The Office showrunner/developer Greg Daniels spoke to the press yesterday about what to expect when the show ends its nine-season run in May. Here's highlights from all the stuff he said:
- Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak will return for the one-hour finale and that Zach Woods, who played Gabe Lewis on the show, will be back for one of the final episodes too.
- Steve Carell, however, will not be back. Daniels says, "Steve is very much of the opinion that the 'Goodbye Michael' episode and the story arc that we did leading up to it was his goodbye and end to the show, and that [this season] is the goodbye the rest of the show gets to have."
- Daniels advises fans to start tuning in for the season's 12th episode on January 24th, which is "the beginning of the end, where we start to break down what's going on with this documentary and see [the] behind the scenes of who's involved… If you look at how many characters we have here and you think that [the finale] will be our 200th half hour, I don't think we are planning on packing everything into the last episode."
- Someone will be fired in Episode 15.
- Ken Kwapis, who directed the pilot, is returning to direct the finale.
- The finale hasn't been written yet. Daniels says, "There's an idea, but it's a very collaborative process. Every time we have a table read and somebody comes up with a better idea than we have in the script, it pulls the story forward a little bit and we have to invent something at the end. We do have a goal that we're aiming for, how we get there is changing… there are still a lot of good things that we have planned for the rest of the goodbyes," adding that each character will get his/her own "really good, interesting sendoff."
- Daniels returned to be showrunner for the 9th season, explaining, "I couldn't imagine a scenario where I wouldn't be directing what was happening at the end. That happened to me on King Of The Hill." Daniels referred to his connection with The Office as "more emotional than any other show I've ever had."
- "Toby is going to go visit [the Scranton Strangler] in prison soon, so we will learn a little bit more about whether he was wrongly imprisoned or rightfully imprisoned, and it still remains to be seen whether there is a big reveal or not. Creed's been pushing for some weird connection to this guy."
- Daniels says the decision to end the show after Season 9 "was made by pretty much everybody who is a producer now, which includes a lot of the main cast. But we were still doing very well for NBC, I think they'd probably have us back for another year."