The widely successful NBC comedy “The Office” is coming to an end May 16. Unfortunately for fans of the long-running mockumentary sitcom, a producer for the show announced this week that former lead, Steve Carell, will not be reprising his award-winning role as overbearing and quirky boss Michael Scott.
After NBC announced the final season of “The Office” would air in 2013, rumors went rampant that Carell would make one final cameo during the series finale. The actor, however, shot down the reports in January. Producer Greg Daniels reconfirmed the news again Wednesday two weeks before the episode’s airdate. Daniels stated that it was Carell’s decision not to return to the program, Reuters reports.
“I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye, and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved,” Daniels said, referring to the actor's season seven deperature from the show.
Carell addressed the rumors while promoting his film “The Way Back” at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, stating a reappearance wouldn’t harmonize with the show’s current storyline on screen and claiming his character had already been fully “evolved.”
“I’m really good friends with everybody on the cast. ... I want to go back and say ‘hi’ certainly before it all ends, but I just thought, in terms of the character, it didn’t make sense,” said Carell, who tweeted a message to his former cast members during their last day on set in March.
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Thinking of the cast, crew, writers, et al of "The Office" on your final day of filming. Love you.
â€” Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) March 17, 2013
While Carell won’t be making an appearance, Reuters reports that the network is placating viewers by expanding the last three episodes of the series from their usual 30-minute length to supersized hour-long programs.
“We are still hopeful of getting slightly more than one hour,” Daniels said. “We are trying to get more time, and the network is being very creative about scraping some more without having to start the finale at a weird time and cause half the audience to miss the first 10 minutes,” he said.
“The Office” episode “Livin’ the Dream” will air Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST, “A.A.R.M.” airs May 9 at 8:30 p.m. EST, and the series finale airs May 16 at 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC.