Jeff Labrecque
January 14, 2011 AT 02:55 PM EST

Image Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCMichael Scott isn’t even going to make it to the end of his last season on The Office. NBC has confirmed to EW the HitFix.com report that showrunner Paul Lieberstein said that Steve Carell’s imminent departure from the show will take place with four episodes remaining. Amy Ryan’s Holly will — POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT — say goodbye one or two episodes before Scott’s farewell, so fans hoping those two would walk into the sunset together may be disappointed. Darryl, Dwight, and Andy will spend the season’s last four episodes scrambling for power in Michael’s absence, and several other characters will also be introduced (or re-introduced: Dave Koechner’s Todd Packer). Jim, Lieberstein confirmed, will not be in the hunt to become manager.

Read more:

Steve Carell nominates Colin Powell to succeed him on ‘The Office’

Steve Carell on the end of Michael Scott: ‘The Office’ is not a fairy tale

Angela Kinsey: ‘Michael Scott departing is going to make a great season and great TV for us’

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