'The Office' Exclusive: Will one of these guys replace Steve Carell?

the-office-newImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; Robert Prezioso/Getty ImagesThe Office‘s short list of possible replacements for Steve Carell just got a little longer.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that producers of the NBC hitcom have quietly reached out to rising comic-actors Danny McBride (the breakout star of HBO’s hilarious Eastbound & Down) and Rhys Darby (late of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords) to gauge their interest in joining the cast later this season.

Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein confirms that they’re “having discussions” about introducing a new salesman into Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, but he wouldn’t say whether this person was being groomed to necessarily replace Carell’s Michael Scott. “We haven’t settled exactly who will take over,” says Lieberstein, adding that promoting a current staffer to the top job remains a viable option as well. (Coexecutive producer Mindy Kaling recently endorsed Rainn Wilson’s Dwight for the gig.)

Recruiting McBride could prove difficult considering that HBO just renewed Eastbound & Down for a second season. “Danny is very happy on Eastbound & Down,” confirms his spokesperson.

Darby, on the other hand, is a free agent now that HBO has grounded Conchords. Reps for the New Zealand-born funnyman were unavailable for comment.

Thoughts? Can you see McBride or Darby calling the shots on The Office? Sound off below!

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

Comments (466 total) Add your comment
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  • jasonboegh

    If either of them join, I’ll officially be done with the show…

    • Alan

      Give them a chance will you? That Flight of the Conchords guy is very funny! He was also in Yes Man with Jim Carrey.

    • Ann

      It doesn’t matter that they are funny on their respective shows. They aren’t going to match the hilarity and awkwardness Steve Carell brings!

      • Sam

        Clearly you’ve never seen Flight of the Conchords.

      • Taylor

        Or Pirate Radio, which Rhys Darby is absolutely brilliant in. I quit watching The Office last season because it got boring, but I’d totally pick it back up if they cast Darby!

      • tehubernoob

        @Taylor: Agreed. Rhys Darby is a VERY funny guy, I enjoy a bit of The Office every now and then, but I’ll be watching it regularly if Rhys gets the part.

      • Jordan

        clearly your an idiot sam. steve carell is the BEST part of the office and without him.. the show will never be the same.

      • Benjamin

        Jordan no need for harsh words. go watch flight of the conchords if your upset, it will quickly turn around your mood.

      • Nathan

        Rhys Darby is probably about a thousand or so times funnier than Carell is these days. I’d actually start watching The Office is he joins.

      • Alan

        rhys darby or stephen merchant would be perfect they even look awkward!! and u have to give things a chance after all people said that yhe u.s. office wouldn’t take of and it did!!

    • tim

      Scranton Branch closes and Bob Vance of Vance Refridgeration assumes the office space and hires the Dunder Team. Phyllis is put in charge of the office, much to the dismay of Angela. (Just kidding, but the thought of it cracked me up)

    • mortonsloci

      I heard it was another Law & Order spinoff out called “Law & Order: Major Crimes Unit” or “Law & Order: Atlanta”, shame.

    • Gerioke

      Is Don Adams still alive?

      • Carlie

        Super infroamtive writing; keep it up.

  • Breanna

    Put it out of it’s misery when Steve Carell leaves!! Have a two-hour finale where Holly and Michael do a double-wedding with Dwight and Angela. Done. As a (once) die-hard Office fan, this show needs to end before it gets too mediocre. All the good writers went to ‘Parks and Recreation’.

    • Matt

      AMEN!

    • Laura

      100% agree.

    • marin

      I disagree. Danny McBride would bring a whole new set of clueless energy to the show – it would be great. He could hilariously play a Florida person.

      • Trevor

        EXACTLY! a totally clueless floridan!

      • cje

        danny mcbride would be a perfect fit.

      • matt white

        I think they should get Ralph Macchio to replace Steve Carell, and I don’t mean a new character. I think he could just slip right into the role of Michel Scott and no one would notice, or if they did they would be too happy about it to complain. If you don’t agree with this, you must be sick or something.

      • Molly

        That would be awesome! He’s hilarious. Maybe if NBC throws enough money at him he will leave HBO.

      • Molly

        Danny McBride, I mean…not Ralph Macchio

      • Chas

        A clueless Floridian? How cliche.

      • Jon

        It’s just not gonna be as good without Steve Carrell, he makes the show, they should just end the show on top….

    • Dwight Schrute

      You are an idiot. THE OFFICE FOREVER!!!!

      • Vida

        Dwight’s always been my favorite character! He’s hilarious!!!! I’ll miss Michael, but not as much as I’d miss The Office.

    • Jenny

      YES!! I may just stop at that point anyway. That’s the natural death for me and the show has lost so much of it’s original funny and quality.

      • Natasha

        I think Rhys Darby could do an EXCELLENT job. I loved him in Flight of the Conchords and he has the right level of awkwardness. Really, both could be good, but I like Darby for an Office role!

      • Ricky Gervais

        Originality LOL. this show is copied word for word from the UK Office. Not to say this show isn’t hilarious, but it sure as hell isn’t original. I for one don’t think this show needs Carell. I could be way off but I think the show could go on.

      • Jessica V

        I completely agree with Ricky Gervais. The show isn’t original and as awesome as Steve Carrell is, I know the show can go on without him. Still, I’ll miss him.

      • Doug

        Yes, that’s perfectly logical statement Ricky. The US Office stole 7 seasons of material from 12 episodes of the UK Office. Any real fan of the UK original knows the US version copied the first season and that was it.

      • Neil

        It copied the first *episode* and that was it.

    • cristina

      Agree. End the show. It just won’t be the same.

    • Amanda

      Agree 100%!!
      The Office had it’s moment in the spotlight. It was awesome and I feel like it’s a favorite memory that I will always love and look back on fondly. But let’s all admit it’s not what it once was…It’s time to quietly leave Scranton.

      • LizzieT

        Amanda, you are spot on. The Office lifted me up during a time when I needed it. I don’t feel the same way anymore; but I still love the opening

    • thmsdrama

      Parks and Rec is a horrible show – not funny in the least -

    • JD in Venice

      I agree with you on one point but I can also see that new blood will bring new laughs to the show.

      The Office could be comedy’s Law & Order with a rotating set of actors.

    • KatieKat

      The only person I could see replacing Steve Carell is Ricky Gervais.

      • tonya perry

        I agree however Rhys Darby is hilarious. I love him and Flight of the Conchords

      • tvwatcher

        What about Zach Galifianakis? He is skilled in comedic awkward pauses and outright hilarity.

      • Rachel

        I think that Ricky Gervais could rejuvenate the show. We would probably be able to get at least 2 more seasons out of it before getting stale

      • kad

        I agree with the folks saying Ricky Gervais would be the best replacement for Michael. Second up would be Murry from Flight of the Conchords. God that show was funny. I disagree with everybody who says it’s time for the Office to go away. NEVER!!!! I’m going to miss Steve but I don’t think I could make it without new epis of The Office.

      • mllang

        ARE YOU KIDDING!!!! I am in love with the Office and I tried the UK version and, it SUCKED!!! Yes, the US did copy their first season and thats why the first season wasn’t that funny. I think that Danny McBride should take Steve Carell’s place.

    • thulius

      then why isnt parks n rec funny ??

      i think if they gotta pick a replacement darby should get it over that other guy

      • sergio

        the second season is pretty funny. sooo much better than the first

      • Gale

        I agree. P & R is lame.

      • Riss

        Parks n Rec has gotten so funny. The first season wasn’t all that great, but the second season was great. If you left after the first season, you should definitely give it another chance.

      • jknyc

        parks is the funniest show in TV.

    • Yuki

      Yes! Yes! Have the 7th season be the last… please..

      • Molly

        If you don’t like it don’t watch it. Why are you on here! The writing is still fresh and thus the show must go on…with or with out Steve/Mike. I can’t get enough of The Office. DVD’s, commentary, etc. I watch it all. Mindy you are great, you too Paul and B.J.! Jenna, John, Rainn, Angela, Leslie, and Phyllis. You give me something to look forward to and make me laugh!!! Thank you. You’ll probably never read this…

      • Molly

        Oh and let’s not forget Oscar, Brian and Ed. Okay, well. I got a little worked up about all the talk about the show ending because it isn’t what it was…I just disagree. Shows can evolve, they don’t always have to be what they started out as. i’m out to go find a life :)

      • dusen

        Really Molly? You think the writing is still fresh?? I recommend sitting down over the weekend with Seasons 2 & 3, then rewatching the last season. Then come back and tell me you still believe the show is fresh.

        Producers, have some respect for the great show you created, and for Steve Carell, and end it after this season.

      • mllang

        It has alot of viewers. With Danny McBride they would have so much more material… I am not saying that he would be like Steve, but they are 2 different people. He would be great in it. I, and probably more people, will be extremely disappointed if it was to end.

    • Lillian

      I agree about ending the show, but I disagree about the whole wedding thing. It would be… such a corny way to end the show. They don’t NEED a wedding to confirm a well-established relationship.

    • Beppler

      Yes!! I don’t want to have to watch it die a slow, embarrassing, painful death.

    • bobo

      Parks and recreation sucks

    • lotos242

      Your post goes to show that you are not worthy of watching this show. A double wedding? What do you think this is, Laverne & Shirley? Go watch Two and a half Men and leave the intelligent, funny shows alone…

      • Molly

        Well said!

    • Mike

      How’s this for a radical idea … keep the show going .. watch it … if you don’t like it, watch something else!

    • carrja

      Love Rhys Darby! He’d be great!

      • Vida

        AGREE!!!

    • kay

      When are people going to realize that Steve Carell isn’t actually “The Office”? Honestly, I have discussed it with people on several occasions and every single one of them said having less Michael would be good for the show. The only reason my dad doesn’t watch it is because of him, because he makes it too awkward to bear. This might actually give the show a chance to find a new audience. If you’re giving up on it now, fine, but stop complaining about it.
      There are other perfectly entertaining and comedic characters. It’s an ensemble cast, not a one-man show.

      • Jonzo

        Too awkward to bear? That’s the whole point. Awkwardness is the new style of comedy, it was practically invented by Steve Coogan and started here in America by Larry David. If your dad or anyone else doesn’t like awkwardness in his comedy he should watch something else, like reruns of Cheers.

      • Michael

        I agree about the ensemble, totally. But Carell making it “too awkward to bear” is kind of the point of the humor. You should watch the UK version…I literally had to shield my eyes out of pure embarrassment like every episode.

      • Natalie

        Brilliant Idea: Steve Coogan! He would be hilarious on the Office, bringing a whole new new-ness to it! Especially as a foreigner–they’ve just GOT to go for that angle, to many opportunities for funny.

    • Retort

      Parks and Recreation sucks. Have you ever sat through that show? The Office has yet to go mediocre. I agree. Watch something else.

    • laylaginger19

      Sorry, but “Parks and Rec” seriously sucks. So, I question if the “good writers” truly went there.

      • jc

        agree. p&rec is not a good show…..

      • Michael

        A few people I know utterly swear by P&R, is the weird part. Watched an ep from the first season and wasn’t impressed but I caught a more recent one and liked it a lot more. Either it’s hit-and-miss or it’s steadily getting better.

      • Johnification

        It steadily got better. The first season of P&R is really pretty lame, but season two was amazing, couldn’t believe how much it improved.

    • thegentlemanjack

      i believe that a takeover or replacement with new characters would bring a “cousin oliver” death to the office, and we would forever remember how long it took up our time slots on an overpriced cable netwotk

    • KC

      These are my thoughts exactly! Unfortunately, the Office may have already “jumped the shark” with Pam and Jim’s wedding. Continuing after Carell leaves would just bring the show to a level of mediocrity that it doesn’t deserve.

      • Susan

        I thought the show jumped the shark when Pam got pregnant.

    • Laurelee

      I agree!!

    • Tina from Texas

      Parks and Recreation sucks more than Katie Couric

      • Char

        This info is the cat’s paamjas!

    • Justin

      I Don’t know what to think on one hand, Carell made The Office not that the other actor arn’t good

    • Gators88

      I agree 100%..as a TRUE Office fan…They need to pull the plug on the show…don’t let it go down soooo miserably like Scrubs did!

      • mark

        soo true such a shame. but if you can find enough within it you can make a show that stands the test of time like doctor who, 769 episodes and still climbing with no end in site. in a good way

    • lorimac63

      Rhys Darby
      Brilliant on Flight of the Conchords – perfect substitute and would pair wonderfully with the rest of the cast. Dwight and Jim need to remain as is!!!

    • Joan

      The only way the show should stay on the air is if Ricky Gervais replaces Steve Carell. Promoting someone from the office is a bad idea. They need to keep the episodes in the office. It’s not funny when they change the venue.

    • Not Moby

      Ditto. Love, love, love The Office, but aside from Jim and Pam’s wedding, this season has been forgettable. Wait was that last season? I think when Steve Carell says goodbye (of course not without a few more Holly episodes), it’s time for The Office to say goodbye. Maybe those printers will burn the building down. Or maybe Ryan will leave another cheese pita in the toaster oven. All that’s left standing is Vance Refrigeration.

    • angela

      I AGREE!!!!

    • grace

      agreed. stopped watching this after season 4.

    • Benjamin

      Can’t deny the truth of those words, but hopefully with a new cast member to work with the show will get some new or improved writing and come out of it’s recent failure streak.

  • MikeNJD

    Michael Emerson is the only choice here. THAT would be fantastic.

    • Todd

      “Where did you work last?”

      “On a small island in the south Pacific.”

      • LOL

        Mike and Todd FTW!

      • George

        Or at least do an ep where their interviewing new bosses. You could have a long list of applicants including Michael Emerson and many hilarious others!

      • alisa

        YES!

      • Kisa Veck

        I’m with George. Cameos galore when interviewing the candidates.

      • michelle

        LOL!! “a small island in the south pacific” – that would be amazingly funny — but i heard Alan Ball is trying to get Michael Emerson to come to True Blood

    • Levi O

      Please Michael Emerson!

      • AzSun2200

        Pure brilliance!!!

    • Summer

      And they Dwight could find out that Ben was just the “2nd” in charge on that island, so it could give him some more shenanigans. Wasn’t Locke a paper salesman too? Maybe we should bring both Ben and Locke over to Scranton. Taht might be the ONLY way I watch after Michael and Holly marry and leave the show…

      • Jamie

        I’m pretty sure Locke worked at a box company. But that’s better then steel (Charles Miner). Maybe there boxes are used to ship Dunder Mifflen paper

      • michelle

        Locke worked for a box company that Hurley owned…Dwight has mentioned Lost on the office in the past — they could bring in Michael Emerson (or Hurley!!) for an interview and he could freak out over it -

    • Brian

      I would only watch a Michael Emerson-led “The Office” if someone were to punch him in his bug-eyed teeth every time he entered the frame.

      • Ian

        You’re so dumb, you think teeth have eyes??? You’d be a good replacement for the clueless aspect of Michael Scott. The funny aspect…not so much.

      • thulius

        uh …eyeteeth

        but yes – emerson would b a nice addition – he could pull an awkward – slightly whinier version of toby easily

    • alisa

      amen my friend. I cannot get over how completely amazing it would be for Emerson to take over the Scranton branch. It would just rock my world.

    • Person Who Talks

      Yes!!!! This would be awesome!!!! Michael Emerson all the way!!!!!

    • Michael

      Whoa, the Michael Emerson suggestion just rocked my world. That would be fantastic!

      • Michael

        Lol apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so.

  • Jacob

    Rhys Darby would actually be a great addition to the show. I’ve been rallying behind the show’s cancellation once Carell leaves, but this I can get behind. Even if the character was just a version of Murray from FOTC, I’d be pleased.

    • Greg

      Okai everyone, band- er, office meeting.

      • Steph

        Agree!

    • whatevs

      100%. I’d only be on board with the show continuing if they get Rhys Darby to do it. Roll call!

    • thin

      Yeah, he’s the first name I’ve heard that sounds like could work. Murray was already a lot like an unsuccessful Michael Scott.

    • ogreslayer

      Not sure that they should continue w/o Carell but I would stick around for Darby.

      • Babs

        Me too.

    • KPod

      Absolutely! Rhys would nail it!

    • Lhyzz

      100% agree, Rhys Darby would be wonderful!

    • Lizabeth

      I like the idea of Rhys Darby, too. He’s the best suggestion I’ve heard yet.

    • Jake

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Rhys would actually bring some much needed fresh live to that show. The last couple of seasons paled to the first three. I’ve pretty much stopped watching because it’s gotten that bad. Rhys in a strong position (meaning, bigger role than Kevin or Meredith) would give that show the zip it used to have. If no Rhys, then I have no problem with the show ending.

  • amanda

    YES RHYS is genius!

    • Dave

      Love Rhys, show would definitely be worth watching if he takes over…..

    • Ali

      I would actually be excited for Steve to leave if Darby was coming in.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I might actually start watching again once Carell, his character got annoying week after week and just ruined the show for me. Remember in Tropic Thunder when they say, “Never go full retard” Well that applies to this show and his character.

    • RyanK

      Wow, nice reference Rusty! Very true.

    • The Truth

      Agree, Michael Scott’s scenes got so cringe worthy that it ruined the more interesting and funny plots going on. I am actually looking forward to seeing the show without him. The first couple of seasons with Carell were great, but they took the character way too far in the last couple of seasons.

      • Stop Punching Me In The Nuts

        You speak the truch, The Truth. I love Steve Carell, I think he’s a great comic actor and I also loved Michael Scott the first three seasons but his character has become so over the top lately that he’s almost become unwatchable. I think the show could definitely go on without him providing they bring in the right people. I’m not familiar with Rhys Darby but Danny McBride is awesome. I still think they should promote Gabe. He cracks me up constantly and I think it would be hilarious to have him as a lame duck regional manager that no one respects.

      • Stop Punching Me In The Nuts

        Errr…that should be “you speak the truth, The Truth”
        Damnit! Now my whole witty banter thing is totally lost.

  • Jon

    For those of us not familiar with either guy, could you please caption the photo. Who is who?

    • davey

      Danny McBride is the guy in the photo with the facial hair and the tie on. I actually don’t know ANYTHING about the other guy though.

      • Icon

        Bank guy in “Yes man”

      • Stop Punching Me In The Nuts

        Oh is that who that is? He’s freaking funny as hell.

      • CMC

        Go to youtube and type in Flight of the Conchords Best of Murray Hewitt and let the comedic genius of Rhys Darby unfold before you.

    • Semaphore

      For those not familiar with Rhys Darby, I recommend going to youtube and searching for “hp rhys darby”. Those ads are probably a lot like what his character would be if he’s cast.

    • Brian

      Perhaps one day someone will create an engine on the internet for which to search for information.

      • thin

        Or even some kind of internet database of movie stars where you can look up information about what work actors have done.

      • amy

        They could call it the “Internet Movie Database” … or, IMDB … Just brainstorming here.

      • Dennis Gibbons

        nah, that’d never fly.

      • thegentlemanjack

        i saw a commercial for something akin to that idea, maybe a google search will shed light on the topic

  • Semaphore

    I like Darby a lot, he’s very funny. But I think they should promote from within rather than bring in a new boss from the outside.

    • Jill

      I don’t know about that. I’ve worked in a lot of places where they do just that, (bring someone in from the outside) that’d be more true to life!

      • Semaphore

        It would, I agree. But true to life and good entertainment are often very different things.

    • psarge

      I really hope they bring in Darby. I think that would be an entirely new kind of humor to the show without ruining its current style.

  • Randy

    Both are great choices.

  • Bobby’s Robot

    It should bow out gracefully, but if not, then Rhys Darby.

    • Brian

      Too many great actors and actresses to discontinue show. Give it a couple more seasons to see if you can make this still be just as funny.

  • Jen E.

    Ricky Gervais, however longshot he most certainly is, seems to be the only acceptable option IMO.

    • Dennis67

      RICKY G…enuff said

      • LOL

        “IMO” and “enuff said” are redundant.

    • fred

      Ricky G. would be great!

  • Jen

    I begged for Rhys Darby in an earlier EW post. Band meetings with Scrantonicity FTW!

    • A74

      Good call…Darby would be great! He was has fantastic on FOTC!

  • Derek Powazek

    It’s interesting, because each actor embodies half of Michael Scott. McBride plays an excellent aggressive jerk, and Darby plays a great sweet yet officious dunderhead.

    My vote would definitely go for Darby because he was brilliant in Conchords, and would continue Michael’s trajectory from jerk boss to well-meaning (but still dunderheaded and troublemaking) guy.

  • Debbie

    Danny McBride, I would watch anything with him in it. I LOVE him, he is a riot.

  • theBigE

    First saw Darby on FOTC. Great choice – hilarious guy. Had a nice small part in “Pirate Radio” too.

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