Steve Carell Will Leave <i>The Office</i> Before The Season Finale

Michael Scott likely will leave Dunder-Mifflin sometime in April, allowing the producers of The Office to build up to the departure of star Steve Carell and explore how it affects the Scranton branch.

"Steve will have a number of episodes that dramatize and lead up to Steve leaving," show-runner Paul Lieberstein (aka Toby Flenderson) told Vulture at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "Then we'll continue on for about four more episodes, and the spring will prove to be not about an actor leaving, but what happens in an office when a manager leaves and the chaos ensues and people vie for the job and are uncertain about their future."

Carell's exit from The Office at the end of the comedy's seventh season was confirmed by NBC in July, igniting rumors that everyone from Danny McBride and Rhys Darby to Portia de Rossi DeGeneres and Harvey Keitel might be selected as his replacement. Lieberstein himself suggested in August that one of the series regulars could fill the role.

The search for a new branch manager means we should expect a series of guest stars to interview for the position. And don't count out Mindy Kaling's Kelly Kapoor, who would make the perfect boss. "Now that she has executive training, she's going to want that job," head writer Daniel Chun told Vulture.  "At least in her own mind, she deserves to be a manager."

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