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Bill Lawrence to helm 'IT Crowd' adaptation for NBC


Last year, NBC lost The Office and 30 Rock. It canceled Community, and sometime next year, we’ll see the last of the Parks & Rec gang. The future has seemed bleak for NBC’s once-lauded comedy content, so maybe that explains why it’s digging through old projects to turn things around: Deadline reports that Cougar Town and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence has signed on to produce an NBC adaptation of the popular British sitcom The IT Crowd.

NBC has been here before. It picked up an IT Crowd pilot starring Joel McHale (and Richard Ayoade, from the original British version) in the 2006-2007 season, but no more episodes were filmed. Lawrence will be joined by the writing team of Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, who started on Scrubs and served as executive producers on Community from 2009 to 2012.

The IT Crowd follows the misadventures of two socially inept male computer nerds who work at a big company, and their interactions with their female boss, who’s computer illiterate. The original version starred Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd, and Katherine Parkinson.

Lawrence is a busy guy these days. He’s also working on a primetime adaptation of Rush Hour, although a network has yet to pick up the project.

'Office' alum Oscar Nunez joins USA comedy 'Benched'

Oscar Nunez is coming back to TV.

This time, The Office alum will star alongside Happy Endings‘ Eliza Coupe in the upcoming USA Network comedy Benched, about a corporate attorney whose breakdown leaves her working as a public defender. Nunez, who joins as a series regular, will play a colleague of Nina’s.

The single-cam comedy, from executive producers and writers Michaela Watkins (Saturday Night Live) and Damon Jones (Halfway Home), also stars Jay Harrington, who plays a public defender at Nina’s office.

Since signing off with The Office almost year ago, Nunez has appeared on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
and has a role in the upcoming Chilean miner movie The 33, which stars Antonio Banderas.

Benched received a series order from the USA Network in January.

'Community': B.J. Novak to guest in season finale

Little is known about Community‘s season finale, but here’s some intel to chew on: One, it’s in two parts. Two, here’s one celebrity guest you can expect to see: B.J. Novak.

EW has learned that the Office alum — whose first book was released this week and who will hit the big screen this spring in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — will make a cameo appearance in the first half of the finale. How exactly Novak factors into the story is being kept under wraps, but he plays what’s being described as “a TV star in a sexy new series. READ FULL STORY

Rashida Jones to star in Steve Carell's TBS comedy pilot

Rashida Jones is going from Pawnee to the PD.

The Parks and Recreation actress, who is departing the NBC series, has signed on to star in a TBS comedy pilot from Steve Carell, a.k.a. her former co-star on The Office. Tribeca is a police procedural satire set at LAPD’s RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit), and Jones will star as Angie Tribeca, a strong-willed lone-wolf veteran of the force who is unhappy to learn that she’ll have to start working with a partner.  READ FULL STORY

Ricky Gervais is 'Derek': Watch a sneak peek of his Netflix series -- VIDEO

Netflix seems to be taking this whole “original content” thing very seriously.

After nabbing some major Emmy nominations and showing Hollywood that it’s a force to be reckoned with, Netflix has acquired comedian Ricky Gervais’ new show, a mockumentary-style comedic drama called Derek. The show has been met with some criticism over in the U.K., mostly due to the fact that Gervais’ character is seemingly disabled, but it looks like Netflix is ready for a Sept. 12 debut.

Gervais stars as the titular character, a sweet man working as a caretaker for the elderly. The trailer looks like a depressing Office episode, so consider me signed up. Check it out below:

Steve Carell on Mindy Kaling: 'Her love of nail polish does not take away from her smartness'

It’s not like we needed any more confirmation that Mindy Kaling was awesome and hilarious. But it never hurts to get validation from the likes of Steve Carell and Seth Rogen.

Asked about his former Office co-star, Carell told EW, “Mindy is exceptionally smart, but is not afraid to talk about nail polish. And yet, her love of nail polish does not take away from her smartness. In a perfect world, she would take my SATs for me, and then we would go to the mall together.”

Rogen had a more difficult time pinpointing what he likes about EW’s current cover girl, for our New Hollywood Issue.

'The Office' audition tapes: Watch Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, and more try out for Dunder Mifflin

Ten years ago, NBC had the chutzpah to attempt to adapt Ricky Gervais’s shortlived but much-admired British sitcom, The Office, and a gaggle of relatively unknown actors and actresses auditioned to become the Americanized Tim and Dawn, David and Gareth. When Rainn Wilson posted the new show’s original audition list last March on Facebook, as the American show was taking its final bow, he opened up a parlor game of what-ifs — Adam Scott as Jim? — teasing fans who could only imagine what those audition tapes might look like.

Well, those tapes are out of the vault. When season 9 of The Office arrives on Blu-ray on Sept. 3, the 2003 casting tapes are one of the best bonus features. A few clues about some of the notable names who read — before you click below to see for yourself: one actor went on to win two Emmy Awards, another came from the Judd Apatow stable of comedy all-stars, and one is now a crew member of the USS Enterprise. READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother': 'Office' alum Ellie Kemper to guest

How I Met Your Mother continues to build its slate of guest stars for the upcoming final season.

The latest addition? Ellie Kemper, who just finished a run as receptionist Erin on NBC’s The Office.

Kemper, who is set to appear in one episode (for now), will guest as Cassie, a pretty — and available! — guest at Barney and Robin’s wedding. TVLine first reported the casting.

She joins previously announced guest star Sherri Shepherd, who will play a woman Marshall meets on an airplane, and returning guest star Wayne Brady, who plays Barney’s bro.

How I Met Your Mother, which begins its final season Sept. 23, will hold its first-ever Comic-Con panel this Saturday, moderated by some EW reporter named Sandra Gonzalez.

'The Office' finale: Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer offer up hints, describe final moments of filming

The paper chase is almost over: Tonight at 9 p.m., NBC will present the 75-minute series finale of The Office that will tie up the nine-season comedic saga of the sad-sack-yet-lovable employees at a paper company. This last episode will pick up several months after the documentary at the center of the show has aired, feature the wedding of Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsey), and offer up an assortment of new guest stars (including Joan Cusack, Rachael Harris, Ed Begley, Jr. and Dakota Johnson). Former Office mates Mindy Kaling (a.k.a. Kelly) and B.J. Novak (a.k.a. Ryan) pop up as as well, and rumors swirl that Steve Carell also will make an appearance as world’s greatest ex-boss Michael Scott. (Wilson and Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam, indicated to EW that the rumors weren’t true, but given that these were phone interviews, we couldn’t see if their fingers were crossed.)

So, what will they say about the finale? Wilson calls it “epic” and says that the episode boasts “plots and subplots and action sequences and comedy and tragedy.” “It’s as if Francis Ford Coppola directed,” he loftily declares. “It’s Spielbergian. It’s vast in its scope.”

Adds Fischer: “Before the finale was written, Greg [Daniels, executive producer] reached out to every cast member and encouraged them to say what their dream for their characters would be. And he incorporated a lot of those things into the finale. So as an actress, as a fan, as Pam, I couldn’t be happier with the way the show wraps up. I think people are going to be happy… The finale is very sweet, and it’s emotional. It’s funny, but I think mostly it’s emotional.” Wilson and Fischer offer more gentle hints below. READ FULL STORY

'The Office': Brian Baumgartner talks 10 memorable episodes

Thursday night, The Office says goodbye with a one-hour retrospective (NBC, 8 p.m. ET), followed by the one-hour series finale. For Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), the table read was the most emotional day working on that last episode. “We hadn’t read it. We were all reading the words and what was going to happen in that moment,” he says. “I’d heard a rumor about Kevin, and based on what the rumor was, I wasn’t happy. But then when I read it and saw how things worked, I was very happy.”

Here, Baumgartner looks back on 10 episodes that helped define the show and remain personal and fan favorites. READ FULL STORY

'The Office' finale: Reports swirl over a possible Steve Carell appearance

The Office ends its nine-season run this month, and rumors have been swirling with respect to how the stories will wrap up and who will return to say goodbye.

At the forefront of the rumors is former Office star Steve Carell, who led the Dunder Mifflin crew as General Manager Michael Scott for seven seasons. His particular delivery of Scott’s insensitive and naive dialogue drew many viewers to the show, and fans are desperate for news of his return.

Predictions Monday by TV Line have narrowed a Carell appearance to a cameo, having confirmed by unnamed sources that Michael Scott will indeed return for a final farewell moment.

Last week on Late Show With David LettermanMindy Kaling claimed not to remember if Carell would be in the finale or not. When pressed, she said she had signed a nondisclosure agreement and didn’t want to lie to Letterman.

In a conference call with reporters last week, show creator Greg Daniels danced around the query, saying, “I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved.”

'Arrow,' 'CSI,' 'Revolution,' 'Once Upon a Time': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

We’ve got a busy weekend ahead here at EW. Not only is there a lot of good TV but we’re also hosting the CapeTown Film Festival in L.A., so I’ll be there periodically this weekend. If you’re in the L.A. area, stop by and say hello.

Now that I’ve opened myself up to possible stalkers, on to business!

Notice: Spoiler Room will return to it’s regularly scheduled Wednesday timeslot next week. And as usual, send all questions to!


'Office' star John Krasinski to appear on 'Arrested Development' -- EXCLUSIVE

The Office will close its doors for good on May 16, but it won’t be long before John Krasinski pops up on a television comedy again: He is making a cameo appearance on the new season of Arrested Development. READ FULL STORY


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