Photo Credit: Danny Feld/NBC
The Office (Thursdays, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC) may be losing another employee. First Michael (Steve Carell) hopped a plane for Colorado, and today comes news that Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) might be the next to leave the building. According to Deadline.com, producers are developing a spin-off for Dunder Mifflin's most successful paper salesman. It focuses on his family life on the beet farm-cum-bed-and-breakfast that's been in his family for generations. Remember Schrute Farms? Click here for a clip of Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) visiting the B&B a few years back.
Why would Dwight go? As he will gladly tell anyone, he's not just an office drone. He is also a former volunteer sheriff's deputy, a purple belt in Goju Ryu karate, and a paintball aficionado. All these skills are being wasted at the Scranton, Pa., office, where he spends most of his day bickering with Jim. And now that his former romantic rival, Andy (Ed Helms), is in charge, well, all the more reason to focus his attention on other interests.
The show would feature multiple generations of the Schrute family. If Dwight's frighteningly bizarre cousin Mose (who's played by The Office's executive producer Mike Schur) is any indication, this will be a strange clan indeed. As we learned in an early episode of The Office, their house has nine bedrooms and one bathroom, which is located under the porch.
Do viewers care enough about Dwight and his oddball family to watch a whole show about their life on the farm? These things are hard to predict, but if the quality of the writing is high, viewers will tune in. Three years ago, who would have thought that a sitcom set in a local parks and recreation office would be interesting?
A more pertinent question is: How will The Office fare without him? He's not the most lovable guy on staff, but that doesn't mean he's not valued. Where would Jim be without Dwight? Who else could Jim prank call from three feet away? Whose desk could he relocate to the men's room? And losing Dwight means losing at least a half dozen of Jim's baffled glances at the camera.
The plan is to unveil the spin-off during an Office episode later this season. If all goes well, the new series could be launched midseason 2013. So the Schrutes have plenty of time to install a second bathroom, preferably indoors. And Jim has some time to figure out how to amuse himself without Dwight to kick around.