Rumors that NBC is planning a reunion for The Office may be just that, as the network has not confirmed that the series will return in 2018.
It was reported by a number of sources on Saturday, May 27, that NBC was in talks with the cast, and that Mindy Kaling, who played Kelly Kapoor, confirmed the reboot. No so, however.
The Kaling rumor broke on Reddit in April. Redditors claimed Kaling was behind a three-part reunion aimed to focus on Michael Scott’s new life Colorado, Jim and Pam’s move to Austin, and Dwight’s quiet life as a beet farmer in rural Pennsylvania.
And while the rumor may have been an April Fools’ Day prank, the scuttle made its way to network brass, who declined to comment.
While The Office has proven to be a defining series, many claimed it was doomed when Steve Carell left after the seventh season. An all-star ensemble mounted for the next two seasons, but recycled themes and story lines were met with a massive ratings decline. Some critics said the series should have ended when Carell departed.
Carell has moved on and hasn’t even seriously broached a reunion. His film career has long been launched; a return to TV would make as much sense as a Jerry Seinfeld return to Monk’s.
Rainn Wilson didn’t exactly shun the idea. He said a mini comeback could work, and that he’d be down to reprise the role of Dwight Schrute.
“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,” Wilson, 51, told Cinema Blend.
Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly Halpert) recently had an “Office” reunion of her own — a lunch with Wilson — and tweeted a picture of the meeting. A movie though? Fischer hasn’t talked much about a film, but said she would jump at the chance to work with her former cast.
John Krasinski has said he also would participate. But then there’s the gamble of tarnishing The Office while it’s doing superbly in syndication and on Netflix.
James Spader, who came in as Robert California when Carell left, said anything by way of a big screen project would have to equal the series in quality.
“If we did a ‘Office (US) movie’ and it sucked, then it would, you know, blemish it,” Spader said.
Television has changed, too. Wilson was right two months ago when he expressed doubt about NBC wanting to reprise something of the past when the medium is not what it was in 2013 and light years from where it was when The Office premiered in 2005.
“I highly doubt that’s something that NBC would be interested in,” he said in March. “You know, a new regime came in as we were finishing ‘The Office’ and they kind of tried to take the network in some different directions. We were kind of doing a lot of single camera half-hour comedies and they’re not doing that so much anymore.”
Mindy Kaling is teasing 'The Office' fans with the Michael Scott TED Talk that should have been https://t.co/CH0Jq1gZic— TIME (@TIME) April 26, 2017
What Wilson means is that NBC’s days of the trendy lighthearted comedy are over. The network is known more these days for big dramas like Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Grimm. Something like The Office may not thrive on today’s NBC, Wilson said. A single reunion episode somewhere down the line could work, although there’s nothing reportedly in the works.
What NBC has announced is a Will & Grace reunion. The network released the trailer for the 12-episode limited run earlier this month. The series is reportedly slated for a launch this fall with Debra Messing, Eric McCormick, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally poised to reprise their roles.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]