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.