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Carell Hints At Leaving The Office


 

Well, actually, he doesn’t hint it, he says it outright. But there’s enough wiggle room in there (“probably” and “I don’t think so”) that he could wind up staying longer. Still, this is unusually unambiguous:

Question: How long will you stay with The Office for? How many more series? How long does your contract run?

Steve: Contract through next season.

Question: And will you stay after that?

Steve: I don’t think so. I think that will probably be my last year.

As I say, this doesn’t actually rule out his deciding to extend his contract, but it does at least show that he’s seriously thinking about leaving and is willing to say so. No one could really blame him if he wants to leave after making (including next season) around 140 episodes. Like George Clooney, he’s built up his career in the right way, sticking with his hit TV series while taking the summers off to make bad movies (plus the occasional good one like 40 Year-Old Virgin); now comes the second phase of such a career, leaving the show and trying to see if he can actually make some good movies.

Would the show actually go on without him, if he does leave? I guess it depends on how NBC is doing by this time next year. As things stand now, The Office is one of the few decently-rated comedies it has (the two new shows on its Thursday night lineup are good, but not popular yet, and 30 Rock will never be popular). It has enough audience goodwill toward its large ensemble cast that it might be able to go on for a year without Carell; it wouldn’t be the same, but it wouldn’t be a completely different show, either. Some shows have to shut down if the star leaves; Cheers ended when Ted Danson decided he didn’t want to do another year. But The Office is more about the entire office than Cheers was about everyone who hung out in the bar; the characters are not primarily defined by their relationship to Michael. So I can definitely see the network deciding that a Carell-less office would perform better for them than another comedy they could put in its place. Because that’s probably true.

Also, isn’t it cute they way they say “series” when talking to North Americans, and we say “season” when talking to British actors? Forget world currency or one world government; we need one English word for a batch of TV episodes.


 
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Carell Hints At Leaving The Office

  1. I like Steve Carell a lot but he seems to have played idiot savants/man-children/naïfs almost exclusively.

    One idea I had for a project for him would be in a reboot/remake of Slapshot. It seemed like that really was him skating in full hockey gear (and skating quite well) in the episode where people don't celebrate Michael Scott's birthday because they are worried about Kevin maybe having skin cancer.

    He could play the Paul Newman character which would be a different role for him and the whole subtext of the dieing industrial town would still be very relevant.

    If this goes to screen I want my cut.

  2. The Office is still a decent enough show, but like any show it has lost steam as it has gone on. Whether he stays or goes, by the end of next season, that should be enough for the show anyways.

  3. I'd love to see next season deal with Michael's departure, likely for greener, less depressing pastures than David Brent's in the UK Christmas special (and probably with Holly at his side). Then, for a hypothetical season 8, they could follow the Christmas special's plotline and deal with the documentary finally airing; maybe it would be set a few years down the road and take on the guise of the documentary crew returning for one last year. Dwight's in power, Jim might leave soon for a higher-paying corporate job at Staples, etc. If Carell could spare a few weeks, he could pop up throughout the season, too, just like how Brent had a few scenes showing him dealing with his supposed fame from the documentary.

  4. I thought he was excellent in Little Miss Sunshine.

    I've heard the new one with Tina Fey is good too (although haven't seen it and ususally critics snub this kind of movie).

  5. Mostly agree, but it is possible that the shake up from losing Carell would be enough to make it interesting again, as the writers would be forced to deal with some new situations, etc. Though it would make a big difference whether his character was replaced by some corporate hack or by Jim.

  6. Interesting idea, but other than Jim/Pam, and perhaps Dwight, do we care what the other characters are doing in a few years from now? Maybe I'd like to see what Ryan is up to, but I don't think I could care less what Oscar, Creed, Meredith etc… would be doing with themselves.

  7. Ya gots it backwards. It's "series" in Britain and "season" in the states.

  8. That's not necessarily a reason NOT to do a time jump, and besides, they'd all probably be dealing with how they came across on television, and adjusting themselves slightly. I could imagine Kevin might think he came across as dumb, and try to appear smart in the new season, and Kelly's insecure enough that she'd probably sense she came across as a chatterbox, and may try to be quieter. Of course, the comedy would come from the characters struggling to act against their instincts.

    And Creed would have no idea it was a documentary they were shooting, or that it aired.

  9. He's talking about how North American reporters say "season" to British actors, or in this case, a British reporter asked Carell about future "series." So no mix-up at all.

  10. I thought Date Night was great. He's probably in a position where he can now be a bit more "picky" about the type of movies he chooses to star in, now that he's developed a reputation.

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