A spinoff of "The Office" has been rumored for a while now, but today it became official. But that's about it. Details on the new series are mum.
There's no name for the new show yet. We do know, however, that it won't feature anyone from the main show. The plan apparently is to back into the new characters by introducing them in a special episode of "The Office," then follow them next spring in the timeslot immediately after our beloved sitcom.
We understand how this sounds, at first, like great news. But two things have us worried:
1. The track record of spinoffs. Rare is the spinoff that really comes into its own, like "The Jeffersons" or "Frasier." The results are usually lame, like "Private Practice," or doomed, like "Joey."
2. Thirty minutes is a good thing. We once thought we couldn't get enough of "The Office" ... until they ran those hour-long episodes last fall. Then we realized the value of compact comedy. An hour of that kind of sly, deadpan humor was wearying, and running this spinoff immediately after "The Office" surely will suffer the same exhaustion.
But the writers accomplished a miracle in the beginning by transforming this British native into a distinctly American hit. Who knows — maybe they've got a second wind?