Steve Carell has announced early this week that the seventh season of The Office, which will premiere this fall, is going to be his last. He has hinted of this a few months ago, and reiterated this while promoting his latest movie, Despicable Me, with the British press.
Whether the show goes beyond Season 7, it will go on without him since Michael Scott will have to retire from Dunder-Mifflin/Sabre.
Fans of the show are quick to suggest possible replacements and names, like Jason Alexander, have crop up. There's no way to tell how The Office will fare after Michael Scott leaves in May 2011. But TV history has shown that when a very important character departs a successful series, such as in the case of Grissom on CSI or Zach Braff on Scrubs, there's little chance that its viewers would stick around, too.
On the other hand, The Office is an ensemble cast that can supposedly move forward, even without its main lead. Proof of that? For the last three summer hiatus, there have been webisodes released online, starring its accountants (Oscar, Kevin & Angela). The webisodes, which have earned numerous awards, have earned a humble following. Only, this comes from the show's most loyal fans and not mainstream, clicker-happy viewers. Also, these webisodes are three minutes long, compared to the regular 30, and sometimes 60, minute TV episodes. So, the dynamics is quite different.
What I would really like for Michael to have when he leaves? A beautiful, happy ending with his true love, Holly. And this may totally go against what Michael Scott represents --- a pitiful man-boy who's hard to respect, for one thing, but really wants nothing more but love and adoration from someone, anyone. And that is why I think Holly has to come back and give Michael a break.