Although NBC’s The Office has been relatively successful since Steve Carell’s departure in 2011, there’s no question that the camaraderie and overall group dynamic at Dunder Mifflin has been altered by his absence. Some would say the show has remained just as funny through seasons 8 and 9, but those folks are definitely in the minority.

With the news that NBC is not picking up the proposed Office spin-off The Farm, fans of the show are starting to realize that the end is near for their beloved characters and most of them would love to see Carell reprise his iconic role as Michael Scott in the series finale. Alas, it appears unlikely to happen at this point.

TV Line got the scoop from NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt earlier this week as he spoke to reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena.

“I’m hopeful, but I don’t think [Steve] will be back. He left in the way that he wanted that character to leave. There’s maybe a little hail mary pass on a cameo, but I think the decision is that he [doesn’t want to compromise] his [original] exit.”

We can certainly respect Carell leaving the show on his own terms. Most fans were satisfied with the completion of Micheal Scott’s character arc, but almost anyone who has watched the series for most of its nine seasons would be giddy to see their favorite Scranton branch manager return, even if it’s only for a cameo. So maybe there’s still hope?

The showrunners seem to think so. Executive producer Greg Daniels has said that he has “some cool story ideas” that would involve Scott’s character, but said “we’re still not 100 percent sure Steve will want to participate.”

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on ‘The Office’

Of course, fans have been begging for a Michael Scott comeback for a while now. There were rumblings that Carell would return to do a guest spot during season 8 as producer Randy Cordray said that Carell had’t ruled out the possibility, but obviously that never came to fruition. So it seems likely that Carell will be sticking to his guns regarding a return.

The network and the producers will obviously (if reluctantly) move on without Carell toward the hour-long series finale in May, but would you like to see Michael Scott yuck it up with the gang one final time? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

The Office airs Thursdays @9pm on NBC.

Source: TV Line