NBC's longtime primetime comedy staple, The Office, is taking its final bow this year, as executive producer Greg Daniels announced today that the series will be coming to an end after season 9.
Speaking to the press today, Daniels not only revealed that The Office will be coming to an end this season, he also noted a debate of possibly rebooting the series – as well as hinting at what fans can expect to see in the final season.
Touching upon its casts' growing popularity (and departures), Daniels brings up the fact that this is really the only time that The Office could end appropriately:
If we didn't let it end this year, I don't know that we would have been able to tell the ending stories for so many characters.
This year feels like the last chance to really go out together and make an artistic ending of the show.
Continuing, Daniels talked about how they attempted to figure out a way for The Office to continue. Initially playing with the possibility of rebooting the series, ending the show really turned out to be the only option.
I think it could (go on), and we had debated whether we could reboot it. ... The format is a very strong format. For example, we are introducing two new characters this year who I think are very very funny, and you could see a world where new people keep coming on the show. But ultimately, I think this feeling of family and wanting to wrap up these arcs and do justice to the existing characters in the most creative and explosive way means the show will be changed in such a way that if anything was to continue, it just wouldn't be the same show.
Hinting at what fans can expect to see this year, Daniels brought up the series' age-old question about the origins of the film crew. Now that we're in the final season, it appears that we'll be finding out the answer.
All questions will be answered this year. We are going to see who’s behind the documentary and we’re going to meet some of them. (Also) a big Jim and Pam year.
In the original UK series, series creator Ricky Gervais had included the result of the documentary in The Office Christmas Special. Following the vein of familiar documentary programming in the UK, most fans rightly assumed that the footage would be used for that purpose, since the UK series only lasted two years. However, in the US, there isn't similar network programming to replicate, so it'll be interesting to see producers tackle the documentary aspect of the series, while also having to provide a logical answer for having filmed the subjects for nine years.
Providing more information for Jim and Pam's "big" year on The Office this season, Daniels spoke about how he already knows how he's going to end the story of paper sales sweethearts, Jim and Pam:
Jim and Pam are kind of the heart and soul of the show. Back in the early days, I had an inkling of what to do to end that storyline, and to see the possibility of that never happening was a compelling thing to try to grab. The most loyal fans of the show would like to see that happen.
For fans of The Office, hearing word of the series coming to an end will either be good or bad news. Though The Office season 8 seemed to steer the series back towards its roots, many fans may have stopped watching before that moment. For any television series, nine years on the air is difficult to accomplish - and even if it makes it that far, a loss in viewers is expected through its run. Though many may no longer consider The Office the must-watch show it once was, a final season certainly is compelling.
Bringing an end to so many wonderfully crated characters, there's no doubt that there are many great surprises awaiting fans in season 9. While the thought of Steve Carell returning as Michael Scott is the first to come to mind, there's 8 years of programming to draw references from, so hopes are high that they make use of it.
Of course, The Office may not be completely gone. With NBC still moving forward on the Dwight Schrute spin-off series, The Farm, there still may be a bit of Dunder Mifflin remaining in next year's TV schedule. If so, hopefully it'll have 100% more Mose.
The Office season 9 premieres September 20 on NBC
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter