executive producer/actor Paul Lieberstein. The current thinking is that Wilson would stay with The Office for the beginning of next season (which will be the show’s ninth) before moving to the spinoff at midseason.
The bigger question is whether spinning Dwight off into a new show is a signal that there might not be much life left in The Office, which is still the highest-rated of NBC’s Thursday’s shows, though weaker than it used to be. Steve Carell has already left, and most of the current cast members are unsigned past this season. The two key people NBC would no doubt like to keep under contract, Ed Helms and John Krasinski, might be in the mood to transition into movies fulltime.
This would be the first official spinoff of The Office. The show that is now Parks and Recreation was originally pitched as an Office spinoff since it has the same executive producer in Greg Daniels, but it eventually became something else entirely.