An Australian reboot of the hit show "The Office" has tapped Felicity Ward to play female boss Hannah Howard in the show's lead role. The part was previously held by Steve Carell as Dunder Mifflin's Micheal Scott in the American version, which aired from 2005 to 2013.
According to Variety, this is the 13th iteration of the show, and the first time a female will take on the lead role. The show that featured Ricky Gervais playing David Brent in the British version from 2001 to 2003 will have Ward's character be the head of a packaging company called Flinley Craddick.
The show centers around the Covid-19 pandemic, where a branch of the packaging company is supposed to close down and have all employees work from home, while Howard does everything she can to keep the "work family" together.
Co-creator Ricky Gervais said, "I’m very excited about Australia remaking my little show from the turn of the century." He continued, "Office politics have changed a bit in 20 years, so can’t wait to see how they navigate a modern-day David Brent.”
The American version of the show was widely successful and has since become a 21st century classic, with the production being added to streaming platforms. According to the New York Post, it did not start out that way.
In the book “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of ‘The Office’ by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman, an NBC executive told the cast every episode would be the last.
Actor John Krasinski said: "He was like, ‘This will be the last [episode] … It’s just not getting the ratings and the network doesn’t get it.’ He said that every week of the first season.’”
The book also claimed that Paul Rudd told Steve Carell not to do the show. He advised Carell, "Ugh, don’t do it. Bad, bad move. I mean, it’s never going to be as good [as the British version].”
The show went on to have nine seasons, and it is widely considered one of the best comedy shows of all time.
The Australian version is set to air in 2024 on Amazon's Prime Video streaming platform.
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