Czech TV to Adapt ‘The Office’

The Hollywood Reporter

There might be no more The Office on NBC but the Czech Republic will be able to enjoy its own version of Ricky Gervais’ cringe comedy creation thanks to an adaption deal between BBC Worldwide and Czech public broadcaster CT1.

CT1 has picked up rights to Gervais’ original BBC series and will produce a local-language version in-house. The first six-episode season of the show is set to air next year.

Gervais said: “Prague was the first place in the world to produce a stage version, so I’m very glad a local adaptation is coming to TV too. Cue jokes about Gervais and another fat check.”

In the Czech take on the fly-on-the-wall mocumentary sitcom, incompetent office manager David Brent, played by Gervais in the original, will become Kancl and played by local actor Vaclav Kopta. The series will be set in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second-largest city. Duncan Cooper, BBC Worldwide’s exec producer of formats and local production, will help develop the Czech series.

Gervais’ original series, produced for BBC2, only ran for two seasons from 2001-2002 and a two-part Christmas special in 2003 – a total of 14 episodes. But The Office has lived on internationally, with eight local versions having been made so far. NBC’s version ran for nine seasons before wrapping up this year. The German take on The Office ran for 5 seasons and has been adapted as a feature film, which will be released via Warner Bros. in Germany in February.  

“It’s brilliant how it resonates with such varied audiences and cultures, from the US to Chile, and it is always fascinating to see a new cast and how they interpret the characters,” Cooper said in a statement.

Added David Ziegelbauer, creative producer at CT1: “We’ve treated The Office scripts with great respect, conscious to preserve the genius of the originals, while tailoring them to the Czech audience. I am confident we are bringing a new kind of entertainment to Czech Republic audiences.”

CT1 has adapted several BBC formats in the past including Dancing With The Stars, The Weakest Link and Just the 2 of Us.

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