Inside Ben Silverman’s Decision to Spin Off a New Series From ‘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

TV Guide reports that NBC, inspired by ABC’s success with Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, is knee-deep in plans to spin off a new sitcom from The Office. Unlike Practice, though, the proposed NBC spinoff would not include any characters from the original; instead, new characters would be introduced to The Office for the purpose of immediately spinning them off.

This strikes us as a lousy idea, especially given the disappointing results of this fall’s hour-long episodes of the show. We can picture NBC head Ben Silverman in his office now, thoughtfully polishing his teeth with a belt sander, then stopping suddenly, struck by inspiration, and hitting his intercom button.

“Get everyone in here now!” he shouts. “I have just had the most awesome idea!”

Soon the office is filled with lackeys. Silverman rings the NBC chimes and the office falls silent. Lackeys stare up at Silverman, their eyes wide with feverish excitement. One young lackey, his eyes wild, leaps forward, attempting to embrace Silverman; he is gently Tasered and led away.

“Okay, so, you guys know our show The Office, right?” Silverman asks.

“It is the greatest show in history! It has redefined the sitcom format! It will change the face of television as we know it!” the lackeys chant in unison.

“Right, right,” Silverman mutters distractedly. “When we ran those hour-long episodes, did anyone notice that they were only like half as funny as the regular episodes?”

“No one important,” replies a lackey, adding cautiously, “my liege.”

“Awesome!” Silverman says, and does three back handsprings into a double-walkover combination. The lackeys applaud. He raises his arms and they are quiet. “Hey, we didn’t completely drive people away from our hit show when we doubled it from a half hour to a full hour,” he says. “So I think the time has come to double our hit show by turning it into two shows, each somewhat less excellent than the original!”

“Huzzah!” shout the lackeys. One bursts into tears at the sheer majesty of the moment. Sixteen genetically modified Technicolor peacocks swoop into the room and lift a beaming Silverman up into the air…

Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that. But we still think this is a lousy idea.

Exclusive: NBC Planning Major Office Expansion! [TV Guide]

Earlier: Please, NBC, Stop the Hour-long ‘Office’ Madness!

Inside Ben Silverman’s Decision to Spin Off a New Series From ‘The Office’