Byron J. Cohen/NBC
Byron J. Cohen/NBC
Sometimes too much of a good thing can be just that: too much.
This seems to be the lesson we're learning these days in the land o' the telly, with the most recent examples being ABC's Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice, which, I'm sorry, seems to have adversely affected the original; NBC's Heroes spinoff, Heroes: Origins, which was shelved yesterday (and kudos to producers for focusing on keeping the original kickass) and now, this week, the news that NBC is "developing" an Office spinoff, after building the show out to hourlong episodes for the first four weeks.
The idea of letting the fans want more seems to be a foreign concept to network execs these days. The higher-ups seem hell-bent on coming up with every way possible to "build out" the series: additional episodes, "supersize" eps, webisodes and, of course, the almighty spinoff. Let’s not forget that NBC almost canceled The Office in its early days—but now that it’s holding its own in the ratings and garnering awards, they want every last drop of comedic gold the writers can muster.
Sources at the Peacock network tell me that although the news leaked out via TV Guide that NBC is developing an Office spinoff, it’s really just the hope of NBC at this point. According to one insider, "The details are that there are no details. No deals have been done for this. And there is no concept. NBC is simply wanting to do a spinoff."
This seems to be coming about in the same way it did for Grey's show runner Shonda Rhimes, who was asked by ABC to develop a spinoff with Kate Walsh. Spinoffs can be great, but you have to wonder whether it’s better when the idea comes from the creative minds behind a show instead of the suits.
So, I have to admit, as a die-hard Office fan, I'm conflicted. Yes, the idea of a whole new series from the best comedic minds around could be just about the best thing to happen to television. But the risk of show runner Greg Daniels and his staff being spread too thin is also a real and scary possibility.
I remember about six months ago, before the Grey’s spinoff news had broken, I heard from sources that ABC desperately wanted Lost bosses Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to do a spinoff or second series. When I asked Damon in an interview if that were going to happen, he simply said, "We feel we need to stay loyal to the original series and our fans.”
All I'm sayin' is, there's something to be said for that.
So, tell me. What do you all think of an Office spinoff? Sound off in the Comments section below.