It was only a matter of time: NBC is actively looking to reboot The Office.
“It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot,” Bonnie Hammer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises at NBC, told Deadline.
A reboot of the series makes sense for Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service which will launch in April 2020 with an assortment of originals, catalog titles, and reboots, according to Deadline. The Office is one of NBC’s most popular titles, and a key driver in Peacock’s attempt to bring subscribers in. The company reportedly spent $500 million on securing the exclusive rights to The Office, which is currently streaming on Netflix but will be on Peacock beginning in 2021. Going all-in on a show that is still considered the most popular show streaming right now is NBC’s attempt to get two bites from the same apple.
(Disclaimer: NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast, which is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.)
“We will be looking at all of them down the road and see what makes the most sense,” Hammer said of the company’s reboot plans. “When we see what the usage is on the service, if something is popping, and it’s ours, you better believe that we are going to be looking at it as a new original.”
Although it’s a goal for NBCUniversal at the executive level, it’s not set in stone. Conversations are ongoing, according to Hammer, but The Office isn’t the only NBCUniversal-owned show the company is considering for a reboot.
A version of The Office with some of the original cast may turn out to be impossible for the network. Steve Carell has said before he’s not interested in returning to the Dunder Mifflin setting. He’s also working on a new satirical comedy set in space with Office showrunner Greg Daniels for Netflix.
NBC looking to launch an Office reboot may just be one in a long line of networks trying to find a way to modernize their top shows. A Friends reunion at WarnerMedia seems unlikely — the cast have said multiple times it won’t happen — but the company could try to find a new way into the franchise for its own streaming service, HBO Max. The company reportedly spent $425 million on securing the exclusive rights to the show, taking it away from Netflix where it currently streams.