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‘The Office' to End After Ninth Season

will be closing its doors after its upcoming ninth season, executive
producer Greg Daniels said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Daniels, who ran The Office for its first five seasons, will return as showrunner
for its final year, replacing Paul Lieberstein.

He said the decision to end the show, still NBC's
highest-rated scripted series was a difficult one, but that they felt is was
their "last chance to really go out together" and make an appropriate ending
for the characters that have mattered most to fans. The Office already saw the departure of star Steve Carell after
season seven and Mindy Kaling will devote most of her time to her new Fox
series, The Mindy Project. Daniels
said he didn't feel they could get all the cast members to sign on for a 10th
season, as several like Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer have
burgeoning film careers.

Daniels said the final season would see "familiar
faces coming back" as well as two new characters this year in Jake Lacy and
Clark Duke and an ending that "should be pretty cool" and answer series-long
questions like who has been shooting the documentary of the Dunder Mifflin

's swan song is part of the overhauling on NBC's comedy lineup, with
30 Rock also ending its run this season with a truncated run and doubts about Community's future past this year. The Peacock
picked up seven new comedies this year and aggressively promoted the fall
entries during its coverage of the Summer Olympics. 

's final season premieres Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.