Well that didn’t take long. Hollywood is all about jumping on a real life event take our dollars for box office profits or milk us for television ratings and the coronavirus pandemic is no difference. At least the first reported project based on COVID-19 will have a funny spin because Ben Silverman and Paul Lieberstein, former executive producers of The Office, are taking inspiration from the current situation for a remote workplace comedy series that is currently in the works.
Silverman and Lieberstein were inspired to work on the comedy series because, like most of us working from home, the duo has turned to the video chat service Zoom to work remotely since Hollywood has essentially gone dark due to the pandemic. Silverman explains this is the very genesis behind the series:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
The new series will be set around a wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day. The project will be executive produced by Lieberstein along with Silverman and Howard Owens. Big Breakfast’s Luke Kelly-Clyne and Kevin Healey and Propagate’s Rodney Ferrell will also serve as executive producers.
Silverman and Lieberstein executive produced what is arguably one of the most popular modern day comedy series in The Office. The duo shared in the 2006 Best Comedy series win for show and Lieberstein even co-starred on the series as Toby Flenderson. He also went on to serve as executive producer on two other workplace comedy series, The Newsroom and Ghosted.
The good thing about this series is that it’s not about the pandemic and more about what the pandemic has made the new normal for most of us. Besides using Zoom to work from home, I’ve used it for virtual happy hours with friends and as a gathering for trivia tournaments since the “stay at home” order was started. Various talk shows and news outlets have also had some of its hosts and anchors working remotely through video chat instead of being in close corners with various people in person. The process started out clunky for some, but it has gradually gotten better as we all adjust to getting work done during an unprecedented time for all of us.
Are YOU interested in this potential new series?