Carrell heads to ‘Office’

Thesp in talks to star as the insufferable boss

NBC is firming up the cast for its adaptation of Golden Globe-winning U.K. comedy “The Office.”

Steve Carrell (“The Daily Show”) is in talks to star as the insufferable boss, a character patterned after Ricky Gervais’ character in the British “Office.”

In addition to his Golden Globe as exec producer of “The Office,” Gervais also scored a trophy as best actor in a TV comedy this week for his role as David Brent.

NBC execs stress that the U.S. version is inspired by the BBC-produced “The Office” but is not a script-by-script copy. (That’s in comparison to the Peacock’s failed carbon copy of BBC’s “Coupling,” in which the U.S. version used virtually the same scripts.)

As a result, the U.S. version’s lead character has been named Michael Scott. And while Carrell is considered a shoo-in for the role, he’s also currently committed to the midseason NBC laffer “Come to Papa.” Net execs are currently working out that conflict.

Carrell will be seen in the upcoming Will Farrell movie “Anchorman.” Credits also include “Bruce Almighty” and the short-lived NBC laffer “Watching Ellie.”

Meanwhile, confirmed to the U.S. “Office” cast are Rainn Wilson, who plays oddball Dwight; Jenna Fischer, as put-upon assistant Pam; and John Kasinski, attached as likeable Jim.

Greg Daniels (“King of the Hill”) is writing and exec producing the U.S. version, along with Ben Silverman and Howard Klein. Universal Network TV and Silverman’s Reveille shingle are producing.

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