Personally, I’m very glad to have this story come out of the woodwork, because otherwise every week would bring a new rumor to the table suggesting who might replace Steve Carell after he completes his last season of The Office. Thankfully THR has gotten word from NBC that a final decision likely won’t be made until production on the seventh season wraps next spring. By the end of the season, the audience is supposed to know who will replace Michael Scott, and since TV production will end well before the final episodes air, production wrap will be the perfect time for an announcement. In addition, new details have surfaced that confirm viewers shouldn’t be worried about which newcomer will replace Michael Scott (like the recently buzzed about Harvey Keitel), but which current cast member will step up for the job. More details after the jump.
With the end of Michael Scott’s reign over Dundler-Mifflin on the distant horizon, the seventh season is being plotted very carefully. The first half of the season will be a celebration of Carell’s final year on the while focusing on specific characters in each episode in a way not too dissimilar from the way Lost would focus on an individual character or two. In this format, the series attempts to show us who the potential successors to Michael Scott will be. For example, Daryl (Craig Robinson) shows some ambition by taking an issue to corporate right over Michael’s head. Then the second half of the season will be all about finding Michael’s replacement complete with a big online push from NBC polling viewers about who should replace Michael Scott. Meanwhile guest stars like previously announced Timothy Olyphant, and recurring characters from Amy Ryan (Holly Flax) and Melora Hardin (Jan Levinson) will stroll through Dunder-Mifflin.
However, once the time comes to replace Michael Scott, viewers will find that it may not be a guest star who becomes head honcho. While Harvey Keitel has emerged as a favorite for showrunner Paul Lieberstein, an insider from the series says, “That got out of control. It was idea on the table. It could be a fun arc, but it’s not going to be a long-term option.” But at the same time, if a current employee at Dunder-Mifflin steps up to supervise, they won’t necessarily be the new star of the show like Steve Carell. Apparently writers are tempted to have the character who becomes the Scranton branch’s new boss completely bomb and thus allow for a different successor in the eighth season.
While the prospect of a new boss at Dunder-Mifflin is an exciting one, once Carell leaves the show, writers will really have to step up to keep viewers interested in a series that seems to have run its course and taken the characters about as far as they can go. While a slew of guest stars on The Office as potential replacements for World’s Best Boss sounds like fun, sooner than later it will just become a gimmick, and no one wants to see a great comedy series like The Office go out in flames. Unless something earth-shattering crops up, this will be the last speculation and talk about replacing Steve Carell for awhile, but stay tuned as more exciting news about the forthcoming seventh season of the series is surely on the way.