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Monday, June 28, 2010

Steve Carell is leaving The Office

    For six seasons Steve Carell has starred as boss Michael Scott on the American version of The Office on NBC.  At the end of next season, his seventh, he will be departing from the series.  He insists that he will nto be changing his mind, and that this is no a negotiating tactic, saying, "I just want to spend more time with my family."  The former The Daily Show cast member is definitely one of the biggest reasons for the sitcom's success, and his departure is sure to shake things up in a big way.

    One option may be to just end the series.  Seven years is a good run, and audiences may not be able to accept the show without Michael Scott.  Other cast members may also choose to exit, so it may be more than Scott that is lost.  There is plenty of precedence for this.  Series that have tried to continue without one or more main characters, sometimes under a different name (After M*A*S*H, The Golden Palace, Joey) don't often do very well.

     Another option may be to try to get Carell to accept a part-time commitment, as Zach Braff did to try to help Scrubs continue last year.  On the British version of The Office, Scott's counterpart David Brent (Ricky Gervais) was fired midway through the series, but would show back up every week to hang out with his former co-workers.  I don't see Scott doing the same thing, as he is not as big of a loser as Brent was,  but perhaps Scott could appear in six or seven episodes.  The problem there is, who will be the new boss?  Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) counterpart did it in the British version, but again, because of character differences, it wouldn't work so well over here.  Presumably Jim (John Krasinski) would top the list, or producers could bring in a new actor or actress.

     Either way, The Office has at least one more season, and will return to NBC in the fall.

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