NBC's long running hit single-camera comedy The Office is currently facing down an unknown future. While the show itself is pretty much a lock to return in the fall for its ninth season, just who exactly will be working in the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin at that time is still very much up in the air. It's been known for months now that James Spader would not be coming back to his short-lived role of Robert California, and fan favorite Rainn Wilson is headed off early next season to star in his own Dwight-centric spin-off series. Also moving to the spin-off is current Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein.
The biggest worry though is that the contracts for series leads John Krasinksi (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), and Ed Helms (Andy) still haven't been renewed. All three actors (especially Hangover star Helms) have expressed desires to have their schedules on the series cut down so that they can focus on their movie careers. This would obviously necessitate either a reduced number of episodes or new characters to be brought in to fill in the time gaps caused when the three are out shooting films.
With all that in mind, Deadline.com is reporting that executive producer Greg Daniels is in serious talks with NBC about a kind of reboot for the series. The plan being considered is one reminiscent of the last two seasons of Scrubs, in which the show is populated by a group of new characters along with some returning characters to ease viewers into the transition. This would also allow actors like Helms and Krasinski to appear on a part time basis as the old guard training the new hires. NBC has decided to wait on making a final decision about the show's direction until they've reviewed all their new pilots for the fall.
Would you watch an "Office 2.0"? Do you think the show could survive without Jim, Pam, Andy or all three? Or has the show been dead on arrival since the departure of Steve Carell?