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A few shows have held their own and enjoyed as much success as The Office and its intended spinoff Parks and Recreation. The two shows are always usually pitted against one another, and it’s understandable why. Both the sitcoms are shot in the same format and have incredible casts that delivered hilarious storylines. A recent ranking by Rolling Stone magazine saw Parks and Rec destroying The Office in one of the best TV sitcoms of all time.

'Parks and Recreation' cast smiling
(L-R) Jim O’Heir, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Retta | Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images

‘Parks and Rec’ was initially intended to be a spinoff

The debate about which sitcom is better than the other between The Office and Parks and Rec dates back to when both series were on air. Both shows are mockumentaries about coworkers. Upon closer observation, the sitcoms are much more similar than you’d think. For starters, the show’s co-creators Michael Schur and Greg Daniels, worked on both shows together.

Schur produced and wrote The Office while Daniels created the US version. Schur also appeared on the show as Dwight’s cousin.When the duo created Parks and Recreation, they wanted it to be a spinoff of The Office. As such. Many of the actors who auditioned for roles on The Office ended up getting parts on Parks and Recreation.

For example, Amy Poehler, who snagged the leading position on Parks and Recreation, almost appeared in The Office. Before becoming Leslie Knope, Poehler almost landed the part to play Michael Scott’s ex-girlfriend Jan Levinson. The showrunners were close to casting Poehler for the role but ultimately chose to go with Melora Hardin.

One difference between the two shows was their audition processes. For Parks and Rec, showrunners auditioned actors until they got the perfect cast ensemble. They then worked on forming characters based on the actors and their personalities.

‘The Office’ has a loyal fanbase

The Office went off the air on NBC in May 2013 but has managed to maintain its following almost a decade later. Its addition to the giant streaming platform Netflix has only heightened its popularity. It turns out that the humor that the show is famous for was an accident.

The show managed to strike a healthy balance between comedy and drama. It might be about a group of colleagues at a mid-level paper company, but The Office also details Michael Scott’s awkward journey and adventures in finding love.

When the showrunner created The Office, they never intended for it to be a cringe-worthy series. Before it, shows like Arrested Development tapped into cringe comedy and found their niche with it. The UK creators of The Office version didn’t intend to make people squirm.

Stephen Merchant said, “it was not an intention to make people squirm. But it was so much funnier when someone who was trying to be funny said a joke, and then you heard the silence, and then you just sat in silence. I don’t know why- Ricky and I just found that so funny.”

‘Parks and Rec’ ranking on Rolling Stones compared to ‘The Office’


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There is no doubt that both Parks and Rec are fantastic shows. They each gave fans endless laughter and drama to last a century. Although The Office has enjoyed a particular superiority to Parks and Rec, a Rolling Stone listing of the best TV sitcoms of all time suggests that Parks and Rec might be a bit better than The Office.

The US version of The Office ranked at number 23, while Parks and Recreation ranked highly, placing at number 9. The Office fans might take issue with The Office’s low ranking since it ran for two more seasons than Parks and Rec. Other modern sitcoms on the list included The Office UK at 30, Community which came in at 24, 30 Rock which placed 18, and Curb Your Enthusiasm which came at 15.