The Office is to end after its upcoming ninth season, the show’s executive producer has confirmed.
The US comedy series, an adaptation of the British original by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, began on NBC in 2005 and has already run to eight seasons and 176 episodes. However, the show has struggled creatively since original star Steve Carell left last year (2011).
The Office was developed from the BBC series of the same name by Greg Daniels, who also served as showrunner for the first five seasons. Daniels will now return to the helm for its final run of 22 episodes, which begins in the US next month (September). He revealed during a conference call yesterday (August 21): “This will be the last season of The Office. It was a hard decision but this is going to be a real gangbuster season.”
Daniels insisted that the decision to call time on the long-running series was made by the creative team, who want the show to have an “artistic ending”, and not by the network. He explained: “It’s actually a big surprise to me that NBC was so supportive of this decision. We all had a lot of passion for it and persuaded them.”
When asked whether Carell could make a farewell appearance as Michael Scott, Daniels replied: “We certainly wish Michael Scott would return, but we’re not going to put pressure on Steve to write something only he could do.” Daniels also insisted that the show’s closing scenes have yet to be scripted, saying: “We’ll see, we haven’t written anything, we just have some ideas for the ending.”
A spin-off series featuring Rainn Wilson‘s character Dwight Schrute has already been confirmed. Titled The Farm, it will follow Schrute as he returns to the country to run his family’s bed-and-breakfast business.