Steve Carell Boosted to 'Office' Job

01/29/2004 AT 11:05 AM EST

After a reputed three-month talent hunt, NBC has finally found employees for "The Office," a pilot loosely based on the BBC's Golden Globe-winning comedy series, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Steve Carell, best known as a correspondent for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," will likely assume the lead role of a middle manager at a paper company -- played in the original series by co-creator-writer-director Ricky Gervais.

The remaining key roles would be played by Rainn Wilson ("Six Feet Under"), Jenna Fischer ("Employee of the Month") and John Krasinski.

For NBC, the pressure is on to avoid fumbling its adaptation of "The Office" -- especially after its well-publicized failure with another British comedy ("Coupling") last season. And the original "Office" is already gaining popularity in the U.S.: Just last weekend, the series scored the Golden Globe for best comedy series and for Gervais as best actor.

The wins came as something as a surprise on both sides of the Atlantic, given that its competition was "Sex and the City," "Will & Grace," "Arrested Development" and "Monk." ("The Office" airs on BBC America, the BBC's U.S. cable network.)

Gervais joked that he would use his two Globes as "bookends," though he admitted that they would no doubt boost his profile in the U.S.

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