Since Tuesday's announcement that the Emmy-nominated Amy Poehler will be joining the cast of NBC's mysterious upcoming Office spinoff, the network's been trying to throw cold water on earlier reports that the show is, in fact, an Office spinoff. "[D]espite initially being called [one]," Variety said a few days ago, it will "not be an extension of the original but a whole new series." Even so, Ricky Gervais (who one assumes must know something) has referred to it as a spinoff on his blog as recently as Wednesday. According to Nikki Finke, the confusion is understandable because not even NBC knows what this thing is supposed to be about yet (and the ones who do aren't telling — they allegedly pitched it to Poehler on the condition that she keep it a secret from everyone, including her representatives).
Show-runner Greg Daniels and the network were, until a short time ago, fighting over whether it would be "an unrelated series with an Office-like tone" (which Daniels was hoping for) or a straight-up spinoff (which NBC — and Gervais? — wanted), claim Finke's sources. Daniels won, but what does that mean, exactly? All we know for sure is that Poehler and Aziz Ansari are the only two confirmed cast members, and that former Daily Show scribe Rachel Axler is on the writing staff. Also, Steve Carell is scheduled to be a guest star in the series premiere (it debuts after the Super Bowl), presumably as Michael Scott. So it'll probably be a smartly written, single-camera mockumentary-style sitcom about at least two people who live within reasonably accessible distance from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Sounds awesome!