Thursday, April 28, 2011
Say "Goodbye, Michael" tonight on The Office
A year ago, Steve Carell announced he was walking away from this gig as his seven year contract expires. There's a ton of speculation as to who will replace him as the new district manager at the Scranton, Ohio, office of Dunder Mifflin, with Will Ferrell (guesting again tonight), Jim Carrey and even original British boss Ricky Gervais rumoured to be stepping into Carell's squeaky shoes.
My hat is off to Carell for making a graceful exit. Seven years is a long time to be working this show-within-a-documentary premise. Carell has somehow kept it fresh and funny but with The Office in syndication he's already competing nightly against some classic early episodes. Best to go while the going's good.
Executive producer Greg Daniels insisted there was still plenty of grist for office yuks when I spoke with him last January at the NBC TCA press tour party. He says there are a lot of young writers working on the show and the rest of the cast was still pretty pumped.
Daniels also gave a shout out to a Canadian showrunner on his other show, Parks & Recreation--Norm Hiscock. The Montreal native and Emmy Award-winner impressed with his work on Daniels previous series, King of the Hill and went on to pen several episodes of Corner Gas. "He's a delightful Canadian," says Daniels. "If anybody deserves a feature story, it's Norm Hiscock. You have to look him up."
Looks like I'll have to look him up!
Meantime, say "Goodbye, Michael," with tonight's Office episode. I've written more about Carell's departure and his impact on this series in an article in Thursday's Toronto Star. You can read the full Star story here.