Andy Green’s new oral history of The Office revealed NBC forced out Steve Carell, and that Carell wanted to keep playing Michael Scott.
Fans of The Office celebrated what we thought were a great 15 years of the series on Tuesday, March 24. Now, things aren’t looking so great.
It’s been reported that Steve Carell, who starred as Michael Scott, was essentially pushed out of The Office during the seventh season by NBC when they didn’t offer Carell a new contract.
According to a report from Collider, Carell didn’t actually want to leave The Office after season 7. Instead, NBC balked and didn’t offer Carell a new contact, and he moved on to bigger projects. The issue is covered at length in Andy Greene’s new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s.
A few Michael Scott quotes come to mind that sum up my feelings after hearing this news.
“No! God! No! God! Please, no. No! No! NOOOOOOOO”
“I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it at all and it’s terrible.”
“All I can do right now is put on a brave face.”
“I’m dead inside.”
“Why are you torturing me?”
“Oh, my life.”
“Nope, don’t like that.”
Basically, it comes down to this: Carell made a comment in an interview about the seventh season being his last because his current contract ended after season 7. NBC, then, didn’t offer him a contract extension or a new deal to continue doing the show, although Carell wanted to continue playing Michael Scott.
That’s backed up by a number of crew members and Allison Jones, the casting director.
According to the Collider report, Jones said this:
"“As I recall, he was going to do another season and then NBC, for whatever reason, wouldn’t make a deal with him… Somebody didn’t pay him enough. It was absolutely asinine. I don’t know what else to say about that. Just asinine.”"
This news is incredibly disappointing for a lot of fans of the series, myself included. After Michael moved to Colorado with Holly, the show went downhill a little bit. Any show would. It’s impossible to replace the main character of the series like they tried to do.
Michael Scott is the sun, and all the other characters orbit around him. That’s how it was for the first seven seasons, and the sitcom was super successful.
The most unfortunate thing about all of this is it feels like we, fans of the series, were robbed of more good episodes of the show. It didn’t have to end the way that it did. We could have had more seasons with Michael Scott.
It’s hard to say how long The Office would have continued with Carell on the show. It might have still ended after nine seasons, but it could have gone on even longer. It’s clear that the show’s quality likely would not have dipped as much as it did, so the end product probably would have been better.
It’s such a shame that NBC didn’t have the foresight to see it had another massive hit on its hands. And, they totally dropped the ball.
According to the report, NBC was in the middle of a change from Jeff Zucker to Bob Greenblatt at the time.
Look at how well The Office has done on Netflix since it ended. It’s the biggest show on Netflix right, now after Friends left at the end of last year. The Office is also leaving Netflix and moving to NBC’s new streaming service Peacock at the end of this year.
I also have to add that, if this is all true and Carell was basically shown the door, Carell has handled this issue with great aplomb, as Andy Bernard would say. He could have gone scorched earth and made a big deal about this, but here we are, nearly a decade after Carell left the show, and it’s the first we’re really hearing about it.
It’s also a shame that NBC didn’t announce why Carell left the show. Instead, they let the g-pop think it was Carell who wanted to leave the show. It’s very clear based on these accounts in the book that Carell didn’t want to leave. What a travesty.
To steal a line from Michael Scott, this is the worst.