The question plaguing fans of The Office, is whether the show can survive without Steve Carell. Steve Carell’s contract on The Office comes to a close at the end of the seventh season of the show (next year), and all indications are that it will end his run on the show. According to an interview that Carell gave BBC Radio recently, it may give a strong indication to which way he is leaning. The interviewer asked him if he would be staying with The Office after his contract expired, and Carell stated, “I don’t think so. I think that will probably be my last year.” As the star of the show, it would be really hard to imagine The Office moving forward without Carell at the helm anymore.
Shows have tried to move on without their stars before, and some of them have found success after the abandonment. David Caruso left after the first season of NYPD Blue and the show went on for 12 full seasons, Topher Grace (Eric Forman) left That 70’s Show and it could only survive one more season, and recently William Petersen (Gil Grissom) left CSI, but the show has kept going with Laurence Fishburne joining the cast. It is obvious that some shows can keep going without a star character, but maybe it is also important to note that most of the shows where stars have walked away were very successful. For all of the critical acclaim that The Office has received over the years, that hasn’t turned into ratings success, and the show struggles with the bottom line.
If we were faced with answering the question of whether or not The Office could survive without the character of Michael Scott, we would be forced to feel that it would be too difficult for the show to overcome. The only possible way that this could work, and it would be a brilliant move, would be if Ricky Gervais decided to take back the roll that was his in the British version of the show. Still fans might not accept that transformation, but at least it would give the show some new life.
As it stands now, it’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where NBC would stick with The Office on the network if Steve Carell calls it quits. Keeping that in mind, fans should probably prepare for season seven to be the last one. Look for NBC to make some sort of announcement during the fall previews if they feel that Steve Carell is definitely not coming back, because they will want to send out the series in the right way if they decide to cancel it.
The Office IMDB