After nearly two decades of its United States premiere, the popular American-adapted sitcom The Office will receive a limited podcast series detailing the history and creation of the series as well as its apparent popularity in recent years, per The Hollywood Reporter. An Oral History of The Office will be hosted by Brian Baumgartner (License to Wed), who played accountant Kevin Malone and will feature fellow cast members, creators, and acclaimed fans as they take listeners behind the scenes of the creation of one of the most streamed television shows of all time.
The Office, an American adaptation of the British original of the same name, is set at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania and focuses on the staff as they navigate work life at their typical 9-5 with an oftentimes inappropriate and child-like boss, Michael, played by Steve Carell (Space Force, Despicable Me). Alongside Carell and Baumgartner, the show also features John Krasinski (A Quiet Place, Jack Ryan), Rainn Wilson (Backstrom, Star Trek: Discovery), Jenna Fischer (Hall Pass), Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off, Tall Girl), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, Late Night), B.J. Novak (The Mindy Project, The Amazing Spiderman 2), Ed Helms (The Hangover, Tag), Phyllis Smith (Inside Out, Bad), Leslie David Baker (Still the King, The Happytime Murders), Kate Flannery (Cooties), Oscar Nunez (The Proposal, Halfway Home), and Paul Lieberstein (The Newsroom, People of Earth). While the series ran for nine seasons, from 2003-2013, it has received recognition from a newer, younger generation as they discover it on streaming platforms such as Netflix. Being the number 1 show streamed on all subscription services, NBCUniversal has signed on with a 5 year, $500-million deal for The Office to stream exclusively on the new streaming platform launching on July 15, Peacock.
The podcast will be hosted from the new audio division of Propagate Content, being its debut project, via The Hollywood Reporter. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, TV producer Ben Silverman (The Biggest Loser, Bet on Your Baby) mentioned that the company will be building an oral history franchise and originally pitched to kick it off with The Office. According to Silverman, Baumgartner was the obvious pick for the series’ host because of how he “understands the show so well and its impact on the culture and also on the individuals involved.”
The Propagate team has spent the past six months conducting over 40 in-person interviews and recording more than 100 hours of material. Luckily, when the industry-wide shutdown occurred due to the coronavirus outbreak, a majority of the interviews had already been filmed, as the head of podcasting at Propagate tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The limited podcast series will detail how the show was created and adapted for American viewers, as well as why The Office initially struggled to gain viewership and its sudden surge in popularity among a new generation of viewers. The show will be available to stream on Spotify on July 14. Meanwhile, the trailer can be listened to below.