"The Office" Eyes a China Branch

Creator Ricky Gervais continues global push

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Aug 16, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM CDT
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British funnyman Ricky Gervais called on the writing crew from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" when he presented the award for outstanding writing for a Variety, Music Or Comedy Series.

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"The Office" is about to open up a branch in China, the latest setting for a brand of cubicle humor that translates into any language.

"We are about to start work on developing a Chinese 'The Office.' How cool is that?" show co-creator Ricky Gervais wrote on his blog recently.

In addition to the original British program, there are versions in the U.S., France, Germany, Chile, Israel and Quebec.

Gervais joked on his blog the show might not air if Beijing sees his latest project, "An Idiot Abroad," where he sends a culturally clueless friend on a trip around the world.

Gervais did not give any clues about the timing of the Chinese show but the project appeared to be in the early stages. A spokeswoman for BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's commercial arm which licensed some international versions of the show, said there was "no deal in place, no broadcaster, no production company."

The 49-year-old is also working with long term collaborator Stephen Merchant on a new project - Life's Too Short - about the day-to-day frustrations of a dwarf.

Selected Reading: rickygervais.com, BBC, NBC.

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