The Office is about to get a serious renovation. In March, fans learned that Paul Lieberstein — who plays Toby Flenderson and is also the series’ showrunner — will depart at the end of Season 8 so he can concentrate on launching an Office spin-off about Schrute Farms. If that show gets off the ground, Rainn Wilson’s Dwight will also leave Dunder Mifflin.
And today, Fox officially picked up It’s Messy, a sitcom created by and starring Mindy Kaling — meaning that motor-mouthed Kelly Kapoor is also on her way out the Office door. Since Kaling’s an executive producer and the writer of some of the sitcom’s most memorable episodes (“The Injury,” “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” and “Diwali,” among others) as well as one of The Office‘s stars, losing her will be especially tough on the series.
It was hard enough to watch Steve Carell’s Michael Scott depart for Colorado — and a movie career — in Season 7. But what will happen to NBC’s most-watched sitcom if three of its biggest names leave for less fluorescent pastures? Can this Thursday-night staple overcome an uneven year to finish strong in its (presumably last) season? Would a reboot revitalize the show — or make matters worse? And who will bother sticking around to watch?