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Steve Carrell Reveals That He Will Not Renew His Contract For ‘The Office’ During BBC Radio Interview


When The Office premiered in the spring of 2005, NBC was in fourth place (a distinction it still holds today) which made it more willing than usual to try out a single camera show with no laugh track based on a BBC cult hit. Its star, Steve Carell was known mostly as a correspondent on The Daily Show although that would change with the release of The 40-Year Old Virgin later that summer. In the beginning, many of the show’s story lines were recycled wholesale from the British version, which led to some unfavorable comparisons, although its potential was recognized from the start. In her review of the pilot from March 24, 2005 Alessandra Stanley wrote in the New York Times:

The Office has the potential to be a hit, though perhaps not overnight. It remains to be seen whether NBC finds the nerve to keep it on the air long enough to build an audience, the way Seinfeld did.

NBC did keep it on the air and now six years later with countless Emmy nominations behind it (including a win for Best Comedy Series in 2006) the show may be on its last legs. In a recent interview with BBC Radio host Vernon Kay, Carell was asked whether he planned on sticking with the show after his contract ends next season. He replied:

I don’t think so. That will probably be my last year.

Carell also explained his philosophy on when to call it quits with the BBC program Front Row during a promotional interview for Date Night. He said:

You don’t want to push a series past its expiration date. You don’t want to get to a point of diminishing returns and uh, just retreading character traits and story lines that you’ve gone through already. It’s a constant challenge to recreate the show without changing what made the show work in the first place.

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