The US version of The Office looked destined to join the long list of failed stateside remakes of British TV shows after its debut season.
It inherited a winning blueprint from the Ricky Gervais version across the pond, but stuck to it too rigidly, regurgitating its first season more or less scene for scene, give or take a few name changes and American accents.
Dunder Mifflin and its employees felt largely pointless to fans of the British Office, bringing nothing new to the paper company's proverbial table, but this changed dramatically in season two when the showrunners made the bold decision to ditch the blueprint and allow the series to stand on its own two feet.
Only when The Office US began to tell original stories did it come into its own and find a unique voice. Michael Scott turned out to be a thoroughly more endearing boss than David Brent, though no less socially or professionally inept, and the supporting cast also proved more than pale imitations of their Wernham Hogg counterparts.
With a larger episode count to flesh out these characters, the show was able to bide its time building relationships and rivalries with a level of depth the UK version was denied (though expert pacing and writing helped it more than compensate).
Did it ever hit the heights of the Gervais original? Not quite, but the American Office had both quality and quantity on its side for much of its nine-season run, and this all began with its stellar second series.