What is dead may never die, as the saying goes, and sure enough, the fine feathered folks at Peacock – the new NBCUniversal streaming service – are in the midst of plotting an Office reboot. To be fair, this isn’t the craziest idea: the American Office was itself a reboot, and the show has continued to thrive after its ending thanks to the world of streaming. The question is: if this should happen, will any of the original cast members be back? Or is this going to be a fresh start?
For years now, The Office has found a second life thanks to Netflix. But folks don’t want Netflix to have the market cornered on this sort of thing, which means more and more streaming services are taking shape, and pulling away Netflix titles in the process. One such service is the terribly-named Peacock, the streaming service from NBCUniversal. They’ll be the new exclusive streaming home of The Office (and many other titles). And now it looks like they have their sights set on an Office reboot.
“It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot,” said NBCU’s Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, via Deadline. NBCU dropped a whopping $500 million-plus to get The Office back from Netflix, so you can imagine they might want to get the most bang for their buck. “We want there to be some connective tissue to what we also have in the library,” said Hammer, adding: “All of our choices, especially in the beginning, we are doing them strategically so they connect back to our legacy…When we see what the usage is on the service, if something is popping, and it’s ours, you better believe that we are going to be looking at it as a new original.”
But could an Office reboot even work in this day and age? Former star Steve Carell doesn’t think so. “It might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago,” the actor said last year. “The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior. I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know? But I just don’t know how that would fly now. There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
Carell’s statement certainly indicates that if an Office reboot does happen, he’s not exactly jumping at the opportunity to be a part of it. Which asks the question: will this potential reboot have any of the old characters onboard? Or will the show zero in on a completely different office full of corporate drones? We’ll find out sooner or later, because let’s be honest: this is going to happen at some point.
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