Casting Rashida Jones in a different role than her Office character Karen kept Parks and Rec from being a spinoff. But executive producer Paul Lieberstein did have a unique way to do it: On The Office, a copy machine breaks and throughout the episode a repairman tries to fix it. At the end of the episode, the machine is loaded on a truck and refurbished in a warehouse. Then the copier is loaded onto another truck and taken to Pawnee, Indiana, where it’s dropped off in the Parks and Recreation office. In a twist on “spinoff” tradition, the character spun off would have been the copy machine. Producers briefly considered the idea, but ultimately Parks and Rec was its own creation.
How “Parks and Recreation” could have been an “Office” spinoff, from TV Guide’s 10 Things You Didn’t Know About NBC’s “The Office” (via angelanoellemartin)