'The Office': Steve Carell never wanted to leave show but NBC wanted him out, new book reveals why
While fans thought Carell left on his own accord, a new book, Andy Greene's 'The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s' reveals that that was not Carell's intention
After seven seasons of emotional hilarity, Steve Carell, star of NBC's 'The Office' left the highly acclaimed series. While fans thought Carell left on his own accord, a new book, Andy Greene's 'The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s' reveals that that was not Carell's intention.
The book reports that the fan-favorite actor who played Michael Scott on the series was not planning to leave the sitcom. According to Collider, the heads at NBC didn't want the actor to stay. Casting director Allison Jones revealed to Greene, "As I recall, he was going to do another season and then NBC, for whatever reason, wouldn't make a deal with him. Somebody didn't pay him enough. It was absolutely asinine. I don't know what else to say about that. Just asinine."
Apparently, according to Brian Wittle, sound mixer and hairstylist Kim Ferry, Carell had mentioned wanting to leave the sitcom during an interview with BBC in 2010 but never made a definitive decision. He was on his final contract year and he had noted that Season 7 would “probably be my last year.”
“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," said Wittle.
NBC swapped head honcho Jeff Zucker for Bob Greenblatt and Randy Cordray, producer of 'The Office' said, "was not as big a fan of The Office as we wished he would've been." Cordray told Greene, "If you're not respected and don't even get offered a contract or a discussion of a future contract, then you move on."
"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 of 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.” Ferry said.
Ferry continued, "[Carell] was like, ‘Look, I told them I want to do it. I don’t want to leave. I don’t understand.’ It just is mind-boggling how that happened. And I feel bad because I think a lot of people think he did leave the show on his own merit and it’s absolutely not true. I’m telling you. I was there. I was there. He really wanted to stay. And it devastated all of us because he was the heart of our show."
The show did go on to for an additional two more seasons, without their lead star but Carell did come back as Michael Scott - a role he'll always be known for - for the series finale. Carell leaving the show, had fans disappointed all around the world, his character brought a sort of centric view to the success of the sitcom - he honestly was the star.