‘The Office’: This Iconic Character Almost Got Their Own Spin-Off Show
Though the show officially wrapped over six years ago, The Office remains one of the best television shows of all time. The documentary-style show truly raised the bar with its comedic ingenuity and heartfelt moments. Uncommon friendships, odd couples, and the most ridiculous characters to ever grace the small screen all contributed to this iconic show. But what even most superfans don’t know is that The Office almost got its own spin-off show.
Dwight K. Shrute
Of all the characters, it’s hard to find one as memorable and as strange as Dwight K. Shrute. The top paper salesmen at Dunder Mifflin, he was equal parts terrifying and delightful. Dwight had many interests: martial arts and Battle Star Galactica to name a few. But, one of Dwight’s greatest passions was the love for he had for his beloved 60-acre beet farm (and occasional bed and breakfast), Shrute Farms. Fans loved the episodes when we got a closer look at Dwight’s beloved Farm and so did the producers of The Office.
Conceptualizing Shrute Farms for a spin-off
In fact, the creatives behind The Office loved the idea of Shrute Farms so much that they set out to make a spin-off about it. Dubbing the show The Farm, they began talking about a possible spin-off while The Office was in its eighth season. Naturally, the tapped Rainn Wilson (who plays Dwight Shrute) as their ideal lead for the show.
“Rainn is a great, great screen presence and I think it made a lot of sense to try him. When Greg and I were first thinking about potential spin-offs, Rainn was an obvious person to think about because he’s a comedy force,” Michael Shur, The Office’s co-executive producer, said in an interview back in 2013. When approached, Wilson admitted that though he initially felt the time was coming to say goodbye to the robust character, he couldn’t deny how excited he was about the premise of the show.
“I was really kind of ready to end Dwight at that point, but I just loved the idea so much. I loved the idea of a rural show on a farm and the amazing characters and situations you could get into. And I also liked the idea of Dwight kind of changing — not just being the supporting weird guy, but being the center of the show. How does he need to grow and mature to be that lead in the same way that Frasier had to kind of grow and mature to be the lead of his show?,” Wilson stated, sharing his complex thought process.
NBC passes on The Farm
Unfortunately, NBC chose to pass on The Farm back in 2012 after the eponymous backdoor episode aired in the ninth season of The Office. “It doesn’t fit in with the current administration at NBC. I don’t think they cared for it very much. But in a weird way, the timing was a little wrong. It really would have been good to have a Dwight spin-off in Season 5 or Season 6 or something like that. It probably would have been better spinning it off a little bit earlier,” Wilson admitted after the series was turned down.
An unforgettable character
But though the actor was a bit let down by NBC’s decision, ultimately he was happy to hang up the character with The Office. “It was certainly disappointing, but I will say that I was in this great position because I felt like if the show got picked up, I was really excited to make it. If it got turned down, I’m really happy to let Dwight go and let him end with the end of The Office,” Wilson confessed.
We have to agree with Wilson there. While we’re slightly perturbed we were robbed of more time with Dwight, we’re happy can visit him anytime on The Office.