'The Office' becomes 'Le Bureau' as British comedy exported to France

Au revoir, Slough. Adieu, Scranton. Et bonjour, Villepinte: On Thursday, it was announced that "The Office" has become "Le Bureau." The British Broadcasting Corp.'s hit comedy-mocumentary, set in Britain in the industrial town of Slough, is being exported to France. It's the first time "The Office," written by Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais, will be produced in a language other than English, the BBC said.

But the show has already been translated from British to American: NBC bought the tongue-in-cheek, documentary-style comedy and have been rewarded with an average of 10 million viewers an episode. Steve Carrell, who plays the lead role of the "pompous and deluded" boss of a Scranton, Pennsylvania company, won a Golden Globe as best actor in a comedy series.

He followed in the steps of Gervais, who also took home one of the trophies for his portrayal of David Brent, the most famous boss in Britain, despite being fictitious. The French version of "The Office" will continue Merchant and Gervais' take on the often banal interactions in the white-collar world. "Le Bureau" is set in Villepinte, a well-known business park to the north of Paris.

Veteran actor Francois Berleand, 53, will attempt to make his character Gilles Triquet into France's version of Brent; The rest of the cast, as in the original version of the comedy, are unknown actors. Filming with the French cast has just been completed and the show will be aired on Canal Plus in the spring.

"The Office" was first broadcast in the Britain in July 2001 and ran for two series. It appeared on American screens in March 2005, and NBC has asked for a third season. The original series has been sold to 80 countries worldwide, making it the most successful BBC comedy export of all time, reports the AP.


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