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Steve Carell might leave 'The Office'

the-officeImage Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCDunder Mifflin Corporate won’t be happy about this. Steve Carell recently dropped a bombshell at the tail end of a BBC interview. The interviewer noted that Carell’s contract with The Office only runs through next season. Carell: “That will probably be my last year.” (NBC is not commenting on the interview.)

This may just be the opening salvo in a year-long salary negotiation (this is an NBC sitcom, after all), but if you ask me, Carell’s departure could be the best thing to happen to The Office. It could give next season an added emotional heft, not to mention the sure-to-be-hysterical turf war that could ensue over who gets to take over as head honcho of the Scranton branch. And most of this season has been spent on building up the minor characters (as in the Erin-Andy romance). It’s always hard for a show to survive without its star, but talent runs deep in the Office bench.

What do you think of the news, PopWatchers? Do you think Carell will really leave the show, and would you watch it without him? Who would you like to see take over as regional manager? (My money’s on Ryan.) And check EW for further developments…

Originally posted April 28 2010 — 7:35 PM EDT

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