Variety posted an article yesterday about the first official actor to be hired for the yet-unnamed OFFICE spinoff-- Aziz Ansari.  Ansari, a veteran of the MTV sketch comedy show HUMAN GIANT, is described in the article as:

A rising star on the standup circuit, Ansari has earned raves, including best standup at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, for his irony-laced takes on life. Ansari's targets include everything from the singing ice cream scoopers at Coldstone Creamery to racism and homophobia.

In addition to serving as a writer, exec producer and performer on "Human Giant," Ansari also guested as a racist fruit vendor on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" -- and recently opened for the Conchords on a series of concert dates.

[The] Comedian, who's repped by 3 Arts and UTA, is currently in Albuquerque filming scenes for the upcoming Seth Rogen feature "Observe and Report." He'll also be seen alongside Paul Rudd and Jason Segel in "I Love You, Man."

Furthermore, the article goes on to say that Daniels and Schurr have yet to decide on a concept for the spinoff, although there are several in the running.  They have hired veteran writers from EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, SOUTH PARK, and LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN to join the scripting team, and are (in the words of Greg Daniels) "meeting with a lot of cool people... We're trying to see how the pieces all fit together."

Going along with the previous rumor, Rashida Jones's name popped up again in the article, as it mentions that a telent holding deal has been struck between her reps and NBC/Universal.  Whether she'll be appearing in the spinoff, THE OFFICE, or 'none of the above' is yet to be determined. As of now, the idea that any of the cast of the original show will be moving over to the new spinoff seems highly unlikely.

(so much for our Andy theory!)

On the homefront, the article also brings word that several new writers have been hired for the show including '"Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig, "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "New Adventures of Old Christine" vet Aaron Shure and "Saturday Night Live" writer Charlie Grandy."'

Paul Lieberstein will also become an executive producer for season five.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Good old Kristin over at E! is claiming that a source is telling her that Rashida Jones is going to be involved in The Office spinoff.  Doesn't sound very solid, however, since no one else will confirm and Jones' people are denying that she's been approached.

Read the article HERE.

Personally, I've never been a huge "Karen" fan (she never seemed to exist beyond being Jim's temporary "Pam replacement" in my eyes), but what the hell. I just hope (as I've said before) that the spinoff simply isn't "The Office Utica."

Category:general -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT

I missed the show tonight, but both Brian Baumgartner and Kate Flannery served as guest celebrity judges on NBC's "Last Comic Standing."  The episode was filmed in Minneapolis, and since Brian Baumgartner is a hometown boy, he sat down for a talk with a reporter from the Pioneer Press about his experiences with the show.

From the article:

On the folks who auditioned: "Generally, I was really impressed, but there were the wacky people. ... I remember very specifically this woman with a goose, I think she was trying to be Old Mother Hubbard, but she had a live goose and I couldn't stop laughing. She was trying to have it do tricks and flap its wings. There were people with takeoffs on the whole Ole and Lena stereotype thing."

It's a brief read, but you can check out the rest of the article HERE.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

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