Steve Carell leaving ‘The Office’

This post lists items related to Steve Carell’s departure from ‘The Office’ — his current contract expires at the end of Season 7.

NBC confirms Steve’s impending exit from the show (excerpts from AP):

In the network’s first acknowledgment of Carell’s plans, NBC Primetime Entertainment President Angela Bromstad said Monday the actor’s seven-year run as erratic Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott will end when his contract expires in 2011. But Bromstad said the show will go on.

“We’ve been lucky to have had him as long as we’ve had. These things happen when you have such a major movie star in a show,” she said.

“Not to diminish the departure of Steve, because that will impact the show, but we have tremendous faith in the writers and actors to keep it alive,” Bromstad said.

The door is open if he wants to make return visits to the show, Bromstad said.

Whether Michael Scott’s job will be filled by a promotion from within or an outside hire is under discussion. Bringing in a big-name star is an option, but “it’s not the front-running idea,” said Paul Lieberstein, a cast member and executive producer.

“Right now, we’re still talking about a lot of scenarios. We’re trying to get a sense of what the office is like without Steve. We want to be real: What would this office really do (if Michael Scott left)? We want to pursue this as honestly as Dunder Mifflin would,” he said.

Nobody wants to see Carell leave, said Lieberstein, who plays Toby, the embattled voice of human-resources reason.

“But what we’ll get creatively is actually very exciting. We don’t have to do auto reset at the end of the season, but we get to move on,” he said.

Previously posted items on the next page.

115 comments

  1. Typical humble Steve, and I agree that he’s underplaying how crucial he is to the show. The premise of The Office is how a bunch of workers deal with their wacky boss. Throughout all the seasons, I feel like this has remained at the core of the show. With Steve gone, I think that The Office will seem like a spin-off of itself.

  2. I hope this isn’t true. I just want the show to end when Steve Carell leaves, preferably not soon.

  3. As much as i love the show, I was sort of hoping the series would end after steve left. It would have made sense, right? But my heart sort of broke when I heard that they’re going to continue without Michael:( Office writers: you had a good run, please PLEASE end the show on a highnote. I couldn’t stand to see it get worse and worse and then eventually get canceled.

  4. The only way it will work is if David Brent replaces Michael Scott. It’s that simple, otherwise they should end the series this season, with Michael getting a happy ending.

  5. If The Office were to continue without Steve/Michael, it would go a “Scrubs” route. We all know that ended – in a disaster.

    As much as I love the show, it needs to end after Steve is gone. Without him, it’d be bland.

  6. I agree with #19 (Bebe). Put Ricky’s character “David Brent” in as Michael’s replacement. I think Steve is The Office and the show should end if Steve leaves.

  7. Everyone associated with this show, the writers, actors, producers, etc…, always come off as the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, so I hate to say anything negative about the show….but….honestly, please listen to your fans. Don’t push this thing to an 8th or 9th season. We know what will happen. We’ve all seen it many, many times before.

    You see, it isn’t just the loss of Michael that will be a problem, it’s that we’ve already spent 6 (amazing) seasons with the other ensemble characters as well. They’re great characters, but at some point….it’s time to say goodbye to them. Let them go.

    All great stories must come to an end. The Office is the story of the seven years in the life of Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight, and the rest. It isn’t just a never-ending story of some generic office with recyclable plot points and characters.

    Who knows. Maybe the writers will prove us wrong and pull a few more spectacular seasons out of their hats. If anyone can do it – it’s surely this talented group. Unfortunately, I just don’t see it happening.

  8. I think I’m in the major minority when I say that Steve has never been the focal point of the show for me, nor do I think he was supposed to be. Yeah, we’ll miss him. But there are plenty of other personalities that run rampant in workplaces that could come in and “replace” him. It would change the dynamic of the show, but a change of dynamic is not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve had the same basic people at this job for 7 years, which can be a little bit predictable. It’s about time that somebody moves on and someone new comes in… And if it was a REAL documentary crew filming the life in the office, they would NEVER leave just because a boss left. They’d get a more accurate read filming new bosses and the interactions the coworkers have with him, as well. The show is about the office, not about Michael Scott. Let’s give our writers a little bit of faith.

  9. But Steve said that he might not even leave at all, that it was going to be a “surprise”. We still have hope that season 7 isn’t his last season, right? I hope that his “surprise” is a good one, and he stays! :)

  10. This just breaks my heart. But I agree wholeheartedly with previous posts. Don’t force it. Look at X-Files when David Duchovny left. It was embarrassing and painful. End on a high note.

  11. Bottom line, “The Office” is NBC’s top rated scripted show. By a mile. And that is unlikely to change in Season 7. Like it or not, there WILL be a Season 8. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

  12. @31: With X-Files it was different. You had the two main characters and relied on both of them to carry the show. It was the character’s “passion” for the kooky alien stuff that drove the story line day after day. When Scully had to take over for Mulder as the kooky alien lady she didn’t have quite the force going behind her. Not to mention they kind of wrote her character into the background and expected two brand new characters to be the entire show. Also there were a lot of teenage girls who tuned in just to ogle Duchovny.

    I agree they shouldn’t “force” anything but I trust that the writers can come up with a good story line. When there are parts of a show that seem forced I usually think it is the network’s doing. With that whole thing where Pam was away at art school I could just hear the network executives in the background yelling “there needs to be more conflict!”

  13. @7 Matt, Could you imagine a show like friends without any of those 6? The show can’t go on if one of the actors left. It has nothing to do with the fact that they were all equals, it is about the dynamic of the show. Michael Scott may be the main character, but that is not why the show can’t go on without him. If he left the entire dynamic would change, and it just wouldn’t be the same. Just as if the show was losing Jenna, John or Rainn. They should keep the show with all the characters, or let it go. We need them all. Together.

  14. Bringing in Ricky Gervais would be ludicrous. Fortunately he would never do it.

    My hope is that if S7 is Steve’s last that they give Michael some personal growth rather than putting him in the forced “wacky” situations they did this year. Notice that the two lowest ranked episodes other than “The Banker” were episodes where Michael was OTT.

  15. he’s right. it shouldn’t be made into that big of a deal. i think the show has run its course, which is difficult for me to say, since i’ve grown so close to the show and the characters. but i don’t think it would be wise to continue the show without him. that’s a simple recipe for bad ratings. i love the office though, and i will continue to watch, no matter what decisions they make. =]

  16. @Paul

    Certainly, some stories do go on and on and on ad nauseam. I was talking about engaging, well-written stories – those are the kind that should come to a satisfying end. Soap operas, at least in my opinion, do not fall into the catergory of well-written.

    I do understand that the show isn’t just art, it’s a paycheck for all involved, and if it continues to run on NBC for the next few years at a decidely lower level of quality – I certainly won’t blame anyone for trying to make a living. I’ll just stop watching, as will others, and eventually the ratings will drop below the cost of production, and then NBC will dump the show – like another poster mentioned. I’d just hate to see that happen, though I bet the cast and crew would prefer that over being out of work!

    But, like I said, I really do have faith in the writers to pull together a better (than theh 6th) 7th season.

    And whoever mentioned Pam as the new Regional Manager gets a gold star! I’ve been reading opinions on this across the internet and NO ONE has suggested her?! It’s always Dwight, Jim or Darryl.

  17. If the show was still as strong at this moment as it ever was, I would say it could take the hit of losing Steve, or at least give it a shot. But the last few seasons have been a level lower than seasons 2-4. This isn’t anyone’s fault, I just think most of the interesting, but still somewhat believable storylines are used up. So now trying to go into Seasons 8,9, etc. with an already fading show artistically and minus your biggest star is really too much to take I think.

  18. Having David Brent take over for Michael would only work as a one-off gag for the final episode, a funny little nod to the original series. Permanently? No.

    Honestly, no one can replace Michael. He’s too versatile. You could put him in an over-the-top Dwight-type situation and it works, but you could also put him in a pining-for-the-girl JAM-type situation and it also works. He can be stupid, ignorant, brilliant, sympathetic and romantic all at once. We’ve seen Jim in charge, we’ve seen Dwight in charge, we’ve seen an outside guy in charge (Charles Minor) and while they all had their moments, in that role they pale in comparison to Michael. That’s no slight to the other actors/characters, they’re all superb in their roles. But Michael Scott/Steve Carell IS regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, period.

    Even more so than the way that the show misses something when Jim or Pam or Dwight aren’t there, The Office would have a HUGE hole in it without Michael. He’s essential.

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