- - Thursday, March 22, 2012

Talk about office politics.

NBC is searching for a new show-runner to replace Paul Lieberstein on its top-rated comedy “The Office.”

Mr. Lieberstein — who currently heads the writing staff, produces and co-stars as Toby — is looking to shift his focus from the network’s Thursday staple to “The Farm,” the rumored Dwight Schrute spinoff the network currently is developing.

The potential spinoff would take “Office” star Rainn Wilson out of Scranton and onto the Schrute family farm with Mr. Lieberstein attached as a co-creator. The comedy concept is expected to get a test later this season on an episode of “The Office.”


Should the farm-focused project move forward, Mr. Lieberstein would serve as show-runner while still participating on “The Office” in a reduced capacity, with Mr. Wilson departing the flagship series altogether.

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The shake-up for NBC’s No. 1-rated comedy comes two months after Fox picked up a comedy pilot from “Office” co-star Mindy Kaling. If ordered to series, Miss Kaling — whose Universal Television deal expires in June — would depart the NBC series and focus on the Fox gig.

In addition, head writer Daniel Chun inked an overall deal with rival ABC Studios in late February and is also considering his future with the series.

For their part, “Office” stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer are in talks to return for a ninth season, sources told the Hollywood Reporter late last month, though none has a deal in place. Mr. Helms, meanwhile, has booked a guest turn in Miss Kaling’s untitled Fox pilot.

“Well I think obviously Steve [Carell] left last year and it just opened up all kinds of possibilities and opportunities not just for myself but the whole cast,” Mr. Helms told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. “I think any time the boat is rocked, it’s a good thing and an exciting thing and an opportunity.”

‘The Situation’ gets treatment for prescription drug use

The party is on hold for “the Situation.” “Jersey Shore” cast member Mike Sorrentino is getting treatment for prescription medication use.

Sorrentino said he is voluntarily seeking to “take control” of medication he was taking to deal with exhaustion.

The 29-year-old reality star known for his steel abs made the acknowledgment on Facebook and his personal website after gossip sites reported he was in rehab.

Sorrentino said he has “spent the past several weeks getting treatment for this problem and recuperating from my work and appearance schedule.” He didn’t specify the medication.

An email from MTV said the network has no comment but is “looking forward” to the entire cast returning for a sixth season of the hit reality show.

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