From its roots as a hit British TV series, “The Office” has spread worldwide. The United States and various other countries have created their own versions of a documentary-style show that chronicles the lives of employees at a struggling paper goods company. Different versions of “The Office” have produced different versions of its central characters – including lead salesman Jim Halpert.
Halpert is a major focus of the U.S. Version of “The Office.” The show explores his relationship with co-worker and eventual wife Pam Beasley, his rivalry with fellow salesman Dwight Schrute, and his dealings with incompetent boss Michael Scott.
This character shows up in various versions of “The Office” and each one offers their own unique spin:
Tim Canterbury, played by Martin Freeman, is the prototype for Jim Halpert on the original UK series. Many of the characteristics and storylines are similar. He is funny and friendly. He thinks his job is pointless. Canterbury loves pulling pranks on the assistant to the regional manager. He also pursues a romance with the receptionist. Canterbury also receives a promotion like Jim to become the regional manager. He turns it down, however, while Jim takes the job.
The French version of the show, Le Bureau, debuted in 2006. It introduced Paul Delorme as the French equivalent of Halpert and Canterbury. The show lasted only six episodes, giving it no time to develop Delorme in any manner that deviated from Halpert/Canterbury blueprint.
Although the creators of "Stromberg" insist their show is not based on "The Office," they are not fooling anyone. The German counterpart of Jim Halpert on that show is Ulf Steinke. He does not care for his job as well, but is presented as a more macho man into sports and other typical male interests. He does marry his Pam counterpart in the show's fourth season.
“La Job,” another French language version of “The Office” that aired in Quebec, introduced Louis Tremblay. It lasted just 12 episodes. Tremblay harbors a secret crush on the receptionist, like in the other versions. Nothing is developed beyond this plot point with his character.
About the only difference in the Spanish language version, “La Ofis,” between Jim Halpert and Diego Ramírez is the name. It lasted just one season in Chile in 2008.
“HaMisrad,” the Israeli version, introduces Yossi. He is sarcastic and underachieving like other versions of Halpert. The main difference here is the setting. The office Yossi works for has a mix of Christians, Jews and Arabs. Those cultural and religious differences play a major role in episodes of “HaMisrad.”
“Kontoret” is the latest international version of “The Office” and Erik Lundkvist is the character who matches Jim Halpert in this incarnation. Lundkvist is smart, funny and hates his job. He also harbors a crush on the receptionist, Therese Johansson.