Dwight Schrute spin-off ‘The Farm’

September 5, 2012: Rainn’s Facebook page

The Office’s Rainn Wilson posted this information on his Facebook page:

Here’s the deal with ‘The Farm’ as there have been so many questions of late. We are shooting an episode of the Office entitled The Farm. It introduces Schrutes we’ve never met before- Dwight’s sister Fannie and her son Cameron who’ve been in Boston for 10 years, brother Jeb, a pot farmer, and (nazi curious) Uncle Heinrich. Also there’s Mose’s brother Zeke.

(note: we’ve assembled an AMAZING cast and I’m so thrilled to be working with them! I know that sounds cliche but it’s TRUE!)

This episode will be done soon and then NBC will decide if they want “The Farm” to be a series or not. Either way the episode will air as an Office episode in the winter sometime.

If we shoot more, they would start airing in the winter/spring probably.

The number of Office eps I do this last season is really dependent on what happens with The Farm. Definitely 12 or 13 and maybe more.

Wish us luck. See you at Schrute Farms!

Rainn

August 30, 2012: TVLine

… current Parks and Recreation showrunner — and former Office EP — Mike Schur is set to reprise his role as Dwight’s oddball kin in the departing NBC comedy’s upcoming Schrute-centric episode/planted spin-off, “The Farm.” No word yet on how Mose will figure into the half-hour, but in a recent interview with TVLine, Schur joked that he’s praying the Farm pilot revolves around Mose’s funeral. “That would be the best case scenario, I think,” he laughed. “If Mose was in a horrible tractor accident, and he was chopped up into little pieces so that there was no way he could come back… I’d be really psyched.”

August 25, 2012: Deadline

Veteran Tom Bower (Die Hard 2) has been cast as Dwight’s (Rainn Wilson) great uncle Heinrich in The Office spinoff project, which will be introduced in an episode of the veteran NBC comedy’s upcoming final season. Titled The Farm, the spinoff has Dwight (Wilson) living at the Schrute family beet farm and bed & breakfast. Bower will play the Dwight siblings’ (Wilson, Majandra Delfino, Thomas Middleditch) great uncle Heinrich Manheim, who is charming, greedy, manipulative… and may have had to spend time in Argentina following World War II, thanks to his German National Socialist roots. Co-starring in the project is Matt Jones as Dwight’s cousin Zeke.

August 24: THR

Breaking Bad alum Matt Jones has been tapped to play Rainn Wilson’s mysterious cousin Zeke in the potential spinoff of NBC’s The Office… Jones will play Zeke, Dwight’s cousin and joins the previously cast Thomas Middleditch as Dwight’s wacky brother Jeb, Majandra Delfino (Roswell) as Dwight’s younger sister, Frannie, and Blake Garrett as his nephew, Cameron.

August 23, 2012: THR

While Jeb has tried several different career paths — worm farmer, Bigfoot hunter, Army farmer and now running a successful pot farm in Northern California — he lacks Dwight’s sense of principle, hierarchy and work ethic. He’s also said to have made his own exercise video of things you can do with a knife and canoe (naturally!).

August 22, 2012: TVLine

Thomas Middleditch… has been cast as Jeb, the Dunder Mifflin salesman’s sibling, TVLine has confirmed. The character — along with the previously cast Majandra Delfino (Roswell) and Blake Garrett (Bridesmaids), who will play Dwight’s sister and nephew, respectively — will first be introduced in an episode of the departing NBC comedy this fall. Should the network move forward with the Schrute-centric spinoff, all three would be series regulars. When [Dwight] decides to leave the paper biz and give the new venture a shot, he must convince his brother and sister to join him. Middleditch’s Jeb, however, is the polar opposite of Dwight, with absolutely no work ethic and few life aspirations. In fact, the most success he’s found in his thirtysomething-years is running his own pot farm.

August 18, 2012: TVLine

Majandra Delfino (Roswell, State of Georgia) has landed the role of his sister, Fannie, while Blake Garrett (New Girl, Bridesmaids) will play his nephew, Cameron, TVLine has confirmed. Both characters will be introduced in an episode of The Office to air this fall. If NBC decides to move forward with the offshoot, tentatively titled The Farm, both will appear as series regulars.

July 17, 2012: TVLine

Question: What can we expect to see from Season 9 of The Office?

Ausiello: You can expect to meet Dwight’s kooky clan in this season’s fourth episode. According to sources, that’s when NBC is planning to air the Schrute-centric planted spin-off The Farm.

March 2, 2012: Vulture

Tidbits from Paul Lieberstein:

[Paul] Lieberstein… hints that [in Season 9], there might be a switch back to how things were during the bulk of the show’s run. “I have a romantic feeling for the simplicity of the single-manager structure,” he says. “Next year might see a return to it.” Not surprisingly, Lieberstein wouldn’t elaborate further, except to say that there almost certainly won’t be multiple layers of management at the Scranton office.

Lieberstein confirmed that he’s working with Rainn Wilson on an Office offshoot (tentative title: The Farm) to be top-lined by Rainn Wilson: “It’s a show about Dwight’s life on the farm and [running] the business — the bed and breakfast and the farm — with his family,” he says. “Basically we have a show about a family working together and a family business in the heartland. It’s kind of focused on some people who are not often represented on television. I think it’s really interesting; I’m super excited about it. I haven’t grown up on a farm myself, so I have a lot of research to do.”

Original reports about the spin-off got the timetable for the project wrong, however. While the goal is to do a special episode of The Office that would serve as a pilot for the show, “the plan is to do it early [in Season 9],” not [in Season 8]. “We’ve been talking about it for about a year I guess,” Lieberstein says. “And then when it finally was really coming together, we were just in the heart of the second half of [Season 8], and contracts came together slowly, and we just found ourselves without time to properly do it.” By waiting until the fall [of Season 9], “We’ll be able to focus on casting outside of pilot season… We’ll get to really do it right.” Sadly, Lieberstein confirms what we expected: Dwight’s Cousin Mose, played by Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur, is not expected to be a regular. “We’re going to have to explain why he’s not there,” says Schur. “He will do what he can, now and then. But for the most part, he can’t be Mose.”

February 29, 2012: THR

NBC is searching for a new showrunner to replace Paul Lieberstein on its top-rated comedy The Office, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Lieberstein — who currently heads the writing staff, produces and co-stars as Toby — is looking to shift his focus from the network’s Thursday staple to The Farm, the rumored Dwight Schrute spinoff the network is currently developing.

January 29, 2012: E!

Rainn Wilson talks to E! about the possibility of a Dwight Schrute spin-off.

[Video no longer available]

More about the show at The Office Season 9 spoiler page.

January 25, 2012: Deadline

Deadline.com is reporting that The Office’s Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson) may be getting his own show as early as mid-season 2013:

… the proposed spinoff is a family comedy, which was the brainchild of Wilson and The Office executive producer/showrunner Paul Lieberstein. It will have Dwight (Wilson) living at the Schrute family beet farm and bed & breakfast… at its base it will be about a family farm struggling to survive and a family trying to stay together.

Deadline’s report ends with an update on The Office Season 9:

None of the core Office cast members, including Ed Helms, John Krasinksi and Mindy Kaling, have deals for next season, and while the studio can’t formally sign the actors before there is a renewal for the show, it is trying to shore them up in anticipation of a pickup.

68 comments

  1. This could be like Frasier…or Joey…it’s leaning towards the latter, but hopefully it will be the former

  2. What on earth does this mean for The Office? They are in contract for next season, right? Is Rainn leaving? I don’t know how I feel about this!

  3. This new just depressed me. In my opinion, The Office cannot continue without Jim, Pam, and Dwight. If any of them leave, they NEED to wrap the series up. And with all three of their contracts expiring this year, either they are going to renew or the show probably will go on without them. At least bring The Office to a close before doing a spin-off.

  4. It’s like it’s 2008 all over again. Which reminds me, I heard the writer’s strike will be over soon!

  5. I had to make sure it’s wasn’t April 1st. Schrute farms isn’t complete without Mose and I doubt Michael Shur has enough time to play a character on a weekly show.

  6. “Don’t believe everything you read in the press, ok?”

    – Tweet from Rainn Wilson 1/25/12 10:36PM(eastern)

  7. To quote Michael. “Please, God, no. No. No. Nooooooooooooooooooo.”

    Dwight is great in small doses and as part of an ensemble but I don’t think he can carry a show. (No slight to Rainn).

  8. I love The Office, but I don’t love this idea. Spin offs are rarely any good (Frasier is the exception).

  9. Not crazy about the idea. If John,Jenna or Rainn leave, I agree the show should end. That in itself would feel like a spin-off.

  10. First of all, I think they should focus on bringing everybody together for one last Office season that will send it off strong! Hopefully everyone signs on board out of respect for the show, at least. As for the idea, I highly doubt it’ll be successful but looked how the Office turned out so you never know. I’ll still keep watching though!

  11. I would definitely watch it, no matter what fears I may have about it. I support everything the people behind The Office do, and this is honestly an interesting idea. It’s something new.

    I just hope it doesn’t mean that Dwight has to leave the show. Now that would REALLY make me lose faith in the show.

  12. @8 Danielle: YES! My first thought was “I feel like Michael when he finds out that Toby’s back.”
    Please do not let this be. The Office is perfect. Why change that?

  13. I’d watch it, but I would hate to lose The Office for it. I think the show can go on for another 2-3 seasons easily with the cast we have.

  14. Only if Mike Schur will reprise Mose, & if Jen Celotta gets to fulfill her dream of playing a Schrute.

    [ from tanster: hear, hear! ]

  15. Wow I’m shocked at how much hate is going towards this “rumored” project. Personally, they SHOULDN’T do this. This alone sparks many questions as to the state of the show right now. Just keep it as is, no spin-offs. I hope it gets one more season next year.

  16. If Rainn, John and Jenna do not renew= it’s time to end to show. Don’t make it like That 70’s Show after Ashton and Topher left.

  17. They’ve only just started to regain a bit of momentum and figure out what works post-Michael. I wouldn’t mind this so much if this was a summer season thing and he could come back to the show in the fall. However, it doesn’t seem to be the case, and losing Dwight would probably mean big things for The Office, and I don’t mean good things. Hope that Rainn Wilson tweet is regarding this news.

  18. I wish they would focus more on the cast they have and less on Robert California. I don’t think he adds anything. Dwight is definitely a key element of the show. Not sure how they would handle his departure. I always hoped for a Vance Refrigeration spin off. Cool overlap opportunities without taking away from the original.

  19. i wouldn’t mind something like this but only after the office offically ended. tbh though, i feel like we’ve already ‘exhausted’ dwight’s character so i can’t really say if this would be a legit show or just a crappy spinoff.

  20. @Dinkin Flicka

    That’s the problem! They’ve finally found what works post-Michael, but I think they’ve already figured out that the ratings aren’t jumping either. Plus, we don’t even know if John, Mindy, and Ed will be back next year. They have super busy schedules ahead of them and a return might be slim. I’m so worried right now.

  21. They’ve made me basically not care if the show ends this season or next or whether Dwight gets a spin-off. How about focusing on making this season good b/c it’s been pretty uneven and, dare I say bad, so far.

  22. They knew the ratings would fall some when Michael left. The Andy as boss and RC around isn’t working to keep viewers interested. There is so much talent on this show I 100% think the show has plenty of life. They just need to get back to the basic.

  23. I hate this idea. I like pretty much everything about The Office staff and their ideas. I have a strong feeling this is NBC behind this crappy idea.

    Even if it turns out half as funny as Parks and Rec (the most spin-off-ish series) it will take yet another familiar face away from Dunder Mifflin. Not cool!

  24. Some thoughts:

    1. Must have Mike Schur as Mose. In every episode.
    2. Can it run parallel to the Office (ie, Dwight doesn’t have to quit his job, presuming the Office is still running then)? I’m not sure if that’s possible, but if so, I’d like to see that happen. Just don’t kill the Office for this.
    3. When is “midseason 2013”? Summer? Spring? January? A Winter/Spring debut would align this with the Arrested Development return, which would just awesome.
    4. “Family farm”? Could Angela be carried over to this new show too?
    5. Does Rainn Wilson’s “don’t believe everything you hear in the press” tweet have anything to do with this?
    6. This article reads like Rob Lowe’s twitter account meets some ridiculous fan theory.
    7. When was John Krasinski allegedly “hinting that this could be his final season”? I heard that he was on for the long haul!

  25. I doubt it has anything to do with ratings and it has more to do with they intended on ending the series in season 9.

    The ratings are very slowly climbing up. They got their 3.0 share back and it’s back at 6 million viewers. A steady increase the past few episodes.

  26. No spin-off. Rainn is more than Dwight Schrute. Most great shows go less than 8 seasons, let The Office go out before it gets worse. They’ve all got incredible careers now so they won’t be hurting for work.

  27. I really hope this doesn’t happen.
    There’s no question that Dwight and Mose are awesome characters, but still the writers have to know when to call it quits.
    It’s quality not quantity that’s important!

  28. As far as the Dwight spin-off goes, bad idea jeans. The impending end of The Office, probably after Season 9, is inevitable. Don’t be sorry when it’s over, be glad it happened in the first place.

  29. I am not initially excited by this although others have some great “must-haves” to make it work. Thinking through comments, it seems to make sense. JK & EH have been doing movies; I think JF mentioned at THR round table she would like to take time off so those 3 may not want to do another tv series, at least immediately. RW has not been as successful with movies so he may have more interest. I wonder how likely it is to get all 4 back for S9? From a series standpoint, I have always wondered if Jim&Pam/John&Jenna chemistry S1-4 and occasionally seen after that could be recreated in another venue. It has never made sense to me TO has not capitalized on that more in recent seasons.

  30. I’m all for it. After 8 years, this show needs a shake up. I think the premise of watching Dwight off on his own adventures sounds great, plus I think they need to send the rest of the main characters (Jim, Pam) out behind the barn. This show needs something new and fresh to revitalize it and that won’t happen until the cast gets a few changes.

  31. Like most of you, I am not a fan of this idea. That being said, I am a fan of every single cast member and I will follow and support them in whatever they do. I watched a couple John Krasinski movies that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with but I do it to show my support. All of you are fans too or you wouldn’t be on Jennie’s site. So, I suggest we stop all the negativity and show our support! :)

  32. This could work, IF… 1) Michael Scott returns to Scranton, his marriage to Holly having failed, 2) Dunder Mifflin does NOT re-hire Michael, 3) desperate, Michael turns to Dwight and asks if he can take him in at Schrute Farms, 4) Dwight eagerly agrees and lets him stay rent free, since Michael is his true love (in a non-gay way, as close to it as two men can be without it being romantic/sexual), so much so that he would rather have a chaste relationship with Michael than a sexual one with Angela or Isabel.

  33. I’ll be waiting for the day when B.J. Novak, Rainn Wilson, Paul Lieberstein, Ricky Gervais, and some of the same people that made The Office reunite to make another fantastic show!

  34. Did this show get picked up at the upfronts

    [ from tanster: i don’t think this show was mentioned during the upfronts presentation. ]

  35. Why wouln’t they call it Schrute Farm? I think Dwight as a farmer in a “city” job made the character hilarious and ever developing. I can’t see where having him on the farm would promote the humour the other scenario had.

  36. I have always loved the Office, even though it’s faltered with Michael Scott’s absence. I will watch any and all spin offs because anything these guys do beats the heck out of all the reality shows we are being saturated with!

  37. Cheers and Frasier did it (personally liked Frasier more). All in the Family and the Jeffersons did it. Diffrent Strokes and the Facts of Life did it. The Cosby Show and A Different World did it.

    It’s possible for a spin-off to be successful AND good.

  38. @Trevor

    Right. Because all potential spinoffs should be judged by that singular example. Never mind the wildly successful NBC shows like Law & Order SVU, Frasier, A Different World, The Facts of Life, Adam 12, etc… all spin-offs.

    All networks have a low success rate when it comes to spin-offs, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying when given an opportunity. For every ten “Baywatch Nights,” There’s a “Laverne and Shirley” waiting to happen.

  39. Dwight works on two levels – he’s one of the best characters on TV ever, thanks to Rainn’s talent, but the character works because a wildly overzealous beet farmer in an office setting is hilarious.

    So we keep the former and lose the latter with this move. You’ve still got genius Rainn, but you lose the appeal of context.

    Mose, same thing. Hilarious character because of the small doses of him.

    Could work, can predict lots of guest appearances.

  40. I have no problems with a spin off, as long as Dwight appears in all 22 episodes of the last season! Do you imagine the last ep of season 9 without him??? I want him to stay with the rest of the office workers until the end!!

  41. What about Mannheim and other Dwight’s relatives from Argentina? can we expect to see them in the ‘FARM’?

  42. Season 9 will be the last seaon for The Office from what I’ve read in a few articles but I thought it would be neat if maybe some episodes from “The Farm” could have something to do with “The Office” after all doesn’t Schrute Farms need paper as well? Plus I hope that we get a heavy dose of cameos from the cast of The Office seeing how Dwight’s farm is so near to Dunder Mifflin….anyways thanks for all the laughs guys it was a nice run!

  43. Somebody start a petition for The Farm!! It can’t end. They should at least do one season and give it a shot.

  44. I feel bad for Rainn and Paul that The Farm isn’t going to happen now, but selfishly, I’m so happy that Dwight will now stay in the show until the end – as he should be! I wonder if this now means there’s hope for Dwangela…

  45. Aw that’s too bad and somewhat surprising. Has NBC already forgotten Frasier? I thought we would be having Dwight Schrute for another 9 years!

  46. Very disappointed to hear this news. Rainn Wilson is not only a superb actor, but he’s incredibly intelligent and I feel in co-creating The Farm, he got it right. I believe it would have been a hit, carrying over Office fans, and creating a whole new fan base.

  47. Not to sound mean, but I’m glad. Because I want Dwight to be manager just like how it ended in the UK series!

  48. The way this was handled was harsh even for NBC. Rainn Wilson deserves so much better. With his talent, and popularity, he’s on to new things (at ABC? FOX? HBO?). Good luck to Rainn!

  49. Er, I’m not the only one who is kind-of relieved, right?

    I feel like this would have been a complete disaster. No real logic behind that notion other than I think people are tired of The Office (including some fans, it looks like) and, though Rainn would be the only common denominator, this would have felt like an extension of the original rather than its own show.

    Spin-offs of long-standing shows also have a hit-or-miss record, too — and why ‘Frasier’ worked but ‘Joey’ didn’t is forever a mystery to the networks (though not to fans). I love Rainn’s silliness, but I don’t see him as enough to carry a whole program unless he had amazing chemistry with the people cast as his family.

  50. After sifting through articles online it appears that they will still air this episode of dwight on the farm.

    Yet surprisingly I have not seen anyone talk about what this means for Dwight Schrute remaining on the show through to the end of Season 9. Is this not something people are interested in? What do people think?

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