Steve Carell, who stars in NBC's "The Office" as bumbling administrator Michael Scott, has admitted he'll be leaving the show after next year's seventh season, prompting speculation about the sitcom's future. Carell says "The Office" could easily carry on without him, telling E! Online: "It's just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually." Is he right — or is it time to put "The Office" into liquidation?
This helps "The Office" — in the short term: Carell's impending departure could actually boost its audience of "advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds," says Joal Ryan at E! Online. That's what happened to "CSI" when William Petersen said he was leaving. The only problem? After he left, that show lost 3 million viewers. In the long term, Carell's departure is a problem.
"Why a Steve Carell exit could - gasp! - help 'The Office'"
"The Office" should quit while it's ahead: "The Office" could no doubt "drag along for another few seasons," says Andrew Dansby at the Houston Chronicle, but isn't it better to call it a day now? To exchange Carell's lovable boob for another actor would be to "ignore the delicate nature of character chemistry." And "a good boob is hard to find."
"Without Carell it might be best to shutter 'The Office'"
The lights aren't out in "The Office" just yet: The show can survive with a new boss, says Jennie Yabroff at Newsweek. The comedy is less about Carell's character than the "way it painfully nails the tedium, inanity, and insipidity of modern office culture." Think about it: Carell's "well-intentioned people pleaser" is a very different character from the "black-souled" David Brent played by Ricky Gervais in the original British series. But both were hits.