‘The Office’: Rainn Wilson Knows the Show ‘Couldn’t Fly’ In the Current Political Climate

The Office is one of the most enduring and influential TV shows to ever have run on American television. Ironically, the series was based on a British television show of the same name — but ultimately, it was the American version, headed up by Steve Carell and a litany of talented actors, that became the most iconic. The Office had a very successful run on TV, winning many awards and honors before going off the air. These days, The Office remains a go-to for fans around the world, many of whom still relate to the ironic, witty humor featured in the show. Still, one of the most prominent stars of The Office went on the record in 2018 to state that he did not believe the show would be able to run on TV today. 

Rainn Wilson smiling
Rainn Wilson | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

When did ‘The Office’ run on television?

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The Office first aired on TV in 2005. It was adapted from the British television series of the same name by writer Greg Daniels, who had risen to prominence for his work on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. The mockumentary series followed the lives of the employees and staff of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, based out of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

From the inventive camera work to the clever characterizations, The Office provided a unique television experience that, for fans, was totally unforgettable. While the first season of The Office flew under the radar, by the show’s second season, fans and critics were fully invested.

Eventually, The Office became one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, receiving a total of 42 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and five overall wins. It made stars out of many of the featured cast members, including Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski

Who did Rainn Wilson play on ‘The Office’?

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One of the biggest stars of The Office was Rainn Wilson, who played the eccentric Dwight Schrute. Wilson, who earned early acclaim as a character actor, thanks to his roles in movies like Almost Famous, Full Frontal, and House of 10000 Corpses, was a staple presence on The Office, and he acted on the show from its debut in 2005 until it went off the air in 2013.

For his work as Dwight, Wilson was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In addition to his acting in the series, Wilson got involved as a director, ultimately directing three episodes of The Office. After The Office ended, Wilson went on to portray many other characters and to work on lots of other projects- but for many fans, he will always be best known as the neurotic Dwight Schrute. 

Why did Rainn Wilson say that ‘The Office’ wouldn’t be able to air on television today?

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While Rainn Wilson, along with the rest of the cast of The Office, he doesn’t necessarily think that the series could ever work today, like it did years ago. In a 2018 interview with NPR, Wilson admitted that “I do sometimes [miss The Office]. I really miss collaborating with an awesome group of people — the writers were fantastic — and taking a scene and trying to bring it to comedic life.”

Still, he doesn’t foresee it ever coming back: “I think The Office would get hit by the right and the left if it were made today, in the same way that All In The Family couldn’t be made today. Like ‘diversity day.’ It couldn’t fly today.” Wilson could very well be correct — but fortunately, fans will always have reruns of The Office that they can turn to for enjoyment.