TCA: Dunder Mifflin to Lose Carell Well Before Season’s End

Steve Carell will give the firm’s human-relations firm four weeks to find a new, cooler boss

Last Updated: August 5, 2011 @ 3:14 PM

Let "The Office" politics begin: Steve Carell will leave the series early this season, leaving its last four episodes to focus on the search for his replacement.

The end-of-the-season search will include candidates from both inside and outside the Dunder Mifflin office, show runner Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby, told TheWrap.

The show stopped following storylines from the British "Office" long ago, but Lieberstein and "Office" co-creator Greg Daniels said Michael Scott's departure would share at least one thing with the firing of David Brent (Ricky Gervais) on the original show: The new boss will be cooler than the old one.

Not that that's saying a lot, Lieberstein said: "Most people are cooler than Michael Scott."

Daniels and Lieberman declined to say who was on the new-boss shortlist, or even to rule anyone out. They wouldn't even outright shoot down our suggestion that Gervais, an executive producer on the show, should fill in for an episode or two. Lieberman said the subject hasn't come up. 

Carell's early departure was first reported by Vulture.