The Office US vs. The Office UK

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Difference between The Office US and The Office UK

The Office, which is about the day to day lives of office employees who work in a fictitious paper company was first produced as a British television comedy broadcasted in the United Kingdom on BBC in 2001. Although fictional and scripted, the show takes the appearance of a mockumentary, with the existence of the camera often recognized. The Office US is basically an adaptation of the BBC series, with the creators of the original show, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant being executive producers and also co-writers of some of the episodes. Although both shows had tremendous success in their respective countries, they are noticeably different from each other.

The Office US
The Office UK


The British series revolves around four main characters and several secondary characters. The main characters include David Brent who is the general manager of the of the Wernham Hogg paper merchants. Tim is a sales representative at Wernham Hogg. Gareth is Tim's clueless desk mate and arch-rival. Dawn is Wernham Hogg's receptionist. Some of the secondary characters include, Big Keith, Finchy, Jennifer, Lee, Glynn, Malcolm, Ricky and many more. Their American counterparts include Michael Scott, regional manager of the branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Jim, the star salesman; Pam, the receptionist; Dwight Schrute, Angela Martin, Ryan Howard and many more.


The shows have different types of audiences, which are crucial for the show’s success. The UK show was created primarily for British audiences, with references to British culture. After its long running success in British TV, it has also received success in over 80 countries including the USA. Whereas the US version of the show has been a great hit in the US, and several other countries which include the United Kingdom, the show was named The Office: An American Workplace, to differentiate from the original version. It has also aired in Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, France, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway, Philippines, Australia, Turkey and South Korea.


The Office UK has received the Best TV Comedy award, and Gervais the Best TV Comedy Actor award, at the British Comedy Awards. In 2004, won the Golden Globe for "Best Television Series: Musical or Comedy". It was the only British comedy in 25 years to be nominated for a Golden Globe, and the first ever to win one. Gervais was also awarded the Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series: Musical or Comedy" for his role. The US version has won over 19 awards including the Golden Globe, Emmy awards, Writers Guild of America, Peabody awards and many more. Although both of have won their fair share of awards but Entertainment weekly has put the UK version on its "best-of" list, stating that it’s better than the US version.


  • Both shows have the same theme, a mockumentary comedy based in an office place that sells paper and shows daily cubicle affairs.
  • The characters of both versions share some resemblance but are different to suit their respective country’s audiences.
  • The UK version has reached far more audiences in many more countries than the US version but the US version has had its fair share of success globally as well.
  • The UK version has received some awards not received by any other British show which shows how much of an impact the show has had on audiences worldwide. The US version has had its fair share of success as well.

And the winner is?
  • The Office US
  • The Office UK

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