Tuned In

Post-Carell Life for The Office; Also, Emerson As the New Boss?

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Variety is reporting that The Office has signed B.J. Novak, who writes for and plays Ryan on the series, to a new two-year deal, which will elevate him to executive producer. For those of you who have wondered if NBC will perpetuate the series after the departure of Steve Carell, who leaves after this season—well, you can do the math.

Which returns us to the question of who should replace Michael Scott as boss. (Today’s news, of course, makes me wonder if a promotion is in Ryan’s future.) Barring a promotion from within—Kelly Kapoor has been suggested, and somewhat foreshadowed, on the show—one idea (not my own) that really grabs me is casting Lost’s Michael Emerson. I first find it mentioned at Television Without Pity, and I’m not entirely sure if they meant it tongue-in-cheek, but I love the idea; Emerson’s a dramatic actor with fantastic timing and comic chops (who’s done a fair amount of farce on stage), and he’d be well able to work within The Office’s drama-comedy range.

Speaking of which, Emerson will be on your screens this fall in, of all things, the PBS documentary God in America, in which he plays Gov. John Winthrop—sort of the Ben Linus of Puritan Massachusetts. I’ve never been a fan of dramatic re-enactments in documentaries, but he does nail the role. See around 2:10 for a clip:

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