Steve Carell might leave 'The Office'

the-officeImage Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCDunder Mifflin Corporate won’t be happy about this. Steve Carell recently dropped a bombshell at the tail end of a BBC interview. The interviewer noted that Carell’s contract with The Office only runs through next season. Carell: “That will probably be my last year.” (NBC is not commenting on the interview.)

This may just be the opening salvo in a year-long salary negotiation (this is an NBC sitcom, after all), but if you ask me, Carell’s departure could be the best thing to happen to The Office. It could give next season an added emotional heft, not to mention the sure-to-be-hysterical turf war that could ensue over who gets to take over as head honcho of the Scranton branch. And most of this season has been spent on building up the minor characters (as in the Erin-Andy romance). It’s always hard for a show to survive without its star, but talent runs deep in the Office bench.

What do you think of the news, PopWatchers? Do you think Carell will really leave the show, and would you watch it without him? Who would you like to see take over as regional manager? (My money’s on Ryan.) And check EW for further developments…


Comments (275 total) Add your comment
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  • Christine

    Oh, God. Why? Just…why?

    • Celia

      My reaction exactly. If Steve leaves, then the show should just end there. :(

      • J.

        Agreed.

      • kramer

        I don’t care who should take over Steve if he leaves, because if he leaves, I WILL NEVER WATCH THE OFFICE AGAIN!
        I’m a big fan of the Office, and it is nothing without Steve. As much as I love Dwight and Jim, I would never watch it if Michael was not there.

      • JaySin420

        The Office without Carell would be like 24 without Kiefer.

      • Quirky

        Although it would make complete sense that Michael would finally be fired for incompetence.

      • Fi

        It’s The Office…if Michael is fired it wouldn’t fit the show, if anything he should be promoted and be an occasional guest star.

      • Mojo Mom

        I can’t imagine anyone else filling Steve Carell’s shoes on The Office. If he leaves, they should end the show and take the opportunity to wrap it up hilariously. Bring back Amy Ryan/Holly!!

      • Tina from Texas

        If Michael leaves they should replace him with Lindsey Lohan. So every week I have something to flick my bean to.

      • MDS

        Doing the office without Steve Carell would be like doing Scrubs without Zach Braff…

      • Psac

        MDS, we saw how well that went. :) (Which was your point…)

      • captain obvious

        Good riddance, Im sick of the character anyways, any episode that is Michael centric is hard to watch ( I blame the writers not the actor). Maybe a change will give us another good year or two from a suddenly flailing show.

      • Mel

        I couldn’r agree more Captain. He makes me so uncomfortable, that I usually FFW though his scenes. The writers make his character so hard to believe, that it takes all the fun out if it.

      • Robert

        Ummmm… Bring in David Brent, aka Ricky Gervais, the original Office boss.

      • TGH

        Why can’t shows end with dignity? Just end it. Take a season to wrap everything up.

      • Jane

        I’m out too. Pam and Jim became pompous asses ever since they got married so with Michael gone, there’ll be no one to root for.

      • Tyler “T-Rex” Nelson

        I agree..As much as I love the supporting characters of the office, Steve is the show, “the office” dynamic will never be the same (or good) without him. A friend of mine (a ver unreliable source) told me that he heard Glenn Close was considering the replacement role, I’m really not joking, Glenn Close.

    • Greg

      They’d have to bring in somebody else in, a la Laurence Fishbourne on CSI. My vote is Christopher Guest.

      • Kelly

        Greg, Christopher Guest would be amazing, but I’m biased considering he’s my favorite person ever. I feel like he would have to strike a different tone than Michael to make it work, maybe something similar to Harlan Pepper.

      • Eric

        Or Corky St. Clair

      • pastafarian

        Or a Nigel Tufnel/ Michael St Hubbins tandem (give or take Derek Smalls). Let’s not overlook the obvious.

      • amj

        I would be sad to see Carrell leave but I love the idea of Christopher Guest! Or, the idea of a Dwight/Jim leaders in tandem. Can you imagine them having to make decisions together and agree and explain them to the staff.

      • rock golf

        Well, by next year, Michael Emerson will be looking for work…

      • ds

        Michael Emerson has amazing range and is a great comedic actor. I stopped watching the Office around Season 3, but I would definitely watch Emerson in any capacity on The Office. But since he’s a classically trained actor and often performs on Broadway, a sitcom might be beneath him.

      • bringbackrocky

        Can we start a campaign now to have Christopher Guests be first in line if the (amazing) Steve Carrell leaves? Sounds like a Facebook group ready to happen.

      • Stephanie

        Yes! Christopher Guest would be brilliant in that roll!!

      • Teresa

        A good sitcom is not beneath any actor. And Steve Carell was a highly trained improv actor.

        My initial thought was that they should end the show on a high, bringing in someone new usually doesn’t work.

        However, the thought of bringing in Christopher Guest or any number of his company is pretty genius. What about Michael Hitchcock or Bob Balaban? Both brilliant and both very different from Steve Carell. I could see that difference sparking a bunch of new storylines.

      • Teresa

        A good sitcom is not beneath any actor. And Steve Carell was a highly trained improv actor.

        My initial thought was that they should end the show on a high, bringing in someone new usually doesn’t work.

        However, the thought of bringing in Christopher Guest or any number of his company is pretty genius. What about Michael Hitchcock or Bob Balaban? Both brilliant and both very different from Steve Carell. I could see that difference sparking a bunch of new storylines.

      • ang

        RICKY GEVAIS! bring him in if carell leaves!

    • Dwight K Schrute

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • demchanmom

      My thoughts exactly Christine! I can’t take all this change! Leno at 10, no more Conan, Jimmy Fallon, what next? Though I do think they jumped the shark with the Sabre angle, The Office still has a lot of laughs left. Meredith using Pam’s breast pump – hillarious! They would probably benefit from new writers.

    • Teleholic

      Do you remember when Michael found out Toby was back? Remember that reaction? That was my reaction, reading this post. ”

      No. No. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-!”

      • Celia

        Lmfao! One of the best Michael/Toby moments ever!

      • Sasha Grey

        @ Teleholic – You are a clown!! Please stop wasting space and bandwidth on the internets!

        If Michael leaves the show they should bring in Bill Cosby as his replacement. He could push his Jello and pudding. I think BC could put Dwight in his place.

        I also hope the show moves to a better city, Scranton PA stinks. They should move it to Union City, CA.

      • Celia

        @Sasha Grey: Ummm…I posted the video, not teleholic. But I meant to just post a link. I don’t know why it embedded it. *shrugs*

    • Ann

      The only person who could possible replace Carell is Gervais. NBC would have a chance at keeping the Office afloat if they brought Gervais’ British Office character to Dunder Mifflin.

      • Hannah

        In all honesty, I would love to see that happen.

      • kiki

        that would be so awesome I might actually be able to watch an episode of the show…EVEN better just end the show with Gervais firing Carrell

      • Cris

        Now THAT would be inspired!

      • Sasha Grey

        @ Hannah – just shut up! That would be like seeing your father leave you and your mom, and then your mom hooks up with some southern hick with a rebel flag tattoo. They should have Bill Cosby replace Michael.

    • ZurichHottie

      When is this documentary The Office is filming going to wrap up? It’s been 6 years of shooting people in the office. Gervais knew when to say “stop.”

      • SoulFood

        Do you know why they keep filming people in an office? Because it’s a TV show, it’s funny, and people watch it. The British version ended because nobody watched it, then when Americans took it the Brits suddenly love it. They just want credit for an idea that they failed in using.

    • Sarah

      Love all the minor characters in The Office, but this show without Michael Scott is like 30 Rock without Tina Fey.

  • Colin

    If Michael Scott leaves, that has to be the end of the show. The minor characters can come in and out, like Jan, but Michael is the heart and soul of that show. It would wind up being like “Scrubs” without J.D.

    • Zeddicus “Zedd” Zu’l Zorander

      This show lasted too long anyway – how long does it take to get documentary footage?

    • Sasha Grey

      @ Colin – I respectively disagree with your moronic statement. Scrubs is a bad show, I would rather have cigarettes put out on my face than watch that show.

      @ Zeddicus “Zedd” Zu’l Zorander – What is wrong with you? Did your mother not love you? The show is as great as it was 5 years ago. Keep your verbal diarrhea to yourself!

      • Jason

        How do you “respectfully” disagree with a “moronic” statement? And I’ll be over shortly with a pack of Malboros.

      • Ian

        I’ll bring the lighter. I love it when some goof calls someone names for having a different opinion on some random piece of entertainment that they happen to love. Sasha needs to find more to do if a remade sitcom means this much to them…

      • Ivan The Terrible

        @ Jason – What is wrong with Sasha’s comment?
        @ Ian – I read of a man who killed himself b/c they took Taxi off TV. To some people, all they have is TV… what is your deal? Are you a chronic p0rn watcher? You probably like some sick stuff since you referenced burning Sasha with a lighter.

  • Heidi

    It’s contract negotiation all the way. Unless they bring back Ricky Gervais- that would be amazing!

    • ugh

      or you know, just end the show. it’s been a great ride, but it seems like the story ended a season ago, and now the characters are just sortof wondering around aimlessly. GIVE MICHAEL AN ENDING. END THE SHOW.

      • dusen

        Agreed – I’ve loved the show since day 1 but it’s starting to show it’s age. Best to end while still (relatively) fresh. 7 years is a good run.

      • Laura

        I couldn’t agree more – please, oh please NBC, END THE SHOW NOW. It is past its prime, and no where near as funny and good as it used to be. I say this as someone who adored this show since the beginning: Please end it now while you can still maintain some credibility and good will with fans. Don’t let it become like “Friends”, which lasted waaaay too long, lost all credibility, and ended when nobody cared. Please end the show on a (somewhat) high note – it’s the smart thing to do.

      • Erik

        Friends ended when nobody cared? I must have imagined the high ratings and intense media hoopla surrounding the final few seasons.

      • Jerry

        Erik I don’t think Laura is too far off. At the end of its run Friends, while still popular/profitable, was nowhere near the ubiquitous “must-see-TV” phenomenon that it was from 94-97. Would you not agree?

    • Todd

      The Office wouldn’t be the same without Steve Carell, so the series should end when Michael is fired (for either incompetence or sexual harassment). Ricky Gervais should guest star as the new manager. This would only work in the series finale as I doubt he would want to do another Office series.

      • Aims

        I agree on all counts. The show should just end next year and bringing in Ricky G. as the new boss for the final episode would be brilliant and hilarious- much better then trying to pull off some kind of long term replacement..

  • couchgrouch

    I stopped watching The Office this year. I loved seasons 1-3 and 4 was ok. since then it’s been pretty bad which is no sin because all shows fade. Carell must realize that the scripts he’s getting aren’t up to par. end the show NBC. don’t let it suffer the fate of other programs like MASH that went waaaay past their prime. the most egregious example being The Simpsons. end it.

    • Dwight K Schrute

      Then you really missed out, idiot.

  • Emma

    He’s been pretty successful on the big screen so he just might but I don’t think the show will survive without him.

    • Andy Bluebear

      Aside from the 40 Year Old Virgin and Little Miss Sunshine, what has he been that has either been a critical or commercial smash? Seems like on the big screen, he has had more bombs than successes.

      • theBigE

        Get Smart was considered a success, Date Night is doing alright, and Evan Almighty still made $100 mill, despite being a stinker. He was in Anchorman, for crying out loud!

      • Psac

        Evan Almighty was a HUGE HUGE HUGE box office loser (cost compared to revenue).

      • Rachel

        40 year old virgin was awful. He was hilarious in Anchorman but other than that, his movies are horrible. We all know he is funny only from the first few seasons of the office. I really hope he doesn’t ruin himself

      • Marc

        Actually, the production budget for Evan Almighty was 175M, and the total gross was 173M, so it only lost 2M. In the movie industry, that cannot be considered “HUGE HUGE”.

      • Preston

        I like the movies that Steve Carell is in regardles of if it does well or tanks in the box office. He makes the movies he wants to make. I thought he was so funny in Evan Almighty. And he was also funny in Get Smart. Have yet to see Dan In Real Life on DVD.His movies make $50 or $60 million at the most; he doesn’t get the big numbers that a Robert Downey Jr., Will Smith or Matt Damon makes. He likes doing silly comedies the most.

  • lisa

    I cannot imagine the show without Michael Scott. If he leaves, they should just end the show.

  • chelsea

    If that’s the case the show should just end when Steve wants out. I’m sure John Krasinski won’t want to stick around much longer either as he’s been getting more and more film roles.

  • Blake

    I disagree with the scrubs comment, on scrubs JD is really the heart of that show, everything revolves around him. But the office is much more of an ensemble show so I could actually see the show surviving without him. I agree that seeing who would replace him would be hilarious

    • SB

      I agree with this. I love Michael, but I would still watch if he weren’t there. I think the show could survive without him.

  • Liz

    I think the show is better when he has a lesser role. I think it would survive. He’s just too big of a doof on the show. I hate watching him. His comedy is on par with Jim Carrey, loud, obnoxious, and not funny.

    • Dave

      Amen!

    • Skip182

      Ummm, that’s the point of Michael Scott.

    • JoaNA Truth

      Liz is a dirty skkkank.

    • Tim S

      It simply couldn’t continue successfully without carrell, no matter who replaced him. And how can you like the office if you don’t find Michael Scott funny?

  • Pastafarian

    How long have they been filming this documentary anyway? Shouldn’t there be some kind of release date?

    • funnyfan

      I’ve been a fan of the office since day 1 and seen every episode. I agree that it’s coming to the end of its rope. I think Carrell is funny, but at times also a little contrived. He has his good and bad moments. The show would definitely not be the same without him. Would it survive. Maybe. But it would become a different show with different fans, for different reasons. Right? I agree with the comment about this “documentary” ending. I’m thinking that should be the finale. The documentary finally releases, and this somehow propels the characters in different directions…whether to bigger/better/famous places, or ruins them. Just like real life. Seems like a full circle. Maybe a bit cheesy, but for fans it creates a sense of content closure, as you see where everyone ends up. The concept kind of reminds me of the HBO series finale of “Six Feet Under.” Brilliant, surprising, and pulled the entire series together. Totally different shows, but same idea.

  • Michele

    While the minor characters certainly have depth, it just wouldn’t be The Office without Michael Scott. No way.

  • Chris

    I wish Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant would step in and end the show after THIS season. It’s certainly seen better days and recent episodes just weren’t that funny.

  • LOL

    Next year will be the last year of the show.

  • Zoe

    Michael is and always will be the center of the show, whether a script revolves around him or not. I simply can’t imagine the Office without Carell. That said, what is next season–Season 7? I also wouldn’t blame him for wanting to move on soon. Krasinski, however, stated in the big “wedding” article in EW last fall that he realizes he owes his success to the Office and plans to stay as long as they want him (IIRC, at least!)

  • Sarah

    The Office without Michael Scott?? I don’t know how I feel about this. It could potentially be very bad.

    • amj

      As much as I love Steve Carrell…it could also be very good and refreshing! If the casting is right it would add some new storylines and new reactions for our characters. There have been some really great suggestions here… (Christopher Guest and Jason Bateman or how about Portia DeRossi..or, Jane Lynch—I know she is on a hit show)

      • Brittany

        Okay, as a HUGE Arrested Development fan, I kinda freaked out for your Jason Bateman and Portia DeRossi ideas. Portia was so good on Better Off Ted. I’m dying to see either of them back on TV.

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