If you’re an OG fan of ‘The Office‘ then you probably remember how it felt when Steve Carell (Michael Scott) left after season 7. It was a shock to many. He was the star of the show after all. The heart.
The following season ( season eight) has widely been considered to be one of the worst seasons, due to Carell’s departure. The final season (season nine) got back on track and they managed to end on a high note.
But still, people always wonder if the show would have been even more great if Carell had stayed until completion. When he left, most people assumed it was because he wanted to. He wanted to dive deep into his movie career, which was beginning to take off.
Some people were extremely angry with him, but now we are learning that NBC didn’t really fight for him at all.
In a newly released book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, it was revealed that NBC didn’t offer Carell a new contract.
Hairstylist Kim Ferry dropped this bombshell…
He didn’t want to leave the show. He had told the network that he was going to sign for another couple of years. He was willing to and his agent was willing to. But for some reason, they didn’t contact him. I don’t know if it was a game of chicken or what… He planned on staying on the show. He told his manager and his manager contacted them and said he’s willing to sign another contract for a couple years. So all of that was willing and ready and, on their side, honest. And the deadline came for when they were supposed to give him an offer and it passed and they didn’t make him an offer. So his agent was like, ‘Well, I guess they don’t want to renew you for some reason.’ Which was insane to me. And to him, I think.
Now obviously this sounds insane. Why would they not want the star of the show to return? Well, it was probably more complicated than Ferry explained.
Carell did state in a radio interview that the seventh season might be his last. But admittedly, he wasn’t super serious about it. It was just something that kinda slipped out of his mouth. He hadn’t actually made up his mind.
But when the network didn’t respond to him, he thought, “Well, maybe they don’t want me back”
And to add to the confusion, NBC was going through a regime change at the time.
Jeff Zucker was on his way out, and Bob Greenblatt was on his way in. The Office producer Randy Cordray recalls in the book that Greenblatt ‘was not as big a fan of The Office as we wished he would’ve been. He took The Office for granted.’ Cordray added, ‘If you’re not respected and don’t even get offered a contract or a discussion of a future contract, then you move on,’ adding that he thinks Carell would have stayed with the series had NBC handled things differently.
So yeah, stop blaming Carell for leaving the show. HE DIDN’T WANT TO GO!
Kinda reminds me of how NBC treated Conan O’Brien.