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The Office is returning to television!

At least in Australia, anyway.  Plans are underway to create an Aussie version of the workplace sitcom, which by our account will be, let’s see here, the forty-third iteration of the classic series, give or take.

The original, of course, was Ricky Gervais’ BBC version, which established the docu-cringe template upon which all other Office parks would be built.  (In fact, you might argue that it established the sitcom/mockumentary hybrid that has dominated TV comedy ever since.)

BBC

While the Brit version only lasted two six-episode seasons and a two-part Christmas special, it racked up just about every award imaginable and inspired the U.S. version that ran on this side of the pond for nine seasons. 

NBCUniversal

That version of the show, of course, became a juggernaut.  In addition to its shelf full of Emmy Awards, the show might have become even more popular on its Netflix run where it could be binged over a pandemic or played while sleeping like some kind of comedy white-noise machine.

With its ubiquitous memes, podcasts, and bobbleheads, it was unquestionably more popular than the BBC series.  The question was posed to Gervais on Twitter -- if the American version was so much bigger and better than the original, how did that make him feel? 

Gervais’ response:  “F***ing rich.” 

But why stop there? Gervais has practically turned The Office into a fast-food franchise.  There’s an Indian version revolving around Jagdeep Chaddha, manager of a paper company in a suburb of New Delhi. Gilles Triquet is the manager of the French Office in Villepinte, an office park north of Paris. Viewers in Israel can catch Super Office, led by regional manager Avi Meshulam.  Additional versions are set in Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, and Sweden. 

TV4 Sweden

Instead of paper, the Swedish Office sells modular furniture and meatballs with lingonberry jam.

Apparently, managerial incompetence translates across all cultures. 

Which brings us to the show’s latest reincarnation, The Office Australia (not the official title but apparently under consideration.) Details so far are scant: The show will air on Amazon Prime Video and feelers have gone out to popular Australian comedy performers like Isla Fisher and Jim Jefferies with no actual commitments yet.

One original spin is that the regional manager will likely be played by a woman. The leading candidate for Australia’s version of David Brent/Michael Scott is comic Magda Szubanski, one of the stars of down-under sitcom Kath and Kim and sketch comedy hit Fast Forward

Seven Network

That's what she said.

Yeah, we could see it.

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Top image: BBC/NBCUniversal/Seven Network

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