Sunday, April 21, 2024

“The Office”: Ricky Gervais Odds Get Higher as Possible Head Honcho

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There’s news today that Will Arnett has joined the cast of a Lorne Michaels-produced pilot co-starring Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph. That most certainly means that Arnett will not be the new boss on “The Office,” even though Ricky Gervais first told me on Golden Globe night that he wanted him. And so the mystery of who will succeed Steve Carell deepens. With Arnett scratched from the list, it seems more and more possible that Gervais himself will take the spot. (Will Ferrell, coming in for four episodes, returns to films.) Gervais re-appears in the final episode of “The Office” after making his debut back on January 27th as a sales guy looking for a job.

Gervais had told me that the January 27th episode would give a big clue about who’s going to run Dunder Mifflin. Gervais has his animated show with HBO, “The Ricky Gervais Show,” but that certainly wouldn’t preclude joining “The Office.” And as I reported recently, Gervais’s production partner, Stephen Merchant, who helped develop “The Office” in Britain, recently visited the American set. We’ll keep an eye on this, because with Arnett signed up for something else, all bets are off now.

PS Last week’s episode of “The Office,” called “Garage Sale,” was Emmy worthy for acting, writing, and directing. A perfect episode. The engagement of Michael and Holly was just sublime. Carell deserves Best Actor, and I do hope Amy Ryan is nominated for Best Actress. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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