On the heels of another carefully worded denial from exec producer Greg Daniels that The Office‘s May 16 series finale will not feature a return appearance by Steve Carell, TVLine has learned exclusively that the Dunder Mifflin legend will, in fact, turn up in the swan song.
In a conference call with reporters last week, Daniels sort-of-but-not-really shot down speculation about a Carell comeback, saying, “I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved.”
Possible translation: Carell’s return won’t overshadow the ending.
And by all accounts, it won’t. According to sources, Carell’s return engagement qualifies as more of a cameo than a full-fledged guest appearance. (It’s unclear if Carell will be joined by his Office soul mate Amy Ryan.)
An NBC spokesperson declined to comment, while Carell’s rep insists that the Office finale will be Scott-free.
On Saturday, Carell surprised thousands of Office fans when he joined his former co-stars at a huge “wrap party” held in the real Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Steve Carell thinks being teased by Ricky Gervais is a ”badge of honour”.
The ‘Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ actor got to know the British funnyman after he took on the lead role in the US version of ‘The Office’ – the UK comedy which Ricky wrote and starred in – and he feels very touched when he makes jokes about him.
He said: ”Oh, he teases me mercilessly. But I take that as a badge of honour. If you’re being teased by Ricky Gervais then you’re doing something right.”
The American version of ‘The Office’ – which, like its UK counterpart, is filmed in a documentary style – comes to an end this year, but Steve says he won’t be returning as his alter ego Michael Scott because he doesn’t think it would fit in with his character’s traits.
Steve – who left the show in 2011 – told ShortList magazine: ”I just don’t think there’s any reason for him to come back. I’m sure he would go back and see his old colleagues at Dunder Mifflin, but I don’t think he’d do it in front of the ‘documentary’ cameras.”
Despite declarations from NBC,Office producers and Steve Carell himself that the NBC comedy’s May 16 series finale would be Scott-free, increasing buzz suggests the Dunder Mifflin legend may turn up after all.
Insiders tell TVLine that producers mounted an 11th hour effort last month to coax Carell into making a cameo in the show’s hour-long swan song. And while no one is confirming that the final diplomatic push proved successful, no one is denying it either.
Well, no one save for Carell’s personal rep, who tells TVLine that while his client was on set for the final episode, he did not, in fact, shoot any scenes.
On the flipside, a source close to the show cryptically teases, “Don’t rule anything out.” An NBC spokesperson, meanwhile, declined to comment.
For his part, executive producer Greg Daniels — who back in January told reporters that there aren’t “any plans for him to come back” — now appears to be taking a silence is golden stance. When TVLine approached him for comment last week, he side-stepped the question, preferring to follow NBC’s “super mysterious” lead by staying mum.
Steve Carell has explained his decision not to return to “The Office,” which is currently in its final season on NBC.
“I just didn’t think it was right for the character, because that character had had an arch within the story and kind of grew and sort of evolved past the idea of the documentary,” Steve told Access Hollywood correspondent Tim Vincent as he promoted his new film, “The Way Way Back” at Sundance.
Steve, who played the fumbling Michael Scott, former head of the Dunder-Mifflin office in Scranton, Penn., said he does plan to visit the set, though, before the show wraps up its nine season run.
“I’m really good friends with everybody on the cast and with [executive producer] Greg Daniels and I want to go back to say, ‘Hi,’ certainly, before it all ends, but I just thought, in terms of the character, it didn’t make sense,” he told Tim.
On the set of “The Office” recently, Jenna Fischer told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman, she thinks Steve went out in the best way possible, when he exited the show in Season 7.
“His goodbye was so perfect and it was so amazing. We always welcome him back, but at the same time I do feel that he went out really well,” she said.
Steve Carell may have his former costars to answer to if he doesn’t pop up at least once during The Office‘s final season.
“We would all love Steve to come back,” Jenna Fischer told us at the taping of the 2012 CNN Heroes news special. “He’s more than welcome and more than invited to come back. There’s nothing confirmed, but everyone’s fingers are crossed…There’s a lot of things you have to work out in order to make that happen, but it would be great.”
Rainn Wilson echoed Fischer’s enthusiasm. “There’s talk of it,” he said. “He’s a very busy man and a huge movie star, so it’s going to be a tough one. But we’ll see what we can do.”
NBC announced in August that the current season—its ninth—would be the last for The Office.
John Krasinski is already thinking of the right storyline for his big return.
“Maybe he comes back to check in on one of us,” he told us at the Governors Awards. “Maybe one of us is having a hard time and he comes to be the savior. That would be really nice.”
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