Ain't It Cool News (

Is NBC About To

I am – Hercules!!

We’re less than two months from NBC’s May 14 upfront, the event at which the network’s fall schedule is revealed, and negotiations have stalled between NBC Universal and key “Office” cast members John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms and B.J. Novak, according to Deadline Hollywood.

In addition, longtime showrunner Paul Lieberstein just revealed he will not continue with “The Office” after this season, preferring to concentrate on “The Farm,” a potential Schrute-centric spin-off starring Rainn Wilson.

Krasinski (“Big Miracle”), Fischer (“Hall Pass”), Helms (“Jeff, Who Lives At Home”) and Novak (“The Dictator”) all have busy big-screen careers and may be rather less excited about an “Office” no longer run by Lieberstein.

James Spader will not be back next season as new boss Robert California. Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly Kapoor, is starring in a pilot she wrote for Fox. If that goes to series, her days at “The Office” will end as well.

Most importantly, there’s the question of whether NBC wants to pay a lot of big actor salaries for a series that has taken a steep plunge in the ratings since the departure of Steve Carell a year ago.

During Carell’s final season, the “Office” ratings for adults 18-49 looked like this (the 4.4 is the 7th season premiere; the 3.9 is the 7th season finale):

3.9 3.3 3.5 4.2 3.3 - 4.0 3.4 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.5 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.6 3.8 4.0 3.4 3.8 3.5 3.7 4.4

The current season looks like this (the 3.9 is the 8th season premiere; the 2.4 is last week’s installment):

- 2.4 2.6 2.5 2.6 2.3 2.5 2.8 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.2 2.9 3.3 3.2 3.5 3.9

On the other hand, “Smash” (renewed today for a second season) hit a series low of 2.2 this week, so the “The Office” is still arguably NBC’s top-rated scripted show in primetime.

(We have to say “primetime” because “Saturday Night Live” now appears to be NBC’s biggest scripted show. Its Jonah Hill episode hit a 2.6 in adults 18-49; its Lindsay Lohan episode hit a 2.9; its Charles Barkley episode hit a 4.1.)

If “The Farm” goes to series (I’d be shocked if it didn’t), NBC hopes to launch it in about 10 months. Because NBC probably wants to keep some version of “The Office” around to facilitate that launch, could we be seeing a ninth and final season of “The Office” starring Catherine Tate, Craig Robinson, Kathy Bates (whose “Harry’s Law” will certainly be cancelled), and (until next January) Rainn Wilson?

The final five 8th-season episodes of “The Office” will begin airing April 19.

Find Deadline’s story on the matter here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • March 22, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Oh. "The Farm." "The Office." I get it. I really do.

    by Dharma4

    Surely, that can't be the title they're going with.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    It's time to go.

    by 3774

    Honestly. You know it, and I know it.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    I had to kill NBC for making a mistake...

    by Dick Jones

    ...and that mistake being let the show stay on after the departure of Steve.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Whatever renews "Community". So say we all.

    by pollaxt

  • March 22, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    like Northern Exposure after Fleischman left

    by Himbo

    For those of you too young to remember, there was a wonderful show in the 90s called "northern exposure"... <cry>

  • March 22, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    The Office : The Farm :: Friends : Joey

    by bah

  • March 22, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Two Words: Norm MacDonald

    by SunsetLament

    Norm as the new boss would bring the ratings.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I thought it had already been a done deal...

    by erik_a

    ...that this was the LAST season of The Office? I have been watching it with that in mind since the beginning of this season...

  • March 22, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    They should call the show Dwight, but that would make sense

    by SoylentMean

    Dwight is the best part of The Office now. I think it would be kinda shocking if they ended this season with The Office catching fire and only Dwight survives.<P> I don't see why NBC would cancel the show now, with the ratings it still gets. <P> I bet they're kicking themselves for not giving Carell more money right about now.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Community needs to not be on against BBT!

    by SoylentMean

    It's common sense!

  • March 22, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Not sure how much hilarity can be milked from a beet farm.

    by SoylentMean

    I bet it's some purplish hued milk though.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Should've ended at season 5

    by Karl Childers

  • March 22, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Have not watched since before last season

    by Volstaff

    Honestly, I didn't even watch the final half of Carrell's season.The show to me was starting to feel tired even then. It became a show I was watching more out of habit than a show I watched because it was just damn good laugh out loud funny.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Don't want a Dwight spin-off

    by Sw0rdfish

    I want a Creed spin-off. There's a whole world there to explore.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Schrute Farms should be the title

    by Karl Childers

  • March 22, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Good Riddance

    by harrys_site_sucks

    This show jumped the shark when they set it in America.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    The show is at a creative high right now.

    by TheFifthCylon

    Last year when Carrell left would have been the right time to end the show. Not now. Ever since Catherine Tate joined the cast, the show has produced some of it's funniest episodes. It's creatively on fire right now. An odd time to end it.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    I love the office

    by eric haislar

    Still to this day. I it as funny and clever as it once was. No not at all. But I love the characters and still enjoy episodes here at there. But I still think the show should have ended when Micheal Left. To me he was the glue that held it all together. She show was as much about Micheal as it was about the office.

  • It's been painful to watch this year though. It's like everyone writing it completely forgot why it was funny in the first place.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST

    loyal viewer, but it is time to end it.

    by Uncle Pooky

  • I caught one episode this year, "Doomsday", because the premise sounded funny of Dwight's doomsay device, and I did like it as "checking in" with the characters even though I stopped watching after last season (Michael Scott may not be the main main character, that's Jim, but all of the stories revolve around him), and it was fun to watch a one-off like that. Also the climax of the episode was set on the beet farm which is a fun segue into what is probably 100% will be the spin off. But I didn't commit to a whole season cuz the narrative seems quite wrapped up for that show's story. Now, I do wish the show will get a proper send-off where they bring everybody back for one last guest shot and Michael Scott and so forth, so I think it'll get at least that. Them canning the show without wrapping it up is odd to say the least. And I'll totally watch the Dwight spin off.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Time to end it.

    by CatVutt

    It could have worked, but they've really had no idea where to take it since Michael's departure. It's no fun to watch. They went big when they should have tried going back to smaller stories. Robert California, while being sporadically hilarious, was a mistake as a semi-regular. They could have used him as a Wallace-type with good results, his presence mostly by phone and the occasional visit. Everything was too chaotic. It's a mess now and they just need to pull the trigger on it.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    It done, if not for financial reasons than story ones

    by DougMcKenzie

    Krasinski, Helms, and Robinson are all above title on A-level Hollywood comedies. I imagine Helms could want Ted Danson money to hang around any longer. They should transition The Office into the Farm in the middle of next season, even if the b-list actors on the show don't like it.

  • March 22, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    northern exposure was fucking brilliant.

    by Randy

  • March 22, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Community is fucking terrible

    by randallrst

    So say the rest of us. It can't hold 30 Rocks nut sack.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Just dump Krasinski and Fischer

    by FrodoFraggins

    They are the weak links anyway.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Time To Go

    by JustSomeAsshole

    I have seen every episode of the Office since its premiere in 2004. It is time to go. The Carell finale episode would have been a good place to end the story last season. Even the episodes that aired after he left were feeling tired. While Spader has been a welcome addition, the story lines are no longer interesting, and I can't be made to care any more about the characters. The romantic tension of Jim and Pam drove the first few seasons. That tension simply does not exist between Andy and Erin. By the way, Jim and Pam suck my taint now that they are married. They were much better when Pam was engaged to Roy and Jim was pining for her and there would be occasional looks between them and one or two scandalous and/or drunk kisses. Now listening to fat marm Pam bitch about being a mommy and Jim revealing himself as a complete dork/douchebag, I sort of hope they will be home invaded and killed by a gang of satanic rapists. Also, I agree that the spinoff should be about Creed, not Dwight. Dwight and his character are clearly established in the Office. Creed... not so much. All we get from Creed is occasional glimpses of his apparently bizarre life. What great fodder for a show! Who gives a flying fuck about Dwight's retarded beet farm? Although Mose is good. I want to die.

  • Seriously, Dwight is by far the most annoying character on the show. Every time an episode focuses on him, you can guarantee it will be unrealistic and stupid. Yes, the whole show has probably crossed the "realism" line a long, long time ago... but Dwight is the worst. No way any self-respecting halfway intelligent person wouldn't have fired him years ago. He's simply not believable as a character and hasn't been for a long time.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST


    by Rob


  • At least in quality?

  • March 22, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    They Changed Darrens on Bewitched....

    by Crow3711


  • March 22, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    the show has been so much better this season

    by frankenstone

    Steve Carell stayed about three seasons too long. When the writing was good, he was magic. When the writing was bad, he sucked all of the air out of the show. His character was too inconsistent. The show is at its best when it is about THE OFFICE. When it is a show about how stupid and awful working in an office can be. The individual characters aren't all that important.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    This is no surprise

    by Kremzeek

    They should've ended the show with Carell's departure. End of story. That's American TV for you: If there's even the slightest chance more money can be made - even if it makes no sense to keep going whatsoever - they'll do it anyway. There's no such thing as doing what's best for a series, film franchise, or over all story anymore. It's all about money. Sad.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    As long as they wrap it up properly

    by John Brown

    Maybe they should officially "cancel" the show after this season, then do a follow up special (like the UK version) that checks in with the characters and where their lives have ended up. That could segue nicely into "The Farm." (horrible title)

  • March 22, 2012, 5 p.m. CST

    @ vameon

    by -Halfscan-

    Let me introduce you to a little known show named M*A*S*H*

  • March 22, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    And "The Farm" could work...

    by -Halfscan-

    (bland title aside) if done as an updated Faulty Towers, which is how I imagined it when it was announced.

  • March 22, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Which Jump the Shark plot point did they miss?

    by Mugato5150

    The will they or won't they couple getting together, a baby, the main character leaving, they could give Data a hilarious emotion chip and crash the Enterprise but that might not fit with this franchise.

  • March 22, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    seasons 2-3 of the office are fucking incredible


    just a excellent run of hilarious, awkward, and touching episodes. this show really didnt feel like its own show to me until seasons 2 and 3 two of the best seasons in tv ever. i honestly like those seasons better than the original series. season 4 was solid, but the writers strikes hampered it a bit, you can tell they were going for something epic with ryans storyline but it felt too rushed. some classics in there too though, the dinner party, the deposition among the best. season 5 had solid episodes, a few weak ones, but the show was still good at this point. 6 was just a boring bummer and michael scott was just becoming unbearable to watch at this point, and kathy bates character is not funny in any way. mafia is probably the worst or 2nd worst episode ive ever seen of the office. 7 i intially thought was terrible, but their are some solid episodes in here (dwight as manager, snowball fight episode, dangelos first episode, china) and michael scott maturing was good to watch. but i was disappointed they went that route with him, it wouldve been far more hilarious if he was fired, and it made no sense to me how everybody all of the sudden loved him when they thought he was annoying for so many years. and oh god, jim and pam have become useless by this point and the christening episode was a series low. not a great season. this is all pre season 8 of course, where i think every episode is pretty much so-so to god awful.

  • March 22, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    please god let it be true !!

    by ihatefanboys

    Die "OFFICE" die !!! THE single most OVERRATED show in the history of TV was NEVER funny, EVER. and i love HELMS, WILSON and CARELL but they totally suck and have been wasted by this CRAPFEST

  • March 22, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST


    by LethargicJ

    I stopped watching it at the start of this season. I couldn't stand the California character. It truly ruined the show for me. That being said I'd still be bummed if it went out like this. I'd like to see NBC try keeping it around as a limited series. If they only did about 12 episodes the writing wouldn't be so watered down, plots wouldn't be stretched so thin, it would keep the cost of the actors down and would give them more time for movie roles.

  • March 22, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    mugato5150: Nobody's adopted a precocious adolescent yet.

    by Royston Lodge

  • March 22, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    vameon: Valerie/The Hogan Family

    by Royston Lodge

    Valerie Harper was in it for two seasons. The Hogan Family lasted for 4 more years.

  • March 22, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    I really hope this isn't another After M*A*S*H*

    by v3d

  • March 22, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    You know, I've really enjoyed this season without Carrell.

    by notspock2

    Would be a shame to see it go just yet.

  • Heh heh, how classic would that be?

  • March 22, 2012, 6 p.m. CST

    M*A*S*H*?When did Hawkeye leave the show?

    by Randy

    I asked when the lead character left and the quality didn't drop because of it. I remember Hawkeye being there...

  • okay, he says he loves Wilson and Carrell but they suck. So he loves them ... but they also suck. And what would he be a fan to "love" Rain Wilson from if he's awful. Super? The Rocker? I'm confused.

  • March 22, 2012, 6:19 p.m. CST

    vameon: On MASH Colonel Blake left. So did Trapper John.

    by Royston Lodge

    I dunno if Hawkeye counts as the "main character". It was an ensemble show. But I do see your point.

  • March 22, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Please, God...

    by Leto III

    ...But it's still one of NBC's "highest-performing" shows, which isn't saying a whole lot, right now. About the only consolation I'd draw from this whole thing is that, if NBC is forced to keep The Office around in all of its wretched putridity, it has absolutely no excuse for not renewing Community next year.

  • despite the fact it died (for me) after season 3.

  • March 22, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    leto iii, excellent point!

    by Tigger Tales

  • March 22, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Reminds me of 24..

    by Captain Hollywood

    Everyone "knew" it was ending on Season 8, but it was never outright said until it was "cancelled" by the network. Hopefully The Office writers weren't expecting the show to go on another season.

  • March 22, 2012, 6:49 p.m. CST

    The Farm = Frasier = should be called Dwight

    by Loosejerk

    He lives with his gay brother, Mose, and sings about tossed salad and scrambled beets.

  • March 22, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST


    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

  • March 22, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Catherine Tate = count me out

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    Last week's episode was like having my teeth pulled. What a fucking unpleasant character. Shows you what Michael Gary Scott would be like without Steve Carrell's innate likeability to temper his obnoxiousness.

  • March 22, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    I still love The Office

    by Eyegore

    I'll keep watching until it gets canceled, unless it starts to suck. It hasn't yet.

  • March 22, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    One can only hope. This series has sucked balls since the pilot

    by Cash907

    The original was funny, and the dry brit-style humor worked, because it was duh British. But just like every other Americanized BBC hit, it sucks to the point where you're better off just watching the original on Netflix. Maybe NBC will find itself a clue between now and May, and bring out some ORIGINAL programming, instead of ripping off what's already been done better, or rehashing what's already on the air over at competing networks. Yes, Smash, I'm looking squarely at you, you despicable mess. And take that steaming pile of crap 30 Rock with you. I'm thrilled all the critics just looooove your insider jokes and gags, but the rest of us that live in the real world couldn't give less of a shit if we tried.

  • March 22, 2012, 8:43 p.m. CST

    This show sucks


    always has

  • March 22, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST

    I still Enjoy it. "The Farm" sounds pretty bad.

    by Charlie

    I still enjoy the office. The problem is, they need to shake things up more. I think the Tampa trip was an attempt but it wasn't far enough. You need things like when Jim went to another office, when Michael Started his own company (although i hated that). I still maintain carrell was one of the weaker parts of the show, but his role was invaluable. Nothings filled that role so it seems like the office while he's out of the room. Not to sound like George Costanza when he said Cheers should move locations from the bar. I do think maybe they do need to shift the entire office. Do a dramatic re-tooling. Where their branch gets absorbed into another, more corporate world. Do a season dealing with that. Then end it with some how Jim and Pam manage to start their own paper company, go back to the old office with the same people. So it kind of ends in a, "this is where we're meant to be" kind of way.

  • March 22, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    --- Was there a show that ever survived the lead character leaving? --

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    Cheers continued to kick ass long after Diana left the show. And she was a HUGE part of the series. I liked Rebecca more. She was hotter and less annoying.

  • March 22, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    M*A*S*H survived many principle characters leaving

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    and it seemed to keep chugging along. Its finale was the most watched episode of TV for a long, long time.

  • March 22, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Yes, please, cancel the show and scrap the spinoff too.

    by Triple_J_72

    I don't need to see Rainn Wilson on my television anymore, kthanxbye.

  • Life's Too Short. It's Funny.

  • This show is dead, and has been dying since Carrell left. There have been weeks this season where I've actually thought of removing it from the DVR list. It's tired and everyone knows it. The only thing now is whether to bring it back for one last gasp, which may not be worth it if the actors are likewise disinterested.

  • March 23, 2012, 12:04 a.m. CST

    As someone who actually enjoyed the last season of the Office

    by Bass Ackwards

    This season started out as a maybe, and I actually liked the Tampa stuff (mainly because it pushed the Andy stuff aside), but last week was just terrible, Andy as boss was a really ball-less move. The promoted an actor who has a high profile (or higher, compared to the rest of the cast), rather then a character that made sense in the show. The character simply has nothing to be invested in, at best they just recycle previous gags and make him Michael Scott-lite, at worst he's a zero presence, and the attempt to manufacture depth by trying to force Andy-Erin as another will they/won't they romance is cringe worthy for how obviously pandering it is. The show really should have ended with Michael leaving. Though I did enjoy the Ferrell episodes that followed, but could have enjoyed that the same if the series had taken a cue from the British series and maybe had a one-off 'reunion' episode to tie things up (though the show really doesn't have any worthwhile loose ends at this point, having been on for so long).

  • March 23, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    i think the show is incredibly cheap to produce?


    i actually thought it was shot in a actual office for awhile. but most of it is shot one the same set theyve been using for years, so maybe thats why they keep it around? still profitable i guess. just not as much once you factor in the casts salaries.

  • March 23, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    And I say this is the most condescending Alex Trebek voice

    by thebearovingian

    RE: The Office - They did not go to Tampa to open the Sabre store. They went to Tallahassee... Tallahassee. *looks down my nose while staring disapprovingly for at least 2 seconds*. AND I believe the character on Cheers was Diane, not Diana. Diane. I'm not certain that some commenters are entirely familiar with these shows. The rest of you guys are SPOT ON!

  • NYPD Blue, over and over and over

  • March 23, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    It will be sad to see it go.

    by Nuck81

    I'm still a loyal watcher and I have lost count how many times I've gone through the whole series on Netflix in order. But I survived the end of Lost I'll survive this. The show was beginning to hit it's stride. Catherine Tate was a little obnoxious but she is basically just playing a female version of David Brent. Spader has been gold...

  • March 23, 2012, 1:08 a.m. CST

    No one ever acknowledges that the UK The Office

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    cribbed the style of the Christopher Guest/Eugene Levy mockumentaries, so it's hardly original.

  • March 23, 2012, 2:15 a.m. CST

    The only chance they had to survive Carell's leaving

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    was to make Jim the manager. Promoting Andy doomed what small chance the show still had.

  • March 23, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    No one acknowledges that

    by Niaiserie

    because its wholly unnecessary, the UK Office makes no claim to having invented mockumentaries, and its only 'cribbed' the style insofar as they are both utilizing the style of actual documentaries, Guest/Levy didn't invent mockumentaries or the style of documentary film making (as an aside, Albert Brooks and Woody Allen both did fictional movies in documentary form that predate Guest & Levy's efforts).

  • Oh, so **that's** where the unfunny cunt went. She went where every one of our cunts go when they stop being funny (if they were even funny in the first place); America, where people still think they're funny. Would you like David Walliams? Now **there's** a massively unfunny cunt. You'd love him.

  • March 23, 2012, 7:08 a.m. CST

    @sunsetlament - The Norm MacDonald suggestion..

    by ColloquiallyBorn

    Seriously, I think of all the comments posted here, bringning Norm MacDonald as the new main character for the boss might actualy be the best suggestion if they want to continue the show.. I think he has the best personality to migrate to the show and make it work again. Knowing the show is built on a fake Reality Show of Office Workers being filmed, MacDonald's crazy almost tick like character he's built over the years might be funny in that overall take on a sitcom. I would love seeing that suggestion come to life, hell whynot try it if they are gonna can the show after next season (suggesting that they actualy go for another season before it's cancelled).. At least try something bold and new. ps. The Farm.. Really???.. Do we need another spin-off that seem to suck from the get-go.. Rainn Wilson is funny because of the relationships between the characters.. He needs those characters to be funny, if they just base the new gang from the old gang to make it look like The Office, then mhy not just to a big finale where the company is sold, and the new owners decide to close the company so everyone gets fired, but he is kept to oversee the closure, as everybody else got new jobs. You get that final shot of everyone walking out the door, Dwight is there alone.. Turns to the camera and goes "Yes! This is MY LAIR!" fade out.. You start off next season with a camera being turned on, Dwight is there sitting at the Manager's desk and he start by explaining that after the plan of shutting the Office down was approved, some other company came in and bought out the new owners and started the "Office" again. He is presently Acting Manager with him seeing himself has the boss, the new owners are coming by to talk to him today "I'm getting the promotion for sure.." kinda text, we go around he brings in the employees for a team meeting and explains what the cameras are doing there, and bam new bosses come in, get Dwight alone, and tell him the good news, he can keep his job... his OLD job.. They bring in the new Manager and start the new series... You have a series based on Dwight trying to get approval from the new boss who keeps pushing his desk away in hopes of seeing Dwight give in his resignation one day.. ect ect.. Other than that, seeing Dwight move on to another copy cat show with the same characters just seems like a bad idea.. Don't do a new show, if you want to do that and close out the original one, then just keep the same one and reinvent it drastically... Take a freaking chance... As "bah" said in one of the first couple of comments, The Farm will be just like a Joey series.. doomed to fail..

  • No matter what they do, no matter what new face they try to introduce, the show has simply gone totally stale. Time to go out with some grace.

  • March 23, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST

    The US version surpassed the UK version creatively long ago.

    by FluffyUnbound

    So please, just stop the annoying "the UK version was SOOOO much better" crap that poseurs spew everywhere. The show has seen better days, true. But those better days were pretty damn good, and were much better than the best days of the UK version.

  • Close Sabre... everyone goes their seperate ways. Fast forward a year, and they have a reunion, updating everyone on where people are.... end it with Dwight... leading into his own show. Simple... simple... simple.

  • March 23, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Yes, bring in Norm MacDonald.

    by frank

    Also eliminate Jim and Pam. Then I would start watching the show again. Of course, Norm’s involvement with any show virtually guarantees that it will be cancelled within a season, but it would at least be a funny season.

  • March 23, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Keep Dwight...

    by ZodNotGod

    Make him office manager....dump Jim, Pam, and the bug-eyed kid....all have proven to be annyoning at this point and no one cares anymore- dump whoever else wants to go. Bring in new people to be the new Jim, the normal one. Keep Dwight, Daryl, Creed, Meredith, Phylis, Stanley, Kevin, Andy, Erin, Oscar and Toby. All of the supporting players have proven themselves time and again they are solid. Like Cheers, the supporting players give it heft on those times things get flimsy.

  • March 23, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Cancel 30 Rock and Up All Night and WHITNEY!

    by ZodNotGod

  • March 23, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Dwight's show might be funny, but....

    by ZodNotGod

    it has the potential stink of AFTERMASH.

  • YES! Dallas continued 5 years after Patrick Duffy left and returned. All in the Family continued 3 more years after Edith Bunker died.

  • March 23, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Was there a show that ever survived the lead character leaving?

    by ZodNotGod

    George Clooney from E/R. Ran ten more seasons without him.

  • March 23, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    At least give it a good send off if cancelation is imminent...

    by Dlgothv

    I'd like to see a "where are they now?" type of mockumentary as a series wrap up. Have the branch closed for years, and catch up to all the characters and where they ended up after DM-Sabre closed up shop. Just to see Jim and Pam happily married, Andy and Erin living vicariously, Gabe stuck in Tallahassee, maybe have Creed traveling the countryside like Kain in Kung Fu,etc. and finally get a glimpse of the camera crew and what assignment they have next (The Farm)...

  • March 23, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    The Office is better than ever

    by mooseaka

    I've really enjoyed this season and agree with people who say it is at a creative high right now. Not devoting at least 8 out of 22 minutes each week to Steve Carrell acting annoying, stupid or both, has forced the writers to start writing jokes and gags again, instead of relying on the crutch of "goofy acting." Michael suffered from the same fate as Homer Simpson - he became a caracature as opposed to a character, and he got so dumb you couldn't relate to him at all. Like Community, The Office is an ensemble show and the sum is better than it's parts.

  • March 23, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    They're renewing it -- next season sounds like the last

    by Larry Sellers

    New executive story editor, Jenna Fischer is teasing about new Pam and Jim stories, and they've already discussed the possibilities of short-term absences of Krasinski and Helms.

  • March 23, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    But although I've stuck with the show

    by Larry Sellers

    This season has been frustrating. Not because Steve Carrell left, not because of James Spader. But because they promised more of an ensemble that would spread the stories out more evenly among even secondary characters. What do we get? Three or four consecutive episodes about Andy wondering if anyone likes him, more episodes revolving around OH NO THE BOSS IS COMING, shoving Andy/Erin's forced relationship down the diminishing audience's throat... They took an opportunity to try new things. It's not working out. If they are OFFICIALLY renewed for season 9, I would prefer that they give it a half order of 11-12 episodes including an hour long, and make a tight, well rounded arc of the show's ending...whatever that may be.

  • March 23, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    This Season of the Office

    by Nuck81

    It suffered because it stumbled a bit out of the gate. The Ghettysberg episode was one of the worst of the series, and the couple leading up to it where weak as well, but since the Christmas episode It found it's new personality and has been great. The problem is that all the viewers that were unsure of no Michael Scott gave up with the weak early season...

  • March 23, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Office is better without Carrell

    by INWOsuxRED

    Id be happy to see the Ryan character leave too. His storyline ended with the arrest and he no longer has a character. Andy also has no personality and isn't the same character they brought in, or even the character after anger management. I'm happy with just about everyone else, but there isn't a single person that makes or breaks the show. I'd say with the big shakeup looming, make the show about the post-airing of the documentary now, like the uk special. It gives a good reason for shaking up the employees as people might get other jobs or leave because they don't like the attention of being public figures. It would also be funny if Pam spent all her time at work getting random phone calls from the public telling her to dump Roy.

  • March 23, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Merchant should have been the boss

    by INWOsuxRED

    See his work on extras. He obviously gets the show and knows how to make it good. Offer him lots of money to run the show for a season and all will be right.

  • March 23, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    The final reveal

    by Gregorso

    I still want them to explain in the final episode who has been shooting this documentary footage of them for several years and why. I think it should be revealed to be a bizarre Truman-style psychological experiment.

  • March 23, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    re: gregorso

    by Larry Sellers

    Lieberstein participated in an OfficeTally Q&A not too long ago and teased that they would reveal the premise for the documentary at the end of the series, and that "it might not be what you think". But who knows if what he had planned will still stand now that he's leaving?

  • If we could include lead actors in pilots that got canned when the series was picked up, I'd say "Star Trek". CSI (original) is better this year than it has been for many years. Fishburne was fine but Danson has revitalized that show in a way that makes me say "Grissom who?".

  • March 23, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    And, as someone else said above, "ER"

    by jim

    Everybody left that show (some came back).

  • March 23, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    .........Is that show still on?

    by Jaster Mareel

  • March 23, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    RE: "Office is better without Carrell"

    by F-18

    Bullshit. BULL. SHIT.

  • I also said in quality, I can't think of any show that stayed at the same quality after the lead left the show.

  • March 23, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Mission Impossible the best example of losing/replacing characters

    by paulloch

    Steven Hill left after one season. replaced by Peter Graves. ratings went up Martin Landau and Barbara Bain left after three seasons. Replaced by Leonard Nimoy and Lesley Anne Down. ratings stayed the same. Peter Lupus had a contract dispute, and was gone for half a season. replaced by Sam Elliot. ratings stayed the same. Of course, this was a format show, how done it/ how to do it? mystery, so losing actors didn't really matter. though the first season with the original cast is my favorite.

  • March 23, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    It's not better, but the concept of people dealing

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    with a new boss with a different style, promoted from among your ranks, who used to be on the same level, is an interesting one, even if they haven't exactly pulled it off.

  • March 23, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Possible the best since S2

    by _Maltheus_

    Ok, yes the storylines and characters are stupider than ever, and I wasn't going to watch this season after Carell left, but have been catching up with it recently and I find myself laughing out loud a number of times throughout each episode. Haven't had that reaction to an Office episode in years. Plus, Erin is the bees knees. But amen on that McDonald suggestion. One of the very few SNL cast to ever make me laugh (in the way that drunken buddies are always funnier than anything in Hollywood).

  • March 23, 2012, 7:36 p.m. CST

    They'll work out a sweetheart farewill deal

    by Truxton Spangler

    that will provide a segue way into Dwight's show. Most of the cast and producers have gotten what they can out of the show, and those that can have lined up their post-Office futures. The show has been good to the network as well, and while it would no doubt want to milk it some more, they at last have some small form of insurance in the Dwight spinoff. I think it's clear to most, this teat is almost dry.

  • March 24, 2012, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Norm MacDonald is ratings cancer.

    by SpaghettiWall

    He will KILL your show if he's on it. But he' fucking good.

  • March 24, 2012, 3:23 a.m. CST

    All the shows that people have offered up

    by Wheel99

    have all had a central lead that stuck with the show despite many other cast members leaving. Mash had Hawkeye. Cheers had Sam ER Was an ensamble cast. no real lead. All in the family had Archie Bunker Happy Days had the Fonz The only show that I can think of where the lead left and it went on for more than one season would be when Michael J Fox left Spin City. Charlie Sheen had two seasons.

  • March 24, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    People who like the Office without Carrell probably drink RC Cola.

    by Bobo_Vision

    But not because they like it.

  • March 24, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Norm McDonald is as funny as cancer of the penis

    by Nick

  • March 24, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Northern Exposure

    by Anthony Torchia

    The Fling Itself Need I say more? That fucking show changed my life. If it didn't change yours, it's because you never watched it. The Office is dead, long live the Farm!

  • March 24, 2012, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Norm Macdonald is hilarious. The only thing funnier than him...

    by John Brown the word "crackwhore."

  • March 25, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST


    by Wheel99

    Simpsons did? What main characters voice changed? Homer? The voice changed but it was changed by the same guy who voiced the original. Also NYPD blue while surviving a main character change has Sipowitz the whole way through.

  • March 25, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Fan, but come on, let's learn from the X-Files.

    by ennio

    Should have cut it when Duchovny and Carrell left. It feels like the entire X-Files show has been tainted with its last two medicore, going-through-the-motions seasons without the core leads. The Office has had some great moments this season, so it's not a total bust without Carrell, but it's just not the same. I don't want to see it die the slow death, but NBC is going to let that happen.

  • March 25, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons did, when the main voice actor was replaced

    by FastEddie8139

    Say wha?