“The Office” is one of the most popular shows of the last 20 years. During its run from 2005 to 2013, the series garnered millions of weekly viewers, and many of its running jokes are so well known that some practically worked their way into everyday language.
Many consider “The Office” to be the poster child for the modern workplace comedy. The mockumentary format, unique characters and quick, dry humor made the show an instant hit. A perfect blend of comedy and heart, the show even entices superfans to visit where the show was set in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Eight years after its finale, “The Office” still retains one of the most loyal fanbases of any show. Since its move from Netflix to NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, the number of people watching “The Office” has only increased. With viewer support for the iconic comedy stronger than ever, many are wondering whether a long-awaited reboot could be coming soon.
Discussions of a “The Office” reboot have taken place ever since the show’s finale. While the showrunners formerly never gave any clear answers, NBC executive Susan Rovner directly answered fans in a recent interview with Deadline.
Rovner, who is the chairman of entertainment content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, responded to questions about a “The Office” reboot by telling interviewers, “Whenever Greg Daniels wants to do one, we’re standing by.”
Greg Daniels, creator of “The Office,” also knows that a reboot is in high demand, and he definitely entertained the idea. In a 2020 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Daniels told interviewers, “I loved doing ‘The Office’ more than anything. And if we were going to revisit it, I would want to do it.”
It’s clear that the reason we don’t already have an “Office” reboot isn’t for lack of interest. However, it’s not as simple as just wanting it to happen. Between creative difficulties and logistical issues, producing a “The Office” reunion would be something of a miracle.
What’s Standing in the Way?
Although no one involved is against the idea of an “Office” reboot, there are certain challenges that would make it difficult. Daniels says that most of the fans requesting a reboot want to see their favorite characters back in the Dunder Mifflin office as if nothing changed. “I think that people were assuming that an ‘Office’ reboot would be … getting the entire cast back together and just continuing where we left off.”
However, Daniels feels that within the universe of “The Office,” it would be a stretch to assume that all of the former employees would be back where they left off. A lot of the characters moved on to other pursuits, which is why Daniels said that for a reunion, “We’re probably not going to get every single character back — they’re all doing all these cool things.”
Part of the reason for this creative lock is that “The Office” writers never had a reboot in mind when they ended the show. Instead, Daniels and the other writers wanted to leave the audience with something complete. “Part of our idea was we were going to wrap it up. We were going to write toward a finale and have an ending.”
Getting the Gang Back Together
Since the series ended with such finality, it’s difficult for Daniels to create a believable plot where all of these characters organically come together again. Fans have many theories about what a reboot should look like, but as with any beloved show, it’s impossible to please everyone.
In 2019, Steve Carell, who led the ensemble cast as Michael Scott, jokingly floated an idea on “The Ellen Show” that the cast of “The Office” should get together to make an episode of the show “Cheers.” Although Carell admitted that it would be “a terrible idea,” he does raise a good point. A “The Office” reboot would have to be drastically different than the original show.
Because Daniels and the rest of the writers wanted the ending to be realistic, many characters ended up leaving Dunder Mifflin. Daniels said they made the choice “to actually [wrap] up the storylines” because it felt like the most natural conclusion to these characters’ arcs.
For example, the finale saw Jim and Pam (John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer) move to Austin, Texas so that Jim could pursue a new career path. Additionally, Stanley (Leslie David Baker) retires to Florida, Kelly and Ryan (Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak) run away together and Creed (Creed Bratton) is taken away to prison. Bringing all of these people together would require some very unlikely circumstances, to say the least.
In order to maintain the show’s integrity, Daniels doesn’t want to try to force things back to the way they were during the original run. Therefore, he stated, “I don’t think people’s expectations of getting back in the saddle and doing more episodes of the same show was going to be realistic.”
Not Now, But Maybe Soon
Realistically, a “The Office” reboot won’t happen in the near future. Although Daniels loved doing “The Office,” he’s moved on to other shows, including “Space Force” and “Upload.” He told interviewers, “I am doing these two shows now, so in the near-term, I’m definitely doing that.”
However, fans don’t need to abandon hope. In addition to his own interest in making a reboot, Daniels does feel some responsibility to give his loyal fan base what they’ve been waiting for. “At some point, maybe, it’s unfair to be a priss and not give them what they want.”
It’s tough to say whether or not there will ultimately be a “The Office” reboot, but with building enthusiasm from both fans and producers, it’s always possible. At the very least, hopefully NBC will keep Carell’s “Cheers” pitch on the back burner.