Stephen Merchant Jokes That ‘The Office’ Spin-Off Could All Be Based On Zoom; Hopes Peacock Can “Capture Magic” Of Original Series

EXCLUSIVE: The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant has reacted to news that the show is coming back in the U.S., joking that it could all be based on Zoom following the pandemic.

Merchant was the creative force behind the UK Office alongside Ricky Gervais and will be an executive producer on the untitled new Peacock series from Greg Daniels and Michael Koman.

More from Deadline

It will be set in the same universe as The Office and will star Domhnall Gleeson (Ex-Machina) and Sabrina Impacciatore (The White Lotus). Production begins in July.

Speaking to Deadline on the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet, Merchant said he didn’t know much about the new series. “They just make us sign bits of paperwork to say they can do it and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I like the idea … that it’s within the universe of The Office, but not necessarily in the same office. I just hope they represent what office life must be like now. I guess the whole show will just be on Zoom and people only come in like twice a week.”

Asked if he would consider a similar spin-off series in the UK, he added: “Maybe, I’m interested to see how this one works. I just think there’s always a danger when you revisit things: can you capture the magic you had the first time? It’s a tough one to do.”

The Office spin-off was confirmed this week. The Universal Television-produced series will see “the documentary crew that immortalized Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch is in search of a new subject when they discover a dying historic Midwestern newspaper and the publisher trying to revive it with volunteer reporters.”

The Untitled Daniels/Koman comedy series is executive produced by Daniels and Koman along with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Howard Klein, Ben Silverman and Banijay Americas (formerly Reveille).

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.