• The Office, which the latest Nielsen numbers show is the most popular licensed series on Netflix right now, debuted on NBC 15 years ago today.
  • Thanks to the novel coronavirus and the quarantines and shutdown orders it’s spurred, the show is one of the Netflix series viewers are especially bingeing right now while we’re all hunkering down at home.
  • Watch the opening moments of the show, Episode 1 of which debuted on this date back in 2005, below.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Fifteen years ago today, the world was introduced for the first time to a loveable, bumbling, frequently-inappropriate regional manager of a paper supply company named Michael Scott who became a central character in NBC’s beloved, 9-season workplace comedy The Office.

It’s head-spinning to think how different the world was back then. The iPhone was still a few years away. No one really knew the name Barack Obama yet. Heck, we could still come and go as we please, pre-global pandemic. You can check out the first few moments of the show’s inaugural season below, but one reason this is an anniversary especially worth highlighting now has to do with the fact that millions of us are stuck at home right now thanks to the novel coronavirus, with little to do but work from home and find ways to keep ourselves entertained.

Netflix, which is still streaming all nine seasons of The Office through the end of this year, is one of the most popular quarantine entertainment options. And, according to Nielsen data obtained by Variety, it seems that the most popular licensed show on Netflix right now is none other than, you guessed it, everybody’s favorite mockumentary about the crew in Scranton.

Check out the opening moments of the first episode, which debuted on this day back in 2005. In this clip, we see Michael Scott reviewing Jim Halpert’s quarterly numbers and then piping up when Jim admits he can’t close a particular sale. “So, you’ve come to the master for guidance? Is this what you’re saying, grasshopper?”

“Uh, actually, you called me in here…”

As a reminder, the series will roll off of Netflix at the end of this year ahead of shifting over to exclusively stream on NBC’s new streaming service called Peacock, for which the network paid a reported $500 million to secure the exclusive streaming rights. Since airing on NBC, the series’ impact has been felt far and wide, thanks in part to one of its writers (Mike Schur, who also portrayed Dwight Schrute’s cousin Mose in The Office) going on to help create a handful of other similarly popular sitcoms including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place.

The Office showrunner Greg Daniels has a new show coming to Amazon soon, called Upload. The Office star Steve Carell is starring in a new comedy called Space Force that’s coming soon to Netflix, and he’s also a co-star in The Morning Show, on Apple TV+.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.