In a conference call earlier today, Greg Daniels (the original showrunner of The Office, who is returning to the role this season) announced what many expected, and even more hoped: the upcoming season of The Office will be the show’s last.
“This year feels like the last chance to … make an artistic ending for the show,” he said. “This will be the last season of The Office, and we’re planning a big exciting last season … all questions will be answered this year. We’re going to see who’s behind the documentary … Now that we know we have an end date we can blow things up and take some chances and it will be very freeing, creatively.” [EW]
Now, I’m generally not one to dance on somebody’s grave, but I will say that this… well, it’s time. It’s past time. Over the past seven years, the show has gone from a widely-criticized American knockoff of a classic British series, to a creative and ratings juggernaut that anchored NBC’s Thursday night schedule, to a widely-criticized shell of its former itself. It helped launched the careers of people like Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, and current Parks & Recreation showrunner Mike Schur, all of whom have since moved on to other projects and left holes behind them when they walked away. I don’t know if filling those holes was too hard, or if they just ran out of ideas (the whole show takes place in an office for Chrissakes, and the original only aired for 12 episodes and two Christmas specials), or both, but whatever it was, it had been causing the wheels to spin for a while.
Hopefully Daniels is right and they can wrap everything up and go out in a creative blaze of glory, but I’m not exactly going to hold my breath.