I don’t know about you, but frankly I’m a bit dizzy from, yes, all the Red Bull and M&Ms I consumed at this month’s TCA press tour, but also from alllll of the speculation and sound bites – some of them outright conflicting – concerning Steve Carell‘s “successor” at NBC’s ‘The Office.’
But I think I’ve got it figured out.
“The producers and NBC have been preparing for [Carell's exit] for a long time,” NBC entertainment president Angela Bromstad told the press at TCA. “[Executive producers] Paul Lieberstein and Greg Daniels have a plan of who will replace Michael, and there will be storylines leading to that and who it will be.”
Said plan, though, wasn’t cemented in place when Fancast spoke to ‘Office’ EP Lieberstein (who also plays Toby) just hours after Bromstad’s pronouncement. “We haven’t settled exactly who will take over,” he said, “but we have a good idea.”
Lieberstein told us that replacing Michael Scott by promoting from within is “the most likely thing that Dunder Mifflin would consider” – and yet now there is talk that Danny McBride (‘Eastbound & Down’) and Rhys Darby (‘Flight Of The Conchords’) are both angling to join the ‘Office’ ensemble.
“I like Rhys Darby,” Lieberstein says. “And Danny McBride is super funny.” Regarding any possible conflict with the latter’s HBO gig, Paul says the two shows “could probably” work out an arrangement. “We’ve been having discussions.”
But which is it – promote from within, or bring in new blood?
We suspect both. That McBride or Darby (or some other unique-looking actor with facial hair) will at first come on board as simply a new salesman.
Then, perhaps after the likes of Dwight try (and fail) at filling Michael’s shoes, the new guy – having proven his mettle or sucked up to corporate – will be christened boss.
That scenario jibes with two other things that Lieberstein told us – that Dunder Mifflin would “take a look at [promoting from within] and see how that works” (in this case, it doesn’t), and that Carell’s exit storyline will kick off in the spring, affording a few months for twists and turns.
And… I am now more dizzy.
Any Darby or McBride fans out there? Can you see them joining the Dunder Mifflin ranks? Or do you still prefer to see the existing ensemble move forward as is, with no new additions?