From Variety today:

NBC has greenlit a spinoff of “The Office” that will debut after the Super Bowl, and will put “Saturday Night Live” in primetime for four weeks next fall.

SPINOFF??!?!?!?! ARGH!

Other interesting tidbits from the NBC lineup announcement. I’ve bolded things for emphasis:

* NBC has acquired a series take on the Camelot legend called “Merlin” that will anchor the net’s winter Sunday sked at 8 p.m. FremantleMedia is distributing the series, which was produced by Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group for the BBC. Shine recently acquired the Silverman-founded Reveille production outfit.

Cast of “Merlin” includes Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Skein just began production for the BBC, which plans to air it in the fall.

* “Friday Night Lights” will be back–but not until the winter. “ER,” “30 Rock,” “Medium” and “Law & Order” have also been renewed, as has “Lipstick Jungle.” Peacock lableled “ER’s” next season its last.

* Matthew Broderick has been booked for the season finale of “30 Rock.”

* NBC will use the post-Super Bowl berth to air a special episode of “The Office,” followed by the previously reported “Office” spinoff.

Peacock will once again air hourlong “Office” episodes in September. In October, “The Office” will be followed by the tentatively titled “SNL Thursday Night Live,” a live half-hour of politically-themed sketches geared to the election. Primetime “SNL” will air for four weeks.

* “Scrubs” is not on NBC’s schedule for next season and has been expected to move to ABC.

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