Greg Daniels, developer and executive producer of NBC’s The Office announced today that the ninth season of the mockumentary comedy will be its last. With dwindling ratings after Steve Carell’s exit after the seventh season, and creative ideas lacking, the writing has been on the wall.
The comedy’s eighth season was met with varied criticism, from the arrival of Catherine Tate’s character Nellie to James Spader’s return as new Sabre CEO Robert California, as well as criticism that the show started becoming more slapstick in nature, and lost the creative feel of earlier seasons.
There also is the small matter of Mindy Kaling leaving for her own sitcom on FOX, and Rainn Wilson developing a spin-off for his character Dwight. However, knowing the end is here makes it easier for Daniels. “There is so much to pay off from nine seasons of great characters and the core cast are all going to be there,” he said. “Now that we know we have an end date, we can take some chances and blow things up.”
The rest of the core cast is expected back, with Ed Helms, BJ Novak, and John Krasinski reducing their roles in various capacities. The main question is if they can nab Carell back to help bookend the series. Daniels stressed that he hopes he can bring back Carell, but won’t put unwanted pressure on the series’ former star.
“We certainly wish Michael Scott would return,” Daniels stated. “But we’re not going to put pressure on Steve to write something only he could do. We’ll see, we haven’t written anything, we just have some ideas for the ending.”
With 30 Rock in its final season and Community back for a short 13-episode season, NBC might be thinking about starting from scratch, eliminating shows from the old owners and trying to emerge back on top and truly bring back “Must See TV”.
The Office returns to NBC, Thursdays this fall at 9:00 PM.