As you all know, The Office is limping through its final season (Josh will have the Thursday Night GIFs up later), and as the season slowly, slowly winds toward the end, a lot of the talent both in front of and behind the camera are looking ahead to next season, and lining up new projects. For some of these folks, The Office was their first major role, and they might not be what you’d consider sitcom leads. They’re not even leads on The Office. But after NINE LONG SEASONS, they’re plenty recognizable, so they’re striking while the iron is hot. There are, so far, five shows from talent in front of and behind the camera on The Office. None of them, obviously, have been picked up for series, but of the five, which are you most likely to watch?
1. Untitled Brian Baumgartner Project — The latest announcement concerning an The Office cast member is an ABC comedy in development set to star Brian Baumgartner (who plays Kevin Malone on the show), executive produced by Greg Daniels (creator/showrunner) and written by Harris Wittels (supervising producer, writer on Parks and Recreation). The single-camera comedy center on on Norman (Baumgartner), a mid-level airline executive fighting to experience winning again.
2. Untitled Craig Robinson Project — This one will also be executive produced by Greg Daniels, and written by supervising producer on The Office, Owen Ellickson. It centers on a talented musician (Robinson) with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school, where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms. It’s set up at NBC.
3. Dirty Blondes — Announced a couple of weeks ago, Blondes will star Angela Kinsey (Angela from The Office) and Rachael Harris, and it’s based on the real-life relationship of the two women after they became closer friends after experiencing a divorce (Kinsey was married to the brother of Toby on The Office). Set up at Fox, it’ll be written by Stacy Traub (a producer on Glee) and the pilot will be directed by Ruben Fleishcer (Zombieland).
4. Schrute Farms — We’ve already discussed this one on several occasions. It’s a direct spin-off of The Office featuring Rainn Wilson’s character, who will run a bed and breakfast and beet farm with his family (not his hayseed family, but new family members).
5. Untitled Andy Samberg Project — Less directly related to The Office, this series comes from Mike Schur, writer/producer on The Office and Parks and Rec (and Mose on The Office), and it will star Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg, who will play the lead in a show about an assortment of New York City detectives working together in an outer-borough precinct.