- 9 Seasons
Back when the idea was first introduced, the notion of an American version of the hit British series The Office seemed like quite a gamble to a number of people. These days, however, the American version of the program is much more notable and celebrated than the British series. Although the original series was a massive critical and cultural success, audiences were unsure whether the specific type of humor the show introduced would tickle the funny bones of American television watchers. The style of the show was unique, and the characters were not funny in the broad, conventional way that most sitcoms portray them. However, the version of The Office that has graced American television screens for eight successful seasons has carved its own niche, and it has become a comedy classic in its own right. Key to the success of The Office for many years was the performance of the talented Steve Carell as office boss Michael Scott. While the character of Michael Scott is very similar to Ricky Gervais' David Brent from the British series, Carell's portrayal masterfully makes the sensibility of the original show palatable to American audiences. A very complicated character, Scott can be bumbling and inarticulate one moment, turn into a hurtful monster the next, while finally settling into the type of persona that just wants to please people. It is hard to think of anyone else being able to perform this role as well as Steve Carell, who added nuance, likability and pathos to the part. While there are certainly other aspects of the show that have made it successful, Carell's performance ensured that the show would become a hit and last for many years on American television. Sadly, Steve Carell left the show after its seventh season to pursue other projects. However, the show's core characters have been able to pick up the slack and deliver a program that is just as funny as it was in its first few seasons. Thankfully, another reason for the show's massive success is its talented writing staff. Thanks to their efforts, the show has been able to continue successfully in the absence of the Michael Scott character. Two of the most important writers on The Office are also a couple of its most beloved cast members. Paul Lieberstein has served as Executive Producer, Show Runner and Head Writer, but he is, perhaps, best-known for his portrayal of hapless human resources director Toby Flenderson. Mindy Kaling, who plays bubbly customer service representative Kelly Kapoor, is also a writer on the show. In fact, while audiences get to see most of the supporting characters in many of the show's scenes, Lieberstein and Kaling's characters are deliberately given work spaces off screen so that their real life counterparts can dedicate time to writing. Thanks to the many talented people who have worked on the show over the years, the American version of The Office has become a staple of comedy television in the United States, and it will likely continue to appear on television screens for many more years in syndication. It has almost completely overshadowed its British predecessor while ensuring its place in television history. Although the future of the program is in doubt, it will be back for another season that will surely bring laughs to millions of Americans.