Over the past year fans of the NBC hit “The Office” have been prepping themselves for a big change. The series star Steve Carell is leaving the show. The actor always intended to part ways after the expiration of his contract, so the producers have had more than enough time to find a replacement and write him out. For the most part, we’ve been expecting him to bow out at the end of the season (the finale) but according to HitFix, Michael Scott could be saying goodbye a little earlier.

Showrunner Paul Lieberstein spilled the beans and a few details regarding the rest of the season including Carell’s departure, and the events that will follow. If you don’t want to be spoiled we suggest you stop reading.

[Light Spoilers]

  • “Carell will depart the show with four episodes left to go in the season.”
  • “Amy Ryan’s Holly will actually make her final appearance an episode or two before Carell.”
  • “Once Michael is gone, the real scramble to replace him begins, and those final four episodes will feature not only internal candidates jockeying for position, but a number of new actors brought in from outside.”
  • “The list of significant candidates from the current cast that he and fellow producer Greg Daniels are considering is down to three: Darryl, Dwight and Andy.”
  • “Dave Koechner’s Todd Packer will ask to come off the road in an upcoming episode and take up his old desk.”

There you have it! If Carell leaves with four episodes left in the season, that means he’ll be gone a month earlier than expected. His final air date could be sometime in April. That’s too soon. The end is near and we’re having some serious issues dealing with his exit. Lieberstein claims that whoever they get to replace the actor won’t necessarily be the star of the show, because they’re well aware that Carell is irreplaceable as a talent.  That’s good to hear.

What do you think of Carell leaving early? Who should replace him?