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. Agree with most of what’s being said here, they have to quit while they’re ahead. The show had two fantastic seasons (don’t really count season 1) in 2 and 3 and has since become a bit uneven. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of bright spots the last three years, but the bottom line is the writers set an impossibly high standard for themselves from 2005 to 2007. I still love it and watch every episode, but go back and watch some of the episodes in seasons 2 and 3, then watch from this past season. Anybody who doesn’t see a noticeable difference in overall quality is in denial. The main plot line (Jim-Pam) is exhausted, and they’ve been trying their best to come up with new stuff (weird with Sabre, Charles Miner, Andy and Erin, etc.) that hasn’t always worked. Bring Holly back, give them their Jim-Pam ending, then ride off into the sunset. The writers have been awesome through and through, but if I could give them one piece of (obviously amateur) advice, it would be to re-watch seasons 2 and 3, and try and bring that snap back for the final season. When Mr. Scott leaves, the cameras must as well.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, the rest of the cast is signed through season 8?

    So, perhaps they spend season 7 trying to find a manager (a la Michael Scott Paper Company), then toward the end of the season the branch goes belly up, and then the documentary aspect is finally incorporated into the plot (ie the employees see it?) and Scott is brought back for the finale.

  3. It seems obvious to me that Season 7 won’t be the last. First because the rest of the cast is signed through S8 and second, Steve will still be around so there shouldn’t be a significant dropoff in ratings. Now his absence in S8 might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but that also depends on NBC having something to replace it with. So far I haven’t seen anything that would even though I love both Community and Parks & Rec.

  4. Hindsight already shows that the right time to quit would’ve been after season 3. It’s been downhill (and fast) ever since.

    To stretch this thing any further at all is too bad, and to stretch it beyond Carell’s departure would be an enormous mistake.

    But … I stopped caring what they do with this shell-of-itself show a couple years ago. I still watch it, but only because it’s between “Community” and “30 Rock.” I have no mental or emotional investment in the show anymore.

  5. Ok, no…just no. Either Steve stays or the show ends. It will not be the same show without him.

  6. I think this is the end of a great show. All great things must come to an end. In order for the show to go on you would have to bring in a star and the star would have to have great chemistry off the bat. If you don’t, you’ll lose viewers quick. Just don’t see it happening or working. Like it or not Carell is the centerpiece of the show. It reminds me of when Phil Hartman was killed and News Radio tried go on without him and failed badly. Sadly, I don’t see it working well in the end.

  7. At first I was really against continuing The Office without Steve Carell, but after reading the interview, I’m starting to feel a bit better about it. It’s rare, but there are shows that can change their dynamics for the better, and I’m hoping that The Office writers will be able to create something new.

  8. Now that Dunder Mifflin is owned by Sabre, who would authorize the “documentary” to continually be filmed? No one in the office seems particularly fond of the cameras except Michael.

    To me, it logically makes sense that this documentary is being filmed because of Michael Scott. Whether he is paying for them to be there or arranged it, Michael is the reason for the cameras. Therefore, for continuity sake, if Michael leaves, the cameras should turn off too. I would like to see this be the last season, and there be a two hour special like the British Office.

  9. The show will go on without Carell, but it will only last one season.

    To comment 55; the idea of this being a documentary hasn’t been a priority of this show for many seasons now.

  10. I do not like the idea of The Office continuing without Carell. Not even a little bit. However, I do believe NBC will run it into the ground until there is not even a morsel left that will be recognizable as a show that was once so great. NBC has proven it does not care about quality over and over and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  11. I would like to see Jo transfer Michael to Nashua for a year as Karen goes on maternity leave and see Dwight as Regional Manager at the end of season 7. It means a Michael-Holly reunion (Michael gets what he wants) and Dwight as manager (Dwight finally gets what he wants!). I think it would provide potential for some great plotlines and a wrap up. Not many people are going to want to work under Dwight, so we could see Jim (and maybe Pam) leave too, plus Stanley and Oscar, in the final double episode.

  12. This literally makes no sense, the entire show is about him and how his employees struggle to understand his inane actions. Or was, anyway.

    As said before, we’ve seen this show with other people taking his place (Dwight, Jim, the outside guy) and each time it’s been pretty unsatisfying. Not to mention that the show is just not what it used to be, just not what I fell in love with in the first place. I mean, even up until the end of season five they had me. But something happened during the early stretch of season six — something really, really bad happened. It just felt soulless, it felt sitcom-y all of a sudden. I remember watching “Koi Pond” and being amazed with how generic it suddenly had become.

    I’m hoping for a better seventh season, but it can’t continue without Michael Scott. He IS “The Office.”

  13. This infuriates me! Michael is the center of the show. I understand that Steve may be moving on to more things in his career; this is not a blow towards Steve. I don’t think that they should continue.. I think they should finish the show on a high note.. Last season wasn’t exactly the best, but it finished on a high note. Without Michael, the views will dwindle. You can say, “Oh, the other characters are great! I love them!” But without a Michael to ridicule their every move or confuse them so much, what is the Office? I’m just beyond disappointed. I would be happier if Season 7 was the last season.

  14. Unlike his Michael Scott character, the Office does not run without Steve Carell.

    The only way I see Steve coming back for an 8th season is the writers produce an incredible story line that spills over from the upcoming 7th season (and that Carell gets paid $$).

    However, I agree with Steve that having an ending that ties up his situation in a pretty red bow is not realistic or makes for really good television.

    While the show has incredibly talented actors, writers and support crew, the show will not be the same and as a fan would like the show to go out on a relatively high note (episodes seasons 5-6 have been hit or miss with me).

    Thank you, Steve for making Thursday nights “must see TV”.

  15. @59 — Well, it *does* make sense that they’d try and continue the show, at least from NBC’s standpoint. It’s the only comedy they have that brings in solid ratings, so they’re going to keep it around as long as they think people will watch it. It’s much smarter from a network perspective to try and make The Office work without Carell than to throw a new show in and hope it gets good ratings.

    We may not like the idea as fans, but NBC still exists to make money, so they’re going to try and wring what they can from The Office, even if it’s just one extra season.

  16. Really sad to hear that Steve might be leaving the show. Though “The Office” is an ensemble, it’s an ensemble that’s anchored by Steve, and replacing him with anyone else is going to change the fundamental dynamic of the show. NBC might want “The Office” to continue if and when Steve leaves, but I can’t see the show going for more than a season after he departs.

  17. I still think there is a good chance Steve comes back after S7. Could just be a contract negotiation tactic. Charlie Sheen did the same thing, saying he wasn’t coming back, and that sure worked out for him.

  18. I truly hope the staff and NBC realise that the show should not go on without Carell. He’s the main character of the show, and even though there are so many great characters on The Office, it won’t be the show we know and love without Michael Scott.

    The show should end on a high note, and if Carell is serious about leaving (which seems to be the case), season seven should be the last. It’s better to end the show in a proper way, not to mention the fact that an end date will give the writers the opportunity to plan the ending a year in advance. Furthermore, it will be just sad if they keep the show going without him, which will eventually lead to a sad whimper of an ending in season eight because of plummeting ratings.

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