Version of television series "The Office" being developed for China (updated).

Posted: 22 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link
The Guardian, 13 August 2010, Adam Gabbatt: "Having exported The Office to six countries, including the US and Israel, Ricky Gervais has set himself an even bigger challenge: translating the dreary mundanity of life in a Slough paper merchants for viewers in the People's Republic of China. ... The original sitcom, which was first broadcast in the UK in 2001, has been sold to some 70 territories around the world by BBC Worldwide. ... Given that media outlets in China operate under tight state control, the level of Gervais and [co-writer Stephen] Merchant's involvement could be smaller than that it has been in other incarnations... '"

AP, 16 August 2010, Anita Chang: "Gervais did not give any clues about the timing of the Chinese show but the project appeared to be in the early stages. A spokeswoman for BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's commercial arm which licensed some international versions of the show, said there was 'no deal in place, no broadcaster, no production company.'"

Update: Deadline.com, 21 August 2010, Tim Adler: "The BBC has now admitted to me that it is indeed developing a Mandarin version of the show with NY-based film financier John Heyman, father of Harry Potter producer David Heyman. So a Hong Kong subsidiary of Heyman’s World Film Group is developing The Office with BBC exec Pierre Cheung in Beijing. There’s no broadcaster on board yet. Auntie has already sold The Office format to the U.S., Chile, France, Germany, Israel, and Quebec. Next week BBC Worldwide is hosting BBC Showcase China, a screening event for over 100 Chinese TV buyers in Beijing including state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), as well as regional, local and digital networks."