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Rainn Wilson's return to TV: 'Backstrom'

Rainn Wilson craved authority as Dwight Schrute in

Rainn Wilson craved authority as Dwight Schrute in "The Office," but in his new series he'll be leading a squad of detectives. Credit: Handout

Rainn Wilson -- who along with Steve Carell essentially made "The Office" NBC's signature series of the last decade (OK, OK, let's not argue here -- I've got news to get to -- but, sure, we can add John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer to that list, and other names later) -- will star in a new Fox drama (!) entitled "Backstrom" next season.

I know absolutely nothing about "Backstrom" except what Fox has told me: It's "based on renowned Swedish criminologist and novelist Leif G.W. Persson’s hit series of books of the same name," and Hart Hanson will produce. Hart, as you know, is a talented guy and show-runner of one of Fox's major successes, "Bones."

But Rainn ... as a detective ... on a Fox show ... based on a Swedish show? (Who's smoking what here?)

To the quotes! 

“I couldn't be more thrilled to get a chance to dig into Detective Everett Backstrom. For an actor it's rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity. He's a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire. Truly the role of a lifetime,” noted Wilson. “Hart Hanson is an incredible writer and showrunner and I couldn't be more excited to collaborate with him. Last but not least, FOX is the PERFECT home for this fun and disturbed piece of entertainment. They are passionate about the show and I'm ecstatic to be working with Kevin Reilly again (he launched “The Office” on NBC and fought tooth-and-nail for us to stay on the air, let's not forget) and to be on the same network as my frenemy, Mindy Kaling.”

But then, what else would you expect Dwight to say? 

Hart: "Naturally, all of us who worked on BACKSTROM thought it was too promising a series to die unseen and Dana and Gary were relentless in their support of the project,” added Hanson. “Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at FOX agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks FOX!”

More details about the show, which has a 13-episode order: "The series centers on Detective EVERETT BACKSTROM (three-time Emmy Award nominee Rainn Wilson, “The Office”), an offensive, irascible detective, as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Throughout the series, Backstrom leads his team, the Serious Crimes Unit, as they navigate Portland’s most sensitive cases ..."

Portland, Maine? Portland, Oregon? Portland, Kansas? (That's right; there is a Portland, Kan., and it's a great town.)

I'll get back to you on that.

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