Producer Greg Daniels said once and for all that Steve Carell will not be popping up in the series finale of “The Office” later this month.
Daniels’ statement — which he made in a telephone news conference with reporters on Wednesday — puts an end to all the speculation lately that Carell filmed some sort of surprise appearance as former regional manager Michael Scott for the series’ final episode.
That episode, which will run for at least an hour, is scheduled to air Thursday, May 16, starting at 9 p.m. (8c) — bringing the curtain down on “The Office” after nine seasons.
Carell was the star of the show until he left to pursue his movie career full-time in 2011. He had an entire episode in April of that year to say goodbye — and that episode was at the heart of the decision not to include Carell in the series finale, explained Daniels, who runs the show.
“I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved,” Daniels explained.
Daniels revealed a few other things about the finale too. For one thing, according to this story on the Us Weekly Web site, he said the hourlong finale actually could go even longer than that. He said there are a few minutes of material he’d like to air, but it means the show would run over an hour. And yet, he said NBC might accommodate him.
He also shed some light on how the show might end. As fans of the show are aware, it was styled all along as a “documentary” in-the-making. In the original British version starring Ricky Gervais, the show’s characters reunited in the series finale — like reality-TV stars having a reunion special.
Of the American series finale, Daniels said, “After attempting to beat that [British] ending in a number of different ways, we ended up doing something very similar.”
The series finale of “The Office” airs on Thursday, May 16, at 9/8c.