Last year, Simon Cowell announced that he was leaving American idol and now it turns out one of NBC’s top series is about to lose its main draw as well.
Steve Carell has confirmed he will leave NBC’s The Office at the end of season seven. The sitcom is based on the BBC series of the same name and follows Carell’s character, Michael, the regional manager for a paper company. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, and Jenna Fischer co-star as his fellow employees.
Carell has been with the series since its inception, although it was Paul Giamatti that NBC originally wanted for the role of Michael. Carell had a healthy career before the series premiered in 2005, but it’s certainly picked up since then. He’s already had one movie released this year (Date Night) and next month will bring two more, Despicable Me and Dinner for Schmucks. He’s in post-production for another, and is involved in nine other films in development, including Get Smart 2. Clearly, he’s a busy guy.
Feeling it’s just time for him to go, Carell has said, “I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go.”
NBC has said that Carell has hinted about leaving The Office for awhile so the network’s been preparing for his departure. They’re not disclosing their plans but it’s surely not a coincidence that NBC picked up a lot of new sitcoms for next season.
Because it’s still a moneymaker for NBC and one of the network’s few hits, they’ll surely try to keep it going. Though The Office is billed as an ensemble show, Carell’s character is unmistakably the lead character and often the focal point of the episodes. It’s hard to imagine the series continuing successfully without him.
The fate of American Idol is still up in the air but Scrubs certainly didn’t fare well without Zach Braff as a series regular. CSI has dropped significantly without Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and how long did Sanford Arms last without Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx)?
What do you think? Would you like to see The Office try to continue without Steve Carell or should NBC just end the series when Michael walks out the door for the last time.