Steve Carell had a gracious exit from “The Office” after season seven, leaving the show on his own terms in a beautiful final episode. But a new book alleges that Carell didn’t want to leave the show and that NBC forced him out.
What’s going on:
A new book called “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s,” by Andy Greene, explains why Carell left the show. According to Collider, Carell’s exit had more to do with the NBC network than Carell’s own decision.
Carell told BBC News in April 2010 that season seven would “probably be my last year.” But sound mixer Brian Wittle told Greene for the book that Carell didn’t want to leave. NBC made decisions that sort of forced Carell’s hand.
The text reads (via Collider):
I sat with him one time and he told me the story. He was doing a radio interview and he haphazardly mentioned, almost unconsciously, that it might be his last season. He didn’t plan on saying it out loud and he hadn’t decided anything. He was kind of thinking out loud, but he did it in an interview in public and it created news. Then what he said was the people connected to the show had no reaction to it. They didn’t call and say, ‘What? You wanna leave?’ He said he didn’t get any kind of response from them. When he realized he didn’t get any kind of response from them, he thought, ‘Oh, maybe they don’t really care if I leave. Maybe I should go do other things.’ So I think that made it easier, because when the news broke that he was considering it, the people that are in charge of keeping him there didn’t make a big effort to do so until afterward.
Hairstylist Kim Ferry agreed with the claim, saying NBC didn’t pick up Carell’s contract:
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.
The bigger picture:
- According to IGN, the book doesn’t reveal why NBC didn’t want to sign Carell for another year.
- But the exit happened when NBC switch presidents from Jeff Zucker to Bob Greenblatt, who wasn’t a big fan of “The Office.”