Ever since the departure of Steve Carell from ‘The Office,’ rumors have swirled that the series would either reboot, or close its doors entirely, particularly after the show struggled to find its footing absent its headlining star in season 8.  Stars departed, a spin-off geared up, and now the verdict has officially arrived that ‘The Office’ season 9 will indeed be the show’s last.  But, will any major characters return?  And what’s the big twist?

Speaking with reporters via conference call, ‘The Office’ show-runner Greg Daniels has officially proclaimed that the upcoming ninth season will in fact be the show’s last.  Daniels returned to his post as ‘The Office’ show-runner following the departure of Paul Lieberstein, who continues preparing to spin off Dwight Schrute into ‘The Farm.’

Daniels was rather forthcoming about the show’s final season, which to date has seen Mindy Kaling drop out for her new FOX series ‘The Mindy Project,’ B.J. Novak take on a reduced role, while adding several new cast members.  In addition to announcing the end, Daniels revealed that ‘The Office’ season 9 would see Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms) taking on a more assertive leadership role following a summer training program, and looking for vengeance on returning (made series regular) Catherine Tate’s Nellie Bertram.

But how will the series ultimately go out?  Daniels explained that in a surprising twist, the final season would explain just who’s been filming ‘The Office’ all this time, as part of its faux-documentary format.  He also claimed it would be a “big Jim and Pam year,” clarifying that the recent casting of David Denman would see the couple attending Roy’s wedding in the second episode.

Obviously, one of the bigger questions on fans’ minds is whether or not Steve Carell could return to the series, among other familiar faces.  Here’s what Daniels had to say on the matter:

There’s so much to pay off after nine seasons.  My biggest concern is just packing in all these great ideas the writing staff has and make sure we squeeze as many as we can into the ending…[as for Steve Carell], we’d certainly wish for it…it would be fantastic if he would return.
The story continues developing, and NBC has yet to make a decision whether or not it will pick up Dwight Schrute spin-off ‘The Farm,’ following its introduction sometime in the ninth season.  What say you, though?  Has ‘The Office’s end been long-overdue?  What stars will return before the end?  Tell us how you’d like to see ‘The Office’s final season play out in the comments below!

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