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Steve Carell Leaving 'The Office' Sooner Than Expected

January 14, 2011 (6:56 am) GMT
The producers are not going with the option to send away Michael Scott at the end of seventh season.

"" is going to say goodbye to Michael Scott sooner than expected. Although 's contract will have him until the end of seventh season, the producers decide to let him go several episodes before the finale so that viewers will have the time to adapt to Dunder Mifflin sans the annoying but lovable boss.

At NBC's star party after the TCA Press Tour was held, executive producer Greg Daniels told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the departure will take place in a late-April episode. Beside giving the taste of Michael-less, the absence will also provide a better platform for new characters and other regulars to shine.

Daniels did not reveal how they would work out the exit story. But at the press conference, is announced to return to the Scranton branch as Sabre Systems boss. Her character gets to pick Michael's replacement.

Earlier this week, recurring cast told TV Guide that her character Jan Levinson is also re-visiting Scranton. "Michael finally finishes the screenplay and makes the movie he has always threatened to finish - and I'm in the movie! The title of the episode is 'Threat Midnight,' which is the title of his screenplay," Hardin spilled. In a 2005 episode the office staff discovered an early draft of Michael's script starring himself as Agent Michael Scarn.

"Obviously, there's lots of mystery in the episode," Hardin who is expected to appear in February said. "We're all playing characters in his movie and Jan's character, Jasmine, unveils a little piece of the puzzle that's important to the plot unfolding." This could very well mean that Michael is going to sell his script and move to Hollywood.

"The Office" returns from winter break on January 20 and below is the preview.



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