Will Ricky Gervais Take Steve Carell’s ‘Office’ Space?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? With Steve Carell announcing his imminent departure from the hit series The Office, NBC is reportedly digging deep into the personnel files and is hoping to recruit Ricky Gervais—the man behind the original UK version of the series—to man the helm at Dunder Mifflin.

Should the NBC brass get their way, Gervais would revive his David Brent character from the original series. The Office executive producer Paul Lieberstein (who also plays beleaguered human-resources rep Toby Fienderson on the show) told NY Mag over the weekend,

“We talked about it today for a while. It’s not the leading idea… [but] it’s not a dead idea.” 

Lieberstein adds that Gervais’ inclusion would require that some plot logistics be ironed out, but that the casting move would have its benefits:

“I don’t know how David Brent could take Michael Scott’s place because it would be a little bit too much of a coincidence that a documentary crew was also following him. He was also fired for incompetence [in the U.K. Office], so we’d have to create some back story for what happened. There would be some things to deal with. On the flip side, you have someone who’s incredibly talented and who has played with a level of realism that’s the same as our show. It wouldn’t be like we would be taking a character from Cheers, like Norm, and putting him in the show.”

The other big hurdle? Gervais flatly states that he’s not interested in the gig, noting,

“As David Brent would say, ‘Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt … As I would say, ‘Why would I get up at 6 a.m. five days a week for seven years when I can hire someone else to do that and still get my syndication money?'”

Of course, as an executive producer on the U.S. series, Gervais stands to benefit financially if the show remains a hit, so he might have incentive to reconsider.

Do you think that Gervais would make a good replacement for the departing Carell? If not him, then who? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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