Steve Carell on 'Office' exit: 'It's a good time to move on'

office_michael_scottImage Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCIt looks like Dunder Mifflin will indeed be Scott-free this time next year.

Steve Carell is reaffirming his desire to leave The Office and his role as Michael Scott at the end of the hitcom’s upcoming seventh season. “I think [season] 7 will be my last year,” he told us over the weekend at the premiere of his new animated flick, Despicable Me. “I want to fulfill my contract. I think it’s a good time to move on.”

Asked if there’s anything that could change his mind, Carell said, “No. I just want to spend more time with my family.”

Back in April, Carell made headlines when he announced in a BBC radio interview that next season “would probably” be his last on The Office. NBC entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin later told reporters that Office producers were “preparing in the event [Carell] chooses to move on.”

Who do you think should succeed Carell as Office boss? Nominations are currently being accepted in the comments section. (Reporting by Jace Brittain)

TV scoop is best served instantaneously, so follow me on Twitter at @michaelausiello


Comments (566 total) Add your comment
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  • Jen E.

    My firstborn to NBC if David Brent can become Scranton’s new regional manager.

    • Billy

      I was thinking there was no way they could continue the show, as no one could replace Michael Scott…. until I read your post. There’s no way Gervais would do it, but he’s the only one that could.

      • Cindy B.

        That is the ONLY person who can replace him but I agree, he won’t do it.

      • Bex

        Craig Kilborne

    • Amy

      Genius. I’ll pony up mine as well. Like NBC wants two infants, but we can’t help but try! :)

      • Grady Smith

        I vote for Phyllis to get a promotion.

      • Stacie

        Phyllis FTW! I always thought she and Bob should make some little Vances of Vance refridgeration.

      • Walter

        NBC not wanting first-born? Of course they do. What else are they supposed to sacrifice to their pagan gods?

      • Philip

        Jon Lovitz…as answer to what else are they supposed to sacrifice to their pagan gods? YES! As answer to who should replace Steve Carell? Are you kidding?

    • KissKoin

      Couldn’t agree more!!! I would apply for a job at Dunder Mifflin if David Brent was the boss!!!

      • Matthew

        Ricky Gervais! Yes! The only other person other than Gervais I’d be happy with would be Stephen Colbert. HE’D be an awesome Dunder Mifflin manager.

      • Rust

        Colbert would be a good choice for the Office, fits his humor perfectly but he is the producer and host of a show on 4 times a week, half hour content. There is no way he’d have the time for The Office.

      • shelsby

        Would love to see Colbert on The Office- but I don’t think he would move to LA when he’s got a good gig in NYC. BUT- I would be thrilled if he made a guest appearance while Carell was still on. I love those two together! Get on it- NBC!

    • nodnard

      Any journalist that uses the phrase “hitcom” should have his diploma revoked.

      • Nadia

        I WAS THINKING THE SAME EXACT THING!!!

      • alejandra

        Agreed.

      • jayemcee

        HE’S NOT A JOURNALIST YOU S HIT HEAD

      • googaga

        Thank you

      • chris

        Hitcom (roled my eyes) And ps jayemcee if he is not a journalist, then what is he instead?

      • Muiieez

        This just proves the ill ttuiatdes of the general public. So quick to lay judgment. This show is BRILLIANT. And when I’m done watching it always always always leaves me wanting more. Every single comedy I’ve ever seen has had more dramatic episodes (And now.. a very special Blossom) It makes the characters more real. And the comments above about how it was painful to watch and embarrassing. That is the appeal of Micheal’s character. He gets into these positions where he does embarrass himself. Its just in his nature. Just be glad they are not trying to teach you a lesson in the show like so many comedies before them. Touching briefly on a serious issues only to forget about it the next episode. THAT’S Painful..I love the further development of the characters. And if they made the show be everything you wanted to right now for your quick fix.. they couldn’t make anymore of this brilliantly wonderful show.I cannot wait for next season!

    • MyMotoMike

      I too would love to see David Brent brought in – maybe it wouldn’t work but even if it didn’t it would be better than so many other programs out there.

    • Jason

      Like Carell, Ricky doesn’t want to be on the telly either. They actually have a long TV shooting schedule in the states. Television actors shoot several months out of the year over there. Movies are easier and less time consuming for often more money. Although I’m sure Carell makes a bundle. Obviously both want to do movies exclusively. Now if either could actually star in a big hit.

      • Sara

        They could at least bring him in (on the show) for an interview.

      • KLT

        Steve Carell has starred in a number of hit movies.

    • Mac

      It would be great if Ricky Gervais joined the show… but only for one season. And then The Office should just go out on a high note. I think one season with Ricky would generate a lot of great episodes.

    • Cancel The Office

      David Brent wouldn’t fit in on the monstrosity that NBC’s The Office has become. It’s a circus now, it might as well be the Simpsons. David Brent would just play like a piece of scenery unfortunately.

    • girlsaregeeks

      i would like to get in on this bribing as well! I may actually watch the show more without Carell though, other bits of it can be funny.

      Rosalind

    • Johnny Heck

      Ricky Gervais comes on board or just cancel the show. It had a good run, but Carell was too integral. Smug Jim/Pam and Hapless Andy can’t carry the show alone.

      • LT

        “Now hear this: The Office is not over yet! The long-running comedy’s cast and crew came out in force last night to the NBC Universal’s winter bash in Pasadena, Calif., to underline the point that despite Steve Carell’s upcoming exit, the show will go on, and there are plenty of characters and storylines in which we fans can and should remain invested.” I got that straight from eonline.com, an interview with the producers/writers of the office

    • Jourdan

      Ricky Gervais is the only possible candidate that would be able to live up the Michael Scott-ness of Steve Carrell

    • Ethan Barondeau

      Oh my Dear Lord in Heaven stop talking ALL OF YOU. Like hell Gervais is the only one who could do it, that’s a load of crap. If someone like Jim Carrey or Ray Romano came on (I can only hope), that would easily murder anything Gervais could do. Gervais is good, but he’s not THAT good.

    • Martin

      I totally agree with this ievrew! My kids and I were looking forward to this movie and when it came out we rented it. It just was not funny! Comedy seems so dummed down these days.

  • Alison

    My firstborn to NBC if they have the guts to end the show like they should, with the end of Carell.

    • Josh

      Agreed! End it. Not only b/c Carell is leaving but b/c the show has lost it’s fastball. Go out with some dignity guys, end it after this coming season.

      • Daniel

        Uhh no its freaking highlarious with or w/o Steve carell and since Will Ferral is gonna take his place then yeah…

    • cc

      Thinking the same thing. End it with some dignity. Pam and Jim are married and have a baby, so tie up those story lines and burn it to the ground.

      • Said

        Isn’t the whole parenthesis thing rethar unusual? It kinda prevents a visual story from popping up in my head when reading the logline Just wondering what kind of loglines you normally see in your daily scriptreading work Thanks!

  • Jacob

    The show should end. I can’t imagine it being the same without Carell.

    • Michael

      I second that. The seventh season should be its last. Without Michael Scott, The Office isn’t The Office. Besides, the show is already beginning to go downhill a bit, so they should end it before it really nosedives.

      • jimbo

        yah.. jumping the shark. how about redoing the same gags again. the fire in the office… everyone panicking?! been there done that. 6th season was good, but 4 and 5 were terrible. its time to let go.

      • DWight K Schrute

        You are an idiot.

      • Jelana

        The show should end. The show is clearly winding down, and I actually the real reason Carrell is leaving is because the material is not as good anymore.

    • KAH

      Third. There just aren’t enough storylines left to keep the show going beyond season 7 (I bet the writers are thinking the same thing, given the tease for Holly’s return in the finale). Conclude the Michael/Holly and Andy/Erin storylines, give us one more funny Dwight/Angela arc, maybe throw in an ep or two of psychotic Jan trying desperately to get Michael back, and an ep devoted solely to the supporting cast, and it’ll be a great way to end the show.

      • troll

        agreed, once you’ve resorted to clip shows, pull the plug. that clip show from last season could have at least be done with class; the documentary crew has compiled it’s footage etc…

      • Fletcher

        I total agree. Besides those they don’t have anything left.

      • meredith

        Can’t forget Kelly and Ryan….

      • Bryan

        I second that. I’ll hate to see it go, but there’s a time and place for everything, and the premise isn’t strong enough to send it to M*A*S*H-like longevity.

      • chris

        perfect thought, but since the office is one of nbc’s only “hitcoms”- the writers word not mine- i believe nbc will look to renew it even without its star.

    • Maria

      I agree. There’s no show without Carell. End it.

  • Andrew

    They really just need to end the show next year. A one-time appearance by David Brent might be alright, but I think it would kill the legacy of the British version to have him back full time (plus I don’t think there’s anyway that’s going to happen). The thought of Jim taking over the office makes my stomach turn…

    • jmo

      I know. I was thinking someone like Craig Robinson’s Darryl, but you can’t have a straight man as the boss, he or she has to be over-the-top. Jim couldn’t do it for that reason (although you might have another reason to pass on Jim).

      • fob

        be about it..straight man

    • um…

      Maybe I didn’t get the British humor, but I jusst didn’t like the British Office. And I don’t know how there can be a “legacy” when the series only lasted two seasons…for a grand total of 13 episodes or something…

      • troll

        quality over quantity

      • BK

        Um…The reason the series lasted “only” 13 eps is because that’s how they do things in the UK – short seasons (6-10 eps) and short runs – much like HBO. “The Office” is the most successful series in British TV histroy. Whether you find it funny or not doesn’t discount the impact it has had. There would be no American Office without it.

      • Peter Bretter

        Two seasons (or series as they’re called in the UK) is not any indication of poor ratings. British sitcoms don’t produce 22 eps a season like US sitcoms do. Mostly because they are written by the creators instead of a team of writers. Fawlty Towers, a landmark and hilarious UK sitcom from the 70s–starring John Cleese, btw–only ran for about 13 eps too. Try that show and Blackadder. Give British humor another try.

      • Moron

        Are You Being Served is and was 100 times more successful and entertaining than “the Office”

  • Illyria

    The show needs to end next year peroid.

  • Ranelle

    Yes- the show needs to end. I used to be a big fan, and although I still watch, The Office is getting painful to watch. Good call Steve! Hopefully Michael will get his happy ending… with Holly :)

    • BK

      Agree 100% Ranelle. There was a time this was the best comedy of TV, now it might not be in the top 10. I feel like it’s been dumbed down to appeal to a wider aud.

      • Cindy B.

        I agree Pam! I still won’t miss an episode. I still think it’s the funniest, freshest comedy and I love the Jim/Pam relationship. I don’t find them smug at all.

    • Beth

      Writing Holly out was the biggest mistake those writers ever made bring her back…I still don’t think the show is dead without him though, I love the whole cast. Pam, Jim, Dwight…

      • Dez

        They never wrote her out. They signed her for only a few episodes. Plan was to have her just a short while all along.

    • Rachel

      It used to be the first Thursday show I watched, then slowly it became the last, then I started watching it several days after it aired. Now I skim it if there’s nothing else available. I still haven’t watched the season finale. It had a good run, but shows aren’t meant to last forever. It’s time to end it before it becomes completely pathetic. Besides, I can’t think of a single show that flourished after it was ditched by the lead. The best they can hope for is to limp along for one last year as they hemorrhage viewers. It’s not worth it Office. You’re better than that

  • RikerDonegal

    The show needs to end. I still love it, but it is showing signs of age. They should end it when he leaves.

  • Jennifer

    Steve Carell will leave a huge hole, but the rest of the cast and writers are so talented it would not be impossible to continue on and still be great. Maybe Jan could get rehired to fill Michaels office?

  • Janice

    Agreed that this should be the last season – it’s not fresh anymore.

    • Dwight K Schrute

      idiot

      • Michael

        Noting your user name, your comment is brilliant!

  • Mia

    It’s time. Carrell has his career and once Pam and Jim married and became parents, that show TOTALLY jumped the shark. No diss to Ed Helms, but the addition of his character, as well as the new receptionist are not interesting enough to keep the viewers going. End it, NBC.

    • SilentRage

      Your comment TOTALLY jumped the shark.

      • Spike

        Get over yourself, Silent. I think nearly everyone in the free world agrees that this show is played out. One more year and shut it down.

      • sashay

        Not everyone agrees. Some think it’s over, others don’t and some of us (Myself Included) are still on the fence. It could possibly rejuvenate the show. Depends on how they re-jig the manager position.

    • Sarah

      Yes, “jumping the shark” is when characters actually grow and mature throughout a series. Geez.

    • Fletcher

      I agree that the jumped the shark and then after they kind of relised it they were like quick try to make another plot like that one and thats the only reason they added the whole Erin thing.

      • Troy

        For the record, there was an episode of happy days where a guy LITERALLY JUMPED A SHARK. and it was the BEST ONE.

      • Jewel

        @Troy Haha, I got you! I guess noone here watches Community huh? Try it sometime people..it’s so much better than the Office, which i used to love mind you, but is getting old and tired.

      • Senior Chang

        @Troy LOL! Community rles

  • FOTC

    Bring Murray from Flight of the Concords.

    • michelleee

      genius

    • Julia

      Fantastic idea :)
      “Jim?”
      “Present.”
      “Dwight?”
      “Present.”
      “And Murray… yes, present, thank you… I’m always here anyway, I don’t know why I bother with my line.”

      • Stacie

        OH MY GOD!! This would be the greatest thing ever. He’d have to bring Greg along for good measure.

      • lara

        oh lordy. I just snorted out loud reading that. seriously, thank you.

        after David Brent, Murray is the only other person who could work that role. but I agree, I think the show needs to bow out gracefully after Michael Scott leaves.

      • Spen

        Mu ray? Mu ray?

      • Kev

        Cheer up, Murray, it’s time to forget your wife met someone on the net, let’s go and get an ice cream.

    • sashay

      Actually, misreading your comment gave me a better suggestion: Bill Murray! Perfect mix of pathos and humour. Wonder if he’d do it if it was offered.

    • Bob

      That really is the perfect casting. He’s been featured in a few ad campaigns that rifff off of a show that few people get to enjoy, putting that character in The Office (NZ green card, etc) would be genius.

  • Mia

    Oh, and I agree with Ranelle. Please bring back Holly and let Michael end his run with a new job and a new wife, perhaps?

  • Sam

    I gave up liking the Office after the third season. It’s not Carell’s fault that the writers just keep making him less and less likable, but that seemed to be the case. If they swept out half the cast and replaced them, I might want to watch again.

  • JohnificationLivesInHisMomsBasement

    It’s time for the show to end.

    • Dwight K Schrute

      You are an idiot!

      • E_A_DeadHead

        That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in months, perhaps years! THIS guy should be on the show… barring fatal ugliness.

      • E_A_DeadHead

        Oh, “Dwight K. Shrute”, he is. I AM an idiot…

        C’mon, it’s a joke, people.

        I’ll admit the last few shows I’ve seen just don’t seem as cutting edge as the first few seasons. They should all be able to get work, and here’s a tip, everyone do the Friends/Seinfeld gig, “It’s the last season and we want our HUGE BUCKS NOW!”, but only if YOU think you’re irreplaceable… because the studio might not.

  • ?????

    The show should have already ended; the English know how to do things. They didn’t run their version into the ground.

    • ARI

      Give me a break- The British version had like 12 episodes.

      • p

        I believe it was planned that way. Both The Office and Extras had a short run followed by a Christmas special, which was what Ricky Gervais planned.

      • Brooke

        Many British shows DO have short runs on purpose, their networks have a very different philosophy than American ones.

      • J

        That’s sort of the point. British TV features shorter seasons because the writers actually write every episode, making more than 12 eps in a season impossible. This leads to some highly crafted shows. Sometimes less is more. The US office makes me laugh, despite the lost steam (really, what’s at stake anymore?), but the lost dynamic of Carell should signal the whole team to say goodbye. Everything has to end sometime.

      • Sergey

        Can’t wait to watch this episode!Also, I’m voilng hearing updates on your life. Can’t wait to see you again in Austin sometime! I always think of that time I ran into you at P. Terry’s after Barton Springs with a smile.

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