According to a BBC radio interview, actor Steve Carell has said that he may leave the hit NBC show “The Office.” With all of his recent movie success, it was inevitable that he would drop this job in favor of others. NBC has stated that “the producers are preparing in the event he chooses to move on.”
Here’s the thing: replacing the Michael Scott character will present the producers with a major challenge because while he is the biggest, neediest, and most pathetic doofus on two feet, he is a very likeable doofus and his replacement will have to be very likeable as well as be able to manage all those odd personalities that make up Dunder-Mifflin Scranton.
As for the real world part of this situation, the NBC brass has to find a talented comic actor who can be that likeable guy, meld well with all the accomplished actors who portray a very loved group of cubicle-dwellers, and help this show regain the polish that it once had. Unfortunately, time and storylines are pushing “The Office” closer to the shark that it will assuredly jump.
NBC cannot afford another public problem even if it is a minor one in their universe. Let’s not forget: these are the same people who think that the very unwatchable Jay Leno is still a good idea. And “The Office” is one of the few tried and true hits that they have in their otherwise lame roster of shows.
NBC, here is some advice from someone not in the TV industry trenches: don’t screw this up! I can’t be the only viewer who sees trouble brewing here. But I do know a show that’s past its prime when I see it… or when I’m turning it off to watch something else.