It's official: Steve Carell will be leaving The Office after the show's seventh season, but he doesn't think it'll affect the show.
Carell told E! Online that he was definitely planning to leave the NBC sitcom at the end of next season:
I just think it's time... I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go... It doesn't certainly mean the end of the show. I think it's just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually. Add some new life and some new energy...I see it as a positive in general for the show.
He went on to say,
didn't see it as a huge thing and I certainly didn't anticipate any sort of hubbub over it. I'm just not going to extend my contract, but I didn't see it as a huge deal. And the show is great, and the ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it's just one part of that ensemble drifting off. They've incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great storylines that I have no doubt it'll continue as strong if not stronger than ever.
Someone has told him that he's one of the central characters in the series, right...?