TV - Movies
The Reason Steve
Carell Left The
Office After
Season 7
By PATRICK PHILLIPS AND
AJ CAULFIELD
It’s been over a decade since Steve Carell walked away from the role of Michael Scott, the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin on NBC's groundbreaking mockumentary comedy “The Office.” It's finally clear exactly why the actor chose to walk away from a show and character that now ranks among the best-loved in television history.
In 2010, Carell made the first public mention that his days on the show were possibly numbered, but the network did not respond. Brian Wittle, a boom operator and sound mixer on “The Office,” explained, "When he realized he didn't get any response from them, he thought, 'Oh, maybe they don't really care if I leave. Maybe I should go do other things.'"
The show’s hairstylist Kim Ferry corroborated Wittle's story, noting that Carell "didn't want to leave the show" and told NBC that he planned on signing a new contract. According to Ferry, however, network executives simply didn't reach out to him about negotiating a new deal.
“The Office” producer Randy Cordray offered that the arrival of Bob Greenblatt, who became the chairman of NBC Entertainment in 2011, allegedly "was not as big a fan of ‘The Office’ as we wished he would've been.” Cordray noted his belief that Carell likely would have stayed on the show if there was more respect coming from NBC.
Once Carell left, he carved out an impressive slate of big-screen roles, including an Oscar nomination for 2014's "Foxcatcher." Carell also has stated that he wouldn't want to appear on any sort of “Office” reboot, saying, "I don't think we can recapture that same magic.”