'The Office' Season 9 is its last; Steve Carell's return 'would be fantastic,' says showrunner Greg Daniels
"This year feels like the last chance to really go out together and to make an artistic ending to the show that pays off a lot of the stuff that has mattered most to fans with the core characters," says Daniels. "This will be the last season of 'The Office.' We're planning a very big exciting last season."
"We're going to have a lot of familiar faces coming back," Daniels continues. "We're going to Roy's wedding. David Wallace is running the show, the Dunder-Mifflin show. We have a lot of funny stories, we're telling some crazy Dwight stories we've wanted to tell for years."
The question on everyone's mind is whether those familiar faces will include Steve Carell as Michael Scott. Daniels says they'd love it.
"We would certainly wish for it. We're not going to put so much pressure on Steve by writing something that could only work if he returned. But it would be fantastic if he returned," says Daniels.
"I think for him, he really loves how he was exited and is probably anxious about not messing up such a stylish exit. That's a perfectly legitimate point. We'll see," Daniels continues. "We haven't written, we just have ideas for the ending and obviously, if he would participate, we would have lots of good times. The ideas that we have will fly without him if he can't make it. He's pretty busy."
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Daniels does tease that the Jim/Pam fans will not be disappointed with what is coming for everyone's favorite "Office" couple.
"A lot of drama in the Jim/Pam storyline this year," says Daniels. "Big Jim and Pam year. You'll be pleased and excited for what we have planned for them."
"We have a lot of great things planned this year, the ending should be pretty cool. Darryl will learn PowerPoint," he laughs. "Basically, all questions will be answered this year. We're going to see who is behind the documentary. We're going to meet some of them."
Daniels also says that the show won't be as heavy with the episodic comedy and will get back to its roots of more arc-focused stories.
"I think the real art of the show are these arcs that allow the characters to have on-going stories. It's a very arc-heavy year," says Daniels. "It's all going to be set up in the premiere. There's just so much to pay off from nine seasons. My biggest concern is just packing in these great ideas that the writing staff has and making sure that we hit all of them."
"Finding out who the Scranton Strangler is. There are certain things that are really fun for people who have been following the show," says Daniels.
"The Office" returns for its final season Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.