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The Office: Rumors Swirl Regarding Carell’s Replacement

Who will replace Steve Carell on The Office? Who will replace Steve Carell on The Office?

The Office is one of America’s most popular sitcoms, but with the announcement by star Steve Carell that he will be leaving the show, the NBC hit finds itself in a state of uncertainty. Rumors about who will replace Carell’s bumbling Michael Scott dominate the internet. The latest gossip has Rhys Darby, best known as Murray from Flight of the Conchords, and Eastbound and Down’s Danny McBride leading the pack to take over at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

Carell’s contract is up at the end of the seventh season of The Office, which will be his final one. That gives the show’s writers a full season to allow a graceful exit for their sitcom’s comedic anchor. It also gives the show’s producers one full season to acquire a replacement.

Rhys Darby seems like a plausible fit. His role as the oblivious manager of the titular folk duo on Flight of the Conchords bears a strong resemblance to Carell’s Michael Scott. Murray, however, tended to be less self-interested than Michael Scott, but both bosses wound up being lovable in spite of their copious character flaws.

Danny McBride’s character on Eastbound and Down, Kenny Powers, likewise shares some qualities with Michael Scott. He is arrogant and unaware of the feelings of people around him. However, McBride’s Powers is much more callous and foul, pushing the boundaries of what audiences will find acceptable in a protagonist, a character who is traditionally supposed to be at least somewhat sympathetic.

Of course, there’s nothing to suggest that either Darby or McBride would be asked to do anything like reprise a previous role. But from a viewer’s perspective, the characters that made those actors famous would make for a relatively seamless transition on The Office.

Giving heft to the rumor about Darby is the confirmation that Flight of the Conchords will not return to the air. McBride, however, continues to be occupied with Eastbound and Down.

Another much talked about possibility is that no new cast member be added. Instead, one of the existing characters would be promoted to the vacant position of regional manager, a move that would also elevate the status of someone in The Office's outstanding ensemble cast.

Continuing to produce The Office without Steve Carell is a dicey prospect. Few performers are so gifted. However, when The Office began its NBC run, similar skepticism existed among fans of the BBC version of The Office, the series upon which the American show is based. Carell won over a lot of Ricky Gervais fans. Here’s hoping his successor can accomplish something similar.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 20:30

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