Ever since Steve Carell announced in the summer of 2010 that he would be leaving the show after Season 7, fans of "The Office" have lamented the loss of Michael Scott and held out hope that the absence of the show's heavyweight was only temporary. For the duration of Carell's lame duck year and throughout the first, chaotic post-Michael season, speculation has swirled around all kinds of scenarios, plausible or outlandish, that would usher Michael back to the friendly Scranton confines of Dunder Mifflin.
The slim possibility of a return engagement has arguably kept many viewers hanging on long past the point when they would have normally abandoned NBC's sometimes rudderless sitcom. In late June, though, Carell all but drove a stake through the heart of the hushed and pasty rumors that just won't die. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Carell insisted that Michael's truncated life story will forever remain untold.
Even though "The Office" is heavily promoted as an ensemble sitcom, particularly in the last couple of years, there is not doubt that Steve Carell was the undisputed star of the Scranton firmament. While he may have been a relative unknown to many fans when the show began in 2004, Carell soon mounted the quirky Michael Scott vehicle with gusto and rode it to fame and a burgeoning movie career. Like many television stars before him, success on the tube allowed Carell the financial and creative freedom to stretch his wings, and he apparently found that Scott was a bit too confining for him. That almost inevitably left to his exit after Season 7, but the loyal fan base and the show's producers were loathe to give up on the magic that Carell and his cast mates had wrought. Even before he was gone, it soon became obvious just how much of that sorcery could be credited to Carell and his portrayal of Michael. Nobody wanted to give up on that formula completely, so fans speculated about when and how it might resurface.
Now, Carell says that all the scheming and dreaming was for naught. His opinion seems to be that the rest of Michael's story is best left untold and that fans could only be disappointed by the a story line that couldn't possibly live up to heightened expectations. That might be true, especially after more than a year without Michael, but any kind of nod to the past would likely give the show a little spark as it heads into Season 9.
Since Carell has kaboshed that notion, maybe it's time for NBC to whip out the old clips for a retrospective show. At any rate, it has to be better than yet another interview process.