By Alison Willmore | Indiewire August 21, 2012 at 5:19PM
Facing cast attrition -- star Steve Carell left at the end of the seventh season, his replacement James Spader departed after a single season, Mindy Kaling is heading out for a new sitcom of her own on Fox while B.J. Novak's also no longer a regular -- and a general sense of having lingered too long at the party, "The Office" will come to an end after this upcoming ninth season.
Original showrunner Greg Daniels, who's back at the helm of the sitcom for its final season (kicking off on NBC on September 20th), has been doing press since this morning's announcement that the show was coming to a close. "The Office" will go into its last season as NBC's most-watched scripted series, so barring some major downward spiral it's going out strong. Here are the high points we picked up from reports around the web.
The creators felt like it was time for the show to end. Daniels said that "The reason that I’ve come back to the show is that we have thought about what the future of the show should be, and have always held the value that we should feel like a family. This year feels like the last chance to really go out together and make an artistic ending of the show." [Variety]
Carell's Michael Scott may make a return appearance. "We certainly wish Michael Scott would return, but we’re not going to put pressure on Steve to write something only he could do. We’ll see, we haven’t written anything, we just have some ideas for the ending." [Deadline]
We're going to see who's been shooting the documentary. "We find out about the documentary more and start to break the fourth wall a little bit. 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." [TV Guide]
This season will be a "big" one for Jim and Pam. "There’s a lot of drama. The story is definitely not over for them." [TVLine]
A discussed reboot of the series didn't seem worth it. "'This feels like the last chance to really go out together.' But because of the changes planned this season, and because of the fact that 'it didn't seem to me we could get' all the cast to come back for a season 10, the decision was made to halt now." [Vulture]
Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston, is directing an episode of the show this season. Cranston's directed episodes of "Modern Family," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Breaking Bad" previously -- his episode, "Work Bus," is scheduled to air October 18th. [Hollywood Reporter]
New hires Jake Lacy and Clark Duke have been brought in to pick up for Kaling. "Jake Lacy and Clark Duke are both hired to handle the enormous number of customer service complaints that Kelly [Mindy Kaling] neglected over the years. They are pals and in their mid 20s." [Entertainment Weekly]
Plans are still in place to introduce a Dwight Schrute spin-off series titled "The Farm." Manjandra Delfino was recently cast as Dwight's sister, while Blake Garrett will play his nephew. [TVLine]