Comedy fans in the Czech Republic will soon get to squirm at the antics of their very own David Brent after the BBC’s commercial arm signed a deal for a local version of the hit Ricky Gervais series, The Office.
BBC Worldwide has agreed a format deal with Czech Television which will make a six-episode run for broadcast on CT1.
Based on the multi-award winning UK original, the Czech version marks the ninth international sale of the format.
Casting for the series has begun and actor, Václav Kopta, is confirmed to play the lead part of Marek Chvála, the local version of David Brent. The Office will be renamed as Kancl, slang for office or workplace, and instead of Slough, the series will be set in Brno.
Gervais, who starred in and co-created The Office, commented, “I’m extremely flattered and excited that there is about to be a new version of The Office.
“Prague was the first place in the world to produce a stage version, so I’m very glad a local adaptation is coming to TV too. Cue jokes about Gervais and another fat Cheque”
BBC Worldwide’s Duncan Cooper, Executive Producer of formats and local production, will work with Czech Television on the show’s development.
Cooper, commented, “The Office is an incredibly adaptable show with local versions proving extremely popular around the globe. Recently successful second seasons have been produced in Israel and Sweden.
“It’s brilliant how it resonates with such varied audiences, and cultures, from the USA to Chile and it is always fascinating to see a new cast and how they interpret the characters. I am really looking forward to meeting and working with the Czech David Brent and of course his long suffering team!”
David Ziegelbauer, Creative Producer at Czech Television, also commented, “The Office’s unique and embarrassing humour is intimately familiar to most people.
“We’ve treated The Office scripts with great respect, conscious to preserve the genius of the originals, while tailoring them to the Czech audience. I am confident that we are bringing a new kind of entertainment to Czech Republic audiences.”