BBC Worldwide clocks up ninth international format sale
LONDON — BBC Worldwide has inked a format deal with broadcaster Czech Television for a local version of “The Office.”
The six-episode series, which will be produced in-house for channel CT1, is due to go into production in January. It is the ninth international sale of the format, including the NBC version, which won multiple Emmys and a Golden Globe, as well as kudos from DGA, WGA, PGA and SAG.
The original U.K. version of “The Office,” which starred Ricky Gervais as office manager David Brent, has aired in more than 90 countries, and won both Golden Globes and BAFTAs.
Casting for the Czech series has begun and actor Vaclav Kopta is confirmed to play the lead part of Marek Chvala. The show will be renamed “Kancl,” slang for office or workplace, and the series will be set in Brno.
Gervais, co-creator of “The Office,” commented, “Prague was the first place in the world to produce a stage version, so I’m very glad a local adaptation is coming to TV too. Cue jokes about Gervais and another fat check.”
BBC Worldwide’s Duncan Cooper, executive producer of formats and local production, will work with Czech Television on the show’s development.
Cooper commented, “‘The Office’ is an incredibly adaptable show with local versions proving extremely popular around the globe. Recently successful second seasons have been produced in Israel and Sweden.
“It’s brilliant how it resonates with such varied audiences, and cultures, from the USA to Chile, and it is always fascinating to see a new cast and how they interpret the characters.”
David Ziegelbauer, creative producer at Czech Television, also commented, “‘The Office’s’ unique and embarrassing humor is intimately familiar to most people. We’ve treated ‘The Office’ scripts with great respect, conscious to preserve the genius of the originals, while tailoring them to the Czech audience. I am confident that we are bringing a new kind of entertainment to Czech Republic audiences.”