Last week "The Office's" executive producer, Greg Daniels, announced that Season 9 will be the show's last. Despite the fact that the comedy is the highest rated scripted show on NBC, the production team wanted to end on a high note and wrap up the stories in a fashion that they felt the characters had come to deserve.
Daniels is hoping to avoid the pitfalls of the digital age and keep some mystery shrouding many of the storylines. But in a recent conference call interview, he did give a little taste of what fans can expect from the final year at Dunder-Mifflin.
Pam Beasley and Jim HalpertFor years Pam Beasley and Jim Halpert have been the soul of "The Office." Fans watched their love affair blossom from harmless friendship to engagement-ending flirtation to marriage to parenthood. But Daniels teased, "There is a lot of drama in the Jim and Pam story this year. The story is definitely not over for them."
Dwight SchrutePlans are already in the works for a Dwight Schrute spin-off called "The Farm" starring Rainn Wilson. But before he heads off to the harvest the family beets, Daniels promises that some crazy stories are being planned for "The Office's" most unpredictable employee.
David WallaceDunder-Mifflin's former CFO lost his post when Sabre acquired the company in Season 6, but David Wallace struck it big when the U.S. military patented his kid's cleanup device, the "Suck It," for $20 million. Having bought back Dunder-Mifflin and putting Andy Bernard in charge, Wallace will be running the show this season.
Kelly Kapoor and Ryan HowardIf Pam and Jim were the heartbeat of romance in "The Office," Kelly Kapoor and Ryan Howard were the headache. Their on-again-off-again romance included a brief marriage in Season 7. This fall, actress Mindy Kaling will have her own series on Fox called "The Mindy Project." And B.J. Novak has decided to cut back his involvement to a recurring role so he can pursue other opportunities like a role in the upcoming film "Saving Mr. Banks." So Kelly and Ryan will make only brief appearances in Season 9.
The rest of the gangThe majority of the show's ensemble cast will also be returning for the final season. Despite the departure of James Spader, many of the "Office" co-workers will ride out the show to the end. That's a lot of storylines to resolve, but in the midst of juggling all that, Daniels did leak one detail, "We think they all will learn PowerPoint."
Nellie BertramWhile she came late to the dance, British actress Catherine Tate quickly made an impact in the part of Nellie Bertram. Now that David Wallace and Andy Bernard are firmly in control of the new Dunder-Mifflin, Nellie will need to settle into a new role. But Daniels did describe one upcoming event in the character's life, "Nellie is trying to have a charity drive at the office that is somewhat coercive, and she is putting a lot of pressure on people to pick a charity to donate to… Dwight decides to donate to the Taliban in protest."
Michael ScottAfter passionately running Dunder-Mifflin and being the often-misguided cheerleader for his eclectic staff, Michael Scott moved to Colorado at the end of Season 7 of the series. The actor who portrayed him, Steve Carell, had become a mega-star, and his feature film options were bountiful. But if Scott wanted to return to Scranton, Daniels said they would "certainly wish for it."
Roy AndersonSome viewers might have forgotten all about the guy who once held Pam's heart. After she left her fiancée for Jim, Roy Anderson left his Dunder- Mifflin warehouse job in the dust. But Daniels says that he'll be returning this season and finally having an "Office" wedding of his own.
Fresh facesDespite the fact that it's winding down, "The Office" is welcoming two new characters who will be played by Clark Duke ("Kick Ass") and Jake Lacy ("Better with You").
The documentary crewIt's sometimes easy to forget that the employees of Dunder-Mifflin have been the subject of a documentary shoot for all of these seasons. Yet there's never been any indication as to why a crew would choose to follow the rag tag staff of a small paper company for so long. Daniels promised that devotees will finally find out more about the production team that's been work on the D-M project all of these years.
The Scranton StranglerDaniels said that the producers are definitely considering revealing the identity of the famous local serial killer.
"The Office" returns on Thursday, September 20 at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central on NBC.
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