“The Office” – Who’s staying, who’s leaving, and when is this show going to end?

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Lately, there’s been more rumors and reports about people entering and leaving The Office than what judges will be on the second season of The X-Factor, but what is really happening behind the scenes of NBC’s top comedy? Are more people planning on leaving to pursue other projects? Absolutely.

This isn’t a surprising thing, it’s actually good for the actors and the legacy for the show. The Office is poised to be a show that will go on and produce a handful of current and future TV and films all-stars. But what will it cost at the expense of the actual show’s production and it’s very loyal fanbase?

Insiders are saying that Office stars Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) and John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) in a talk with the studio to return to The Office is some capacity next season, which will likely be the show’s last. Even though they are returning, there will be some restrictions in how many episodes each will be able to appear in due to their rising film careers. Helms is rumored to start production on The Hangover 3, which a shoe-in to be greenlit by Warner Brothers Pictures. Kransinski is poised to star in Promised Land opposite Matt Damon. Both will miss a number of episodes, but ideally not at the same time.

While Helms and Krasinski are locked in, the show is still (potentially) losing three big names. James Spader has already confirmed his exit from the series after one season. Mindy Kaling ‘s sitcom at Fox is heating up during the development season, and is likely to receive a series order to be a companion with New Girl, and NBC has quietly been developing Rainn Wilson’s spin-off (rumored to be titled The Farm), which will follow the long-time Office star has he leaves the office and takes care of the often featured Schrute Farms.

The Office executive producer Paul Lieberstein (Toby) is also looking to vacate his post as producer on the show to focus on the Dwight project. Universal TV is actively searching for a replacement that can take over the day-to-day operations of the show. This job could potentially go to B.J. Novak (Ryan), he’s currently an executive producer on the show.

What do all these departures mean for NBC’s flagship comedy series? It means the show is nearing the end. It’s quite possible that more new characters could be added to substitute the outgoing ones like when Steve Carell left last season, but another complete overhaul may not be needed (or wanted) since the first season post-Carell hasn’t been show’s the best. Ratings aren’t what they used to be either, which also heavily affect the long-term future of the show. The Office will be entering its ninth season this fall, but there are still many challenges ahead for America’s favorite office workers.

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