NBC confirmed last week that Steve Carell will be leaving "The Office" after the upcoming seventh season. Angela Bromstad, the network's president of prime-time entertainment told the AP: "We've been lucky to have had him as long as [we have]." Who will be lucky enough to step into Carell's show and be the new boss? Should an existing character get promoted, or should they hire from outside the Scranton branch? Here are five proposals for how to replace Carell:
1. Go back to the original
Replace Steve Carell with the "original": Ricky Gervais from the British version of the show, says Christopher Rosen at The New York Observer. Not only is Gervais "hilarious," he's also "inherently 'meaner' as a comic actor than Carell, something the staid 'Office' could use to create a major jolt."
2. Mine the Comedy Central talent pool
Sure, "it would be fantastic if Mr. Gervais reprised his role as David Brent, but that is a pipe dream," says Craig Sander in The Washington Times. For some good, but realistic options, NBC should look to the "Daily Show." "Carell and Ed Helms both are former 'Daily Show' correspondents, so why not revisit that well? Rob Corddry is one of the funniest guys who doesn’t get regular work."
3. Hire from within
The answer is as simple as "promoting" an existing cast member, says Elizabeth Kern in The Morning Call. Perhaps "it’s time that Dwight Shrute ditch the 'Assistant to' and become regional manager. Or do you give back the power to Jim Halpert who was once co-regional manager with Michael Scott? Better yet maybe you give it to a wildcard like Andy Bernard who has an ivy league schooling but has the same poor sense of humor as Michael Scott."
4. Hire the Old Spice Guy: "Hear me out," says The Hollywood Reporter staff. Isaiah Mustafa, the actor who plays the Old Spice guy, already has a holding deal with NBC. And "think about the kind of character Mustafa plays in his now ubiquitous commercials. He's basically acting like a pompous idiot, and what better show could there be for pompous idiots than 'The Office?'"
5. Or a big name comedienne: "I'd love to see [Dwight] Schrute struggle working for a woman," says Jon Chattman in The Huffington Post. Lisa Kudrow, who's "been missed on the boob tube" would be a good option, or Elizabeth Banks "could truly shine as a sultry yet silly boss." Sure, she currently has a recurring guest spot on "30 Rock," but that "doesn't showcase her talents enough."