Who Should Replace Michael Scott on The Office?

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Suddenly, Simon Cowell's seat on the American Idol judging table isn't the most pressing vacancy on TV.

Earlier this week, Steve Carell made it as official as he could: he's very likely to leave The Office after his contract runs out next year.

While the way in which writers pen Michael Scott's exit isn't a source of debate (he has to end up with Holly in Nashua, right?!?), who the show will choose as the new manager of Dundler Mifflin Scranton should be cause for months' worth of speculation.

About to Get Married
Dwight Photo
Andy Bernard Pic

Will the company promote from within? Jim's brief stint as co-manager didn't lead to many laughs.

Dwight would be a natural for the position, and we know he wants it, but that character's schitck is already based on an obnoxious (and hilarious) false sense of power. It might become tiresome if he actually acquires said power.

Andy would be an intriguing choice, as he possesses the same cluelessness and social awkwardness of Michael - but will the sitcom aim for Michael Scott 2.0 or someone totally fresh?

Who do you want to see as the branch manager? One of these characters? Or a big-name new cast member? Weigh the options below and vote, or leave a Comment with another possibility:

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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The Office Quotes

Dwight: What is my perfect crime? I break into Tiffany's at midnight. Do I go for the vault? No, I go for the chandelier. It's priceless. As I'm taking it down, a woman catches me. She tells me to stop. It's her father's business. She's Tiffany. I say no. We make love all night. In the morning the cops come and I escape in one of their uniforms. I tell her to meet me in Mexico but I go to Canada. I don't trust her. Besides, I like the cold. Thirty years later, I get a postcard. I have a son and he's the chief of police. This is where the story gets interesting: I tell Tiffany to meet me in Paris, by the Trocadero. She's been waiting for me all these years; she's never taken another lover. I don't care, I don't show up. I go to Berlin. That's where I stashed the chandelier.

Guess what, I have flaws. What are they? Oh, I don't know. I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I'll hit somebody with my car. So sue me... No, don't sue me. That is the opposite of the point that I'm trying to make.

Michael