Amazon opens ‘The Office’ in Australia on Prime Video

Felicity Ward

Amazon-owned SVOD Prime Video has ordered an Australian adaptation of BBC Studios scripted comedy format The Office, with the first-ever female lead for the franchise.

Actor and comedian Felicity Ward (Wakefield, The Inbetweeners 2) will star in the series as Hannah Howard, the managing director of packaging company Flinley Craddick.

When she gets news from head office that they will be shutting down her branch and making everyone work from home, she goes into survival mode, making promises she can’t keep in order to keep her “work family” together.

The Office UK

The Office Australia is co-produced by BBC Studios ANZ, part of BBC Studios International Production and Formats division, Bunya Entertainment, and Amazon Studios. Julie De Fina is head writer and will executive produce alongside Jackie van Beek and Kylie Washington, while Sophia Zachariou, Linda Micsko and Greet Simpkin serve as lead producers.

Production on the eight-part Australian Amazon original series will commence in Sydney, Australia, in June, with filming to take place over eight weeks. Also starring are Edith Poor, Steen Raskopoulos, Shari Sebbens, Josh Thomson, Pallavi Sharda and Susan Lung Young.

The original version of mockumentary series The Office was written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, airing on the UK’s BBC over 20 years ago. Gervais also starred in the show as office manager David Brent.

The format has since spawned more than a dozen remakes, including for Saudi Arabia-based MBC last year, and most notably in the US where the show ran on NBC for nine seasons.

“I’m very excited about Australia remaking my little show from the turn of the century. Office politics have changed a bit in 20 years, so can’t wait to see how they navigate a modern-day David Brent” said Gervais.

The Office has connected with audiences around the world because everyone recognises their own David Brent, and now it’s Australia’s turn,” added Kylie Washington, general manager and creative director, production, BBC Studios ANZ. “We figured the world is ready for a lovable, flawed, lady boss, ruling over her packaging empire in The Office Australia.”

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