Steve Carell Leaving “The Office” Early

World's best boss to exit with four episodes to go in season

Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Steve Carell Leaving “The Office” Early

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Steve Carell is bowing out early.

Steve Carell's final "Office" party won't be the finale.

The NBC comedy's executive producer, Greg Daniels, told The Associated Press Michael Scott's character will be off the show before the season ends in May. The final episodes of the season will focus on the scrambling to replace him at the Scranton branch of the mythical Dunder Mifflin paper company.

Carell had said previously that he was quitting "The Office"  to concentrate on his movie career. But NBC plans to press on without him.

NBC said Friday that Carell will leave with four episodes left in the season. That means his farewell episode will most likely come in April.

"It was about focusing the spring on the office and everybody else, and not just a character going," producer Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby, told Vulture. "If the show was ending, it would be about that. But it's not."

EW.com and HitFix reported the final four episodes will focus on the characters Darryl, Dwight and Andy vying for power.

But it could be the new boss will be none of the above. Lieberstein told The Wrap the new Michael will be "cooler" than Carell's bumbling character. 

Still he cautioned, "most people are cooler than Michael Scott."

Selected Reading: The Wrap, Vulture, EW

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