NBC has pulled the plug on the planned Office spin-off starring Dwight Schrute, but beet fans will still get a chance to see the pilot.
The network was originally pursuing plans for an Office spin-off called The Farm, which would center on the character of Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson) and his antics with cousin Mose on the family’s beet farm.
“Paul [Lieberstein] and Rainn have been joking for years about Dwight’s life on the farm, his family and how ill-suited he is to run a B&B,” a source told Deadline in January.
“A while ago, it started to feel like a show to them. NBC agreed, it’s been further developed to include multiple generations, many cousins and neighbors. At its base it will be about a family farm struggling to survive and a family trying to stay together.”
But recently, Wilson announced on Twitter that NBC had passed on The Farm.
Luckily, the backdoor pilot “The Farm” will still air as an episode in the ninth season of The Office, giving fans a look at what could have been. The episode will air on Thursday, March 14 at 9pm, and will feature Dwight reuniting with his family to run the Schrute beet farm and bed and breakfast. Guest stars will include Majandra Delfino, Thomas Middleditch, Matt L. Jones and Tom Bower.
Wilson recently told The Huffington Post that he was disappointed that The Farm wasn’t moving forward.
“We had worked really hard on it and I think created a really cool and different pilot,” Wilson said. “But it was kind of a relief in a way, because it’s time to hang up the old Dwight bad haircut and glasses and move on. “
He opined that passing on The Farm was part of a greater strategy shift for NBC, but he doesn’t blame them for it.
“I think they want bigger and broader stuff, and part of me doesn’t blame them. There’s a lot of Thursday night comedies that are really high quality, but they don’t have a ton of viewers. I can understand they’ve been the number four network for a long time, and they want to have bigger, broader audiences, so I get where they’re coming from.”
As interesting as it’d be to see a Dwight Schrute-centered spin-off, I’m kind of relieved that NBC passed on The Farm. It’s not like spin-off shows can’t be successful in their own right (Frasier anyone?) but it does kind of seem like it’s time to hang up The Office.
“The Farm” episode will hopefully just be a graceful swan song so we don’t have to wonder what could have been, while letting us send off some of our favorite characters properly.