NBC is planting the seeds for a spin-off of The Office centered on Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and the Schrute family beet farm, Deadline reports.
The series, which would tentatively launch in early 2013, would follow Dwight's life outside of Dunder Mifflin at his family's beet farm and bed and breakfast. The beet farm has been featured in several episodes stemming back to Season 2, with The Office and Parks and Recreation executive producer Mike Schur playing the role of Dwight's business partner and oddball cousin Mose.
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The potential spin-off will be introduced later this season in an Office episode set at Schrute Farms.
Wilson and his co-star/series executive producer Paul Lieberstein would executive-produce the new show with fellow Office executive producer (and former NBC Entertainment Chief) Ben Silverman, who has been helping develop the spin-off. Greg Daniels, who first adapted The Office for the U.S., is not involved.
News of the potential spin-off comes at a time when the flagship series is still in a transitional period. After longtime star Steve Carell left last April, some viewers (and the character Dwight himself) have not completely warmed to the idea of Andy (Ed Helms) being in charge. The comedy's ratings have slipped since Carell left; the most recent new episode drew a 3.0 rating in the adults ages 18-49 demographic compared to Season 7's average of a 4 rating, but The Office is still one of NBC's highest rated scripted series.
Catherine Tate reprising her role on The Office
Sitcom spin-offs have yielded mixed results on NBC. Frasier, which stemmed from Cheers, ran for 11 seasons. Joey, from Friends, lasted two years.
Should The Office be renewed, Dwight would still be featured in the first half of Season 9 before transitioning to his own show.
Would you watch a spin-off of The Office featuring Dwight? Or do you think there's another Dunder Mifflin employee more worthy of the spotlight? Sound off in the comments below!