Finland getting its own version of ‘The Office’

Finland is getting its own branch of The Office, with Finnish comedian Sami Hedberg taking on the role of office manager Pentti Markkanen (or the equivalent of David Brent/Michael Scott).

Finnish companies Elisa Entertainment and Nelonen have picked up the show for two eight-episode seasons. Production is set to begin at the end of the month. Instead of taking place in Slough (UK) or Scranton (US), the Finnish version will take place in the town of Riihimaki, a town 64 kilometres north of Helsinki, that is only famous for having the highest flagpole in Finland.

The Office has been incredibly popular since its founding by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The Office is a rare case of a British series getting adapted for the Nordic territories, who are generally large fans of British television (in fact, we have a British TV channel) but prefer originals to remakes. Sweden commissioned a local version of The Office, but it was dropped after only two seasons in 2012-13.

The Office has found success through adaptation, particularly in the U.S, where NBC’s version of the show, which originally starred Steve Carrell, ran for nine seasons. The German version of The Office (called Stromberg) ran for five seasons and produced a spin-off feature film. The series has also be adapted in France, Chile, Israel and the French-speaking Canada.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.