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"The Office" on NBC

The much loved and acclaimed BBC series “The Office” is finally being brought overseas and Americanized, courtesy of NBC. When I first heard about this last year, I was very excited. I was a big fan of the BBC series, and it’s all-too-brief stay left everyone wanting more. And to hear that The Daily Show’s Steve Carell was going to play the main character, how could they go wrong? Not to mention the series creater and star Ricky Gervais signed on as a producer and writer. Well, for those of you who remember NBC’s previous attempt to cash in on a BBC hit with “Coupling“, things can go very, very wrong. And after reading that the NBC pilot received the lowest pilot ratings from the test audience IN THE HISTORY OF ALL SITCOM PILOTS (link), my hopes were dashed.

However, I finally heard this week that “The Office” is finally going to see the light of day on NBC this week, premeiring this Thursday at 9:30pm EST, following “The Apprentice”. If you cannot wait that long (like myself), you can actually catch the pilot here, via MySpace. I don’t know if it was my low expectations or what, but I thought it was pretty good. Obviously there are going to be comparisons drawn to the original, but judged on it’s own I think it stands up pretty well. Will it last on NBC? Hell no. The test audience said it was “too depressing”, and given that there is no laugh track to tell them when they should be laughing, most Americans will just turn it off. It’s a shame that intelligent comedies rarely ever last on American TV. It’s only a matter of time until ‘Arrested Development‘s critical acclaim isn’t enough to cancel out it’s poor ratings.

So, I encourage everyone to tune in Thursday night and give ‘The Office’ a chance. Hopefully some of us will come away as fans.

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