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According to various reports from the TCA press show this week, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) will leave The Office before the season finale.
- TV Line: Steve Carell will be leaving before the season finale; his final episode will air before May sweeps. Executive producer Greg Daniels is expected to write Michael’s final episode. Kathy Bates will return as Jo Bennett to pick Michael’s replacement. The season finale is planned to be 1 hour.
- HitFix: Alan Sepinwall reports that Michael Scott will leave with four episodes left in the season; Holly Flax will leave two episodes before Michael leaves. The final four episodes will center on who might replace Michael, including possible external candidates. Among the current cast, there are three contenders: Andy, Dwight, and Darryl. Todd Packer (David Koechner) is scheduled to appear in another episode and sit at Michael’s desk. Whoever the replacement ends up being, the show will not center around that character the way it centered around Michael Scott. Two new cast members may be added next season.
- TV Guide: Danny Chun reveals that Michael Scott’s finale will take place in episode 22 or 23, as part of a 4 to 5 episode arc.
- New York Magazine: Kelly will also be interested in replacing Michael.
Tipsters: Shane, Greg