Although it’s a shoo-in for renewal, there’s nothing yet official for a ninth season of “The Office” next year. The network and the talent are still working out deals, but it appears that both Ed Helms and John Krasinski will return for at least part of next season, which would likely be their last. Both have movie projects in the works in the fall, so they would likely miss part of the season, and both seem to be anxious to leave and move on with their feature film careers. Moreover, this season is likely the last for Mindy Kaling, whose pilot over on Fox is primed for pick-up. That’s not the only shake-up at “The Office.” Paul Lieberstein — who is not only the showrunner, but he also plays Toby — is also leaving his post as showrunner to focus on Dwight’s spin-off. Assuming that goes through, Rainn Wilson would also be leaving the show. Once Jim leaves, narratively, it would also make sense for Pam to go. It’s also already been confirmed that James Spader is leaving at the end of this season. After all those casting upheavals, that would leave “The Office” — NBC’s highest rated scripted show — with basically no big names left in the cast. It would be the Kevin and Daryl show.
Indeed, if NBC decided to move to a tenth season, they’d likely do so with a lot of new characters. B.J. Novak — who plays Ryan — is also a leading contender to take over as showrunner, but he’d have a mess on his hands. How do you maintain any kind of narrative cohesion while bringing in so many replacement characters? Can the show survive yet another change in manager? Does the audience even have patience for it? Will viewers really get behind a sitcom led by Ellie Kemper?
It’s time to retire “The Office.” It was time to retire “The Office’ three years ago. Ratings be damned, the show is going the way of the paper company. With the leading cast members leaving, it’s time to take a cue from the increasingly green, paperless workplace: Shut down Dunder Mifflin, NBC. You’ve besmirched its previously good name enough. It’s time to let go. But if you want to give Creed a spin-off, I’d be OK with that.
(Source: TV Guide)