In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, executive producer Greg Daniels made it clear: The Office will conclude after its upcoming ninth season.
“This year feels like the last chance to... make an artistic ending for the show," Daniels said. "We’re planning a big exciting last season."
The announcement comes as little surprise, given the sitcom's dwindling ratings and the major changes ahead: Mindy Kaling will only appear on an episode or two as Kelly; BJ Novak has demoted himself to part-time player; and Paul Lieberstein has left as showrunner.
Rumors of a Dwight Schrute spinoff, meanwhile, have grown stronger, with NBC casting a couple relatives of this salesman for a backdoor pilot that will air as an upcoming episode of The Office.
Daniels added that the upcoming season will be a big one for Jim and Pam, while teasing "all questions will be answered" in 2012-2013, including the one that's been hanging over the series since its premiere:
"We’re going to see who’s behind the documentary.”
The producer also said Jake Lacy and Clark Duke will come on board as employees who must answer all the customer service complains that have piled up over the years. Also, Roy will get married and Darryl will learn Power Point.
Are you sad to see The Office go? Or is it time to close the doors on Dunder Mifflin Scranton?