The Office is being sent off in style.
NBC announced Tuesday that it will add an extra 15 minutes to the long-running sitcom’s May 16 finale. The Office’s last episode will now air 9-10:15 p.m., followed by Hannibal, which will run 10:15-11 p.m. with limited commercial interruptions.
The news comes a little more than a month after a petition was launched to supersize The Office finale. Back in 2006, the show’s Season 2 finale was also expanded from the normal 22 minutes to 28 minutes after a similar petition was set up. “The network’s being creative about scraping more time together for us without having us start the finale in a weird time that will cause half the audience to miss the first 10 minutes or something,” Showrunner Greg Daniels told reporters on a conference call last week.
The final episode will include a wedding and also catch up with the employees of Dunder Mifflin, past and present, months after the documentary has aired, according to an episode description released last month.
The Office finale will feature guest stars such as Rachael Harris, Dakota Johnson, Joan Cusack, Ed Begley Jr., as well as former series regulars Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak. It has been reported that the series’ original protagonist Steve Carell will also appear, but his representative has denied this claim.
The Office had its series finale party over the weekend in Scranton, Penn., where the show is set.
Michael Scott, you sneaky little devil you.
On the heels of another carefully worded denial from exec producer Greg Daniels that The Office‘s May 16 series finale will not feature a return appearance by Steve Carell, TVLine has learned exclusively that the Dunder Mifflin legend will, in fact, turn up in the swan song.
In a conference call with reporters last week, Daniels sort-of-but-not-really shot down speculation about a Carell comeback, saying, “I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved.”
Possible translation: Carell’s return won’t overshadow the ending.
And by all accounts, it won’t. According to sources, Carell’s return engagement qualifies as more of a cameo than a full-fledged guest appearance. (It’s unclear if Carell will be joined by his Office soul mate Amy Ryan.)
An NBC spokesperson declined to comment, while Carell’s rep insists that the Office finale will be Scott-free.
On Saturday, Carell surprised thousands of Office fans when he joined his former co-stars at a huge “wrap party” held in the real Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The upcoming ninth season of The Office will be the show’s last, creator Greg Daniels announced Tuesday.
Daniels, who ran the show for its first five seasons and has returned in a day-to-day capacity for what will be the final season, said it was “a difficult decision” to end the show after nine years, but emphasized that his main objective is to provide longtime fans with satisfying conclusions for the main characters.
“At some point you have a choice, and the choice is to always tell the beginnings of stories and the middles, or to allow a story to end,” Daniels said on a conference call. “I think endings can be very powerful and very meaningful pieces of the story. And if we didn’t let it end this year, I don’t know if we would have been able to tell the ending stories for so many characters that I really want to know what the ending’s going to be for them.”
Daniels said NBC was supportive of his decision to wrap up the show.
“This is a very arc-heavy year,” he added. “It’s all going to be set up in the premiere. There’s just so much to pay off from nine seasons of so many great characters that my biggest concern is just packing in these great ideas that the writing staff has … and making sure that we hit all of them, or at least squeeze as many as we can into the ending.”
Added NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt: “The Office is a classic, award-winning television comedy and all of us at NBC couldn’t be prouder to have produced and telecast the series as it heads into its ninth season. Greg Daniels, the cast, and crew have some terrific storylines planned for the final season. Fans are in for a treat. It’s always difficult to see these kinds of shows come to an end, but we are honoring the cast’s and producers’ desire to make this the final season.”
Though the show is introducing two new characters this year (played by Clark Duke and Jake Lacy), the focus will be on fan favorites like Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer), who will see “a lot of drama” this year, according to Daniels. “I’ve always thought that they’re kind of the heart and soul of the show,” he added. “Back in the early days, I had an inkling of what to do to end that storyline.”
But episodic comedy will still come into play — Daniels teased one story line in which new boss Nellie (Catherine Tate) tries to hold a charity drive at the office, encouraging each employee to pick a charity to donate to. Dwight (Rainn Wilson), in protest, says he’ll be raising money for the Taliban.
Daniels also said the audience will learn more about the fictional documentary crew that has formed the structural backbone of the show since its debut, but has gone largely unaddressed as a plot point.
“We find out about the documentary more and start to break the fourth wall a little bit,” Daniels promised. “We’re going to kind of use the fact that for nine years there’s been a documentary crew filming this office. People always say, ‘Why are they still filming? What are they after?’ I think we’re going to explore that for comedy and for story effect.”
And the question on everyone’s mind: Will Michael Scott be coming back?
“We would certainly wish for it,” Daniels said. “It would be fantastic if [Steve Carell] would return. … But we’ll see.”
Daniels, who calls running the show “the best professional experience of my life,” said he’ll miss his characters as much as the fans will.
“It’s just a very supportive and fun and loving environment to come to work, and I will miss it terribly when I can’t come to work here anymore,” he said. “We have some ideas to make this season special and exciting and memorable. … As we head into the home stretch, we have a lot of exciting things that I’ve personally been wanting to do since Season 2, and the ending should be pretty cool.”
The Office premieres Sept. 20 at 9/8c on NBC.
Are you said The Office is ending? Or is it time for it to go?
The adage “time heals all wounds” is about to be tested, because warehouse jockey Roy is punching in for another shift at The Office.
David Denman will guest-star in the upcoming ninth season of the NBC comedy, TVLine has learned exclusively. According to sources, the hot-tempered former Dunder Miflin employee will show up in Episode 2.
Fans will remember loutish Roy as the main impediment to Pam and Jim’s slow-burn love story during the first three seasons of the NBC comedy. And when Pam confessed to her then-fiancé about kissing Jim, only Dwight’s quick thinking stopped Roy from beating Halpert to smithereens in the office. Roy was later fired.
He showed up in Season 5 for an uncomfortable exchange with Jim, who by that time was engaged to the lovely Ms. Beesly. Aside from a brief turn as a hostage in Michael Scott’s epic Threat Level Midnight, Roy’s been MIA since then.
Denman, on the other hand, has been busy. In addition to the short-lived Fox comedy Traffic Light, his TV appearances include Brothers & Sisters and Drop Dead Diva.
Denman’s love-to-hate character visits in a season that sees the paper company’s Scranton branch going through a re-org. Clarke Duke and Jake Lacy are joining the show as showrunner Paul Lieberstein (and possibly Rainn Wilson) exit; B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling won’t be back full-time, either.
The Office returns to NBC Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 pm/8c.
The restructuring at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch continues…
Better With You grad Jake Lacy is joining The Office‘s upcoming ninth season as a series regular, TVLine has learned.
The actor joins fellow Office rookie Clark Duke, who inked his own series regular deal earlier this month. The news marks a nice turnaround for Lacy, who was dropped from Fox’s midseason comedy The Goodwin Games last month after starring in the pilot.
As previously reported, The Office is set to undergo a mini-reboot this fall amid changes in front of and behind the scenes — including the departure of showrunner Paul Lieberstein as well as the possible exit of a soon-to-be spun off Rainn Wilson. Additionally, B.J. Novak (Ryan) and Fox-bound Mindy Kaling (Kelly) will not be returning full-time.
The Office launches its ninth season on Sept. 20.
Another one of TVLine’s 16 Fall Cliffhangers has been solved.
Although an NBC rep declined to comment, sources close to The Office confirm to TVLine exclusively that Catherine Tate is poised to return for the show’s upcoming ninth season as a full-fledged series regular.
Tate’s boss lady Nellie initially received a somewhat chilly reception from her colleagues at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. But by season’s end, the character’s redemption was in full swing as she formed bonds with the likes of Pam and Darryl. In the finale, she even enjoyed a warm moment with Andy after he reclaimed his post as manager (presumably making her his No. 2).
Tate’s return means that all major Office castmembers will be back in the fall with the exception of Mindy Kaling, who is headlining The Mindy Project on Fox. Several new faces are expected to be introduced as well as the long-running comedy undergoes a mini-reboot.
30 Rock: Renewed
Fashion Star: Renewed
Law & Order: SVU: Renewed
The Office: Renewed
Parks and Recreation: Renewed
Up All Night: Renewed
The Voice: Renewed
Are You There, Chelsea?: Canceled
Best Friends Forever: Canceled
Free Agents: Canceled
Harry’s Law: Canceled
Prime Suspect: Canceled
The Firm: Canceled
The Biggest Loser: TBD
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