Hollywood, CA –
The love of beets and bears is coming north thanks to a new spinoff from The Office being produced in the Austin, MB area by Hollywood and CIPP-TV.
“Shrute Farms” stars local Mennonites Josh, Christian and Benjamin Wiebe and is scheduled to begin shooting next month on a farm near MacGregor, Manitoba.
The new series will follow the adventures of Dwight Schrute as he heads north after being deported from the United States for his political views. In Canada, he is reunited with his extended Mennonite family, and brings his plans for a beet farm bed and breakfast called Shrute Farms & Beds.
The Wiebe brothers play a wild and wacky trio of cousins who go on crazy adventures with their long-lost American relative.
The Canadian Shrute Farms starts off producing hemp and table beets, but in the series opener attempt to get into growing marijuana ahead of legalization.
Josh Wiebe says the new show is an opportunity of a lifetime. “I’ve done some Prairie Players before but this is a whole new level,” Wiebe said. “The producers told us to just be our wacky Mennonite selves.”
Wiebes Josh, Christian and Benjamin will be renamed Abe, Jake and Ben Shrute for the show and star with Rainn Wilson.
Most of the story lines will revolve around beets, bears, self-defence, justice, the pursuit of self-advancement and the Mennonite world-view.
The Austin Mennonite brothers, and MacGregor farm, were exactly the type of conservative, back woods atmosphere the writers were looking for.
“These people and this place really capture the soul of the original Schrute family,” Executive Producer Ryan Coke said. “Mennonites are hilarious, and if we can let the rest of the world know this via the Schrute family we’ll have done our jobs.”
Since setting up CIPP-TV this summer, Coke has come to appreciate the quirky, stilted humour of Mennonites. “They’re great. Often they seem uncomfortable in their own skin but the next thing you know they are cracking a joke that will make you pee.”
Local Mennonite officials would not offer comment on the new show as they wish to appear opposed to such worldly attention. The same officials did indicate they would PVR each episode but deny ever seeing them.
Schrute Farms will air Sunday nights this fall on a major American network and CIPP-TV.