NBC Spending Even More Time at ‘The Office’

Top: The cast of The Office.

Bottom: Random people in office garb,

possibly the stars of the new spinoff.Photos: Courtesy of NBC, iStockphoto


Spinoffice: NBC has green-lit the long-speculated spinoff to The Office, going straight to series with a premiere after next year's Super Bowl. NBC wunderkind Ben Silverman teased that we may "see some of the [original Office] actors on the other show," but declined to say which characters. We figure the setting's a tossup between a new Dunder-Mifflin branch, Vance Refrigeration, and Benihana. [HR]

More Football Friday: NBC has also renewed everyone's favorite yet somehow worst-rated show ever, Friday Night Lights. Through a partnership with DirecTV, the third season will premiere first on a special DirecTV-only channel, "The 101," in October, and then debut on NBC a few months later. With a rollout that simple and clean, the struggling drama should have no trouble finding an audience. [EW]

Look Into Church's Eyes: Thomas Haden Church joins Kate Hudson in Big Eyes, the true story of mid-century painter Margaret Keane and her doe-eyed portraits. Church will play her dubious husband who took credit for many of her works. Keane's influence can be seen everywhere in pop culture, including this horrifying shot of Puss in Boots from Shrek 2. [Variety]

Monahan's Going to London: William Monahan, Oscar-winning writer of The Departed, has acquired the rights to London Boulevard by Ken Bruen, a guy who somehow writes like four pretty good books a year. Monahan will make his directing debut on the project, which starts with a criminal who gets out of prison and becomes a handyman for a reclusive young actress, and presumably ends with everyone shooting each other in the head. [Variety]

O'Donnell in Payne: Chris O'Donnell, last seen headlining major movies like 2000's Vertical Limit, has snagged a part in Fox's video-game adaptation Max Payne, joining Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Just goes to show you don't have to scramble for auditions, you just have to be on Grey's Anatomy and play a lot of golf. [EW]

Costello Attracted to Sundance: Sundance Channel has tapped Elvis Costello to host a weekly music-variety talk show, with Elton John executive producing. Spectacle: Elvis Costello With… will shoot at NBC's studio 8H and share a stage with Saturday Night Live. In the middle of each episode, Costello will throw up his hands in rebellion and interview a completely different guest. [Variety]