The U.S. version of The Office has far exceeded the popularity of its predecessor, yet the original U.K. version is the one that gloriously gifted its fans with a two-part holiday special. (Not to mention the Red Nose Day special and the feature film David Brent: Life on the Road.) Anybody who wants to see a reunion, revival or one-off special from Steve Carrell's Michael Scott, Jenna Fischer's Pam Beesley/Halpert or Mindy Kaling's Kelly Kapoor, though, is currently out of luck, with zero follow-up plans in place.
The big question, however, is "Why in the hell(o ladies) hasn't The Office found a way to return to its adoring fanbase yet?" Granted, it's only been six years since The Office ended its nine-season run on NBC, which arguably happened two years after it should have, but fans have been clamoring for its return during each of those six years, and it only gets more intense when the stars randomly reunite. The interest is clear and present, and as we'll go over below, quite a few stars are interested in returning. So what gives?
Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey And Ellie Kemper Are Down To Return
The most recent wave of Office revival craziness has been heavily influenced by former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey's podcast Office Ladies, where installments are focused on individual Office episodes. The stories they've told so far have been as hilarious as the NBC hit itself, which is stoking the hunger for at least one new installment to tide everyone over.
The two actresses appeared on Ellen on Monday, which was guest-hosted by Office vet Ellie Kemper, so you know there was a point when the topic of "more Office" came up. Here's the positive way that dialogue played out.
JENNA: I would not do an Office reboot, but I would love to do a reunion special episode. I'd like to get us all together again.
ANGELA: I would do anything they called me to do. So if you want to call me, I'm around.
ELLIE: Whenever they ask that question, 'And you know, John Krasinski has said maybe not, and Steve Carell, maybe.' I'm like, I will be there. So Angela and I are rebooting The Office.
Honestly, if Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey and Ellie Kemper started up an Office spinoff that followed the female stars taking on other workplace foibles, either at Dunder Mifflin or a different company, I would tune in without a second's hesitation. Sure, I'd want to see Jim and Dwight and Phyllis and all the rest, but I also take what I can get without getting greedy.
John Krasinski Wants To Work With His Hollywood Family Again
In strict opposition to the slacker character of Jim Halpert, John Krasinski has been a whirlwind of activity in the years since The Office ended. His biggest successes having been winning over horror audiences with A Quiet Pace, and winning over general audiences as the lead in Amazon's Jack Ryan. As far as comedy goes, though, the most prevalent thing he's done since The Office was directing and starring in 2016's somewhat heavy dramedy The Hollars.
With A Quiet Place 2 currently in the works, along with Season 3 of Jack Ryan, John Krasinski likely doesn't have the time to devote to any longform Office continuations. That said, the actor has a deep respect for how the show brought all of the lesser-known talents together and gave them a makeshift family. Though he seemed more down for a one-off special in years past, Kraskinski told EW earlier this year that he would return to the show specifically to work again with that group. In his words:
I think it’s hard obviously with everybody’s schedule to do an Office reboot, but I would so be down. It wasn’t just a show for us. It was a family. None of us had really done anything before. Certainly Steve [Carell] had been on The Daily Show; I had done nothing, I was a waiter at the time. And Rainn [Wilson] had been on Six Feet Under and a couple other things, but we really came into that feeling like a repertory company. It felt like we were doing regional theater — it was so awesome, it felt so intimate and small. And then when it caught on and people were actually watching, we were genuinely blown away. So all that to say [that] doing a reboot for us wouldn’t just be about bringing the show back, it would be about getting back together with those people. They’re my family, they’re my first and only original business Hollywood-y family, so I’d be lucky to do it.
I have to assume that John Krasinski is talking more about a revival than a reboot proper that doesn't necessarily tie back to the original Office's run. But regardless of what he wants to do, let's just remember that he does want to do it.
Creator Greg Daniels Did Have An Idea For More Office
Every single star from The Office could sign the most ironclad contracts confirming their return to The Office, but it's likely that nothing would happen without the guiding words of the U.S. iteration's creator Greg Daniels, who has also dealt with constant questions about revivals for King of the Hill and Parks and Rec. He's been mostly neutral with positive hints when asked about bringing The Office back, presumably as not to piss anyone off or make potentially empty promises.
Former NBC chief Bob Greenblatt, who currently oversees HBO and more as chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, recently revealed in an interview that Greg Daniels had a reboot idea in the running years ago. In Greenblatt's words:
But, look, I was talking to Greg Daniels four years ago about rebooting The Office, way before this. He wants to do it and actually has an idea for it.
Bob Greenblatt is in some ways like the King Midas of television, having brought in major successes for Fox in the 1990s and for Showtimes during the 2000s. From 2011 until 2019, Greenblatt spearheaded NBC's rise to the top of the ratings game with big hits such as The Voice, This Is Us and the trio of Chicago dramas. It's unfortunately that he wasn't around to continue pushing for more from Dunder Mifflin's elite.
To be fair, Greg Daniels spoke in October about the possibility of returning, and had a slightly less positive take.
It was such a perfect thing that I would hesitate to open it up. We got the chance to end it the way we wanted to end it. It wasn’t like we were interrupted in the middle of a run or something. So in a sense it’s completely an artistic whole. But, that said, I don’t know, the cast every now and then talks about getting back together in some form, but I don’t see it being a reboot like the way Will & Grace was rebooted.
He's basically saying that the show would need to only return as a special or a limited series, right? That's what I'm choosing to believe, anyway.
Others Are Also Interested In Seeing The Office Return
Understandably, just about every time someone from The Office gets interviewed about various projects, questions come up about bringing audiences back to Scranton for more. And for the most part, the responses are pretty positive.
For instance, Mindy Kaling told Variety that she would be down to assist Greg Daniels in anything he needed her for.
I think that anything Greg decided to do—Greg Daniels—I would watch, and love, and want to help him with. There’s not an insignificant part of me that thinks that Kelly might be in jail. Crime of passion? The character just kept getting a little more and more unhinged. I don’t want to say that she murdered Ryan but I am also not convinced that he’s still alive in the world of The Office.
I guess it's a good thing B.J. Novak was even busier behind the scenes on The Office, or else his character Ryan might be in for some hellacious on-screen situations.
Rainn Wilson, whose Dwight Schrute was a walking meme generator, has also expressed interest in a limited Office return, having told CinemaBlend this:
Yeah I'd be up for that. A reunion episode or kind of like...continue on with a couple little movies here, or a little limited series there.
Considering The Office's final two and a half seasons went without Steve Carrell's Michael Scott, the actor's presence wouldn't be entirely necessary for a reunion special, although it would be desperately wanted by fans. Carrell has been one of the most pessimistic Office vets about trying to bring it back, saying in the past that Michael Scott's inappropriateness wouldn't work as well in today's social climate, and that a story about an inappropriate boss also wouldn't work as well today.
That said, he did give Ellen DeGeneres a delightfully wonky pitch for a way to bring The Office characters back to TV in an unpredictable way.
You know what I thought would be great for The Office? Not reboot The Office, but take The Office cast and reboot Cheers. So, like I would be Sam, and Jenna would be.. You know, just take different characters. It’s a terrible idea. [Laughs.]
Hey, if the only way we're going to get more The Office is to have it become a weird single-episode Cheers hybrid, so be it. Alternatively, if NBC wanted to keep putting up videos like the extended Threat Level Midnight video I've definitely seen worse things on TV this year.
So can everyone agree now that the time is right for The Office's creative side to start putting the pieces back in place for a limited-time reunion? (Or a never-ending reunion, if that sounds better to all involved.) Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree, and remember The Office will be leaving its popularity-exploding home at Netflix in 2021, when it will flip over to NBC's Peacock streaming service.