Comcast NBC: ‘The Office’ Ends May 16

the-office-michael-scottPopular sitcom The Office has its series finale on May 16. The Office airs on Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC channel. The long-running television show has been on NBC since 2005, according to Yahoo! TV. Oh how The Office has changed over the past eight years…almost as much as the television channel – NBC Universal – it airs on.

The NBC, television broadcast channel on American television has the formal name of NBCUniversal Media, LLC. The company used to be known as NBC Universal, Inc., until Comcast purchased a controlling stake in NBC in January 2011. Because Comcast is the largest cable provider in the U.S., the company accepted a deal with regulators that prevents it from exerting any managerial control over streaming-content provider Hulu, which NBC owns approximately 1/3 of.

The Office was originally a twelve episode series (plus Christmas specials) by British comedian Ricky Gervias. The show first aired on BBC Two in 2001. Although the show was almost canceled due to low ratings the the U.K., it experienced wide success when exported. The American version of The Office that is broadcast by NBC in the United States was an adaptation of the British series…

The Office is one of the most successful sitcoms on a major broadcast network since Seinfeld. The show has averaged over five million viewers a night since its premier, according to Nelson. The lowest viewership for the series was in its first season — widely considered the worst. After that, viewership hit a high of nine million viewers a week during the fifth season in 2005. Major changes to lighting and character development are cited as a reason for the major uptick in viewership after the first season.

The show almost never made it onto NBC in the first place. According to the New York Times, one executive mentioned that The Office was headed towards the Bravo channel after NBC first watched the pilot. Despite the initial lower viewership, the show has ended up a bit of a cult classic. The production values of the show climbed as the years ticked by and looking back, The Office might be the greatest example of how the rise of high-speed, Internet-powered content streaming can co-exist with broadcast television.