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British ‘Office’ set for Netflix debut

Series heading to BBC America on Demand

Ricky Gervais’ character on the British incarnation of “The Office” may be an idiot, but the purveyors of his misadventures at BBC Worldwide America are proving a bit more shrewd. The show’s first and second seasons of the show are now being offered for the first time through Netflix and on pay-per-view VOD website Vuze. Starting in the fall, the show will also be available on BBC America on Demand, a channel offered by Comcast and Time Warner.

It’s a mark of the BBC sitcom’s popularity that Netflix has optioned it; the online DVD rental company leads the market with six million subscribers.

The shows are available on VOD website Vuze (www.vuze.com) for a 99-cent “rental” fee that will download the show to an external Java-based player. While the streaming content on most American networks’ websites is offered for free and contains advertising spots, the Vuze shows will be available without ads.

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