Even though NBC has shot down rumors that Steve Carell would return for the series finale of "The Office" on May 16, sources say the actor will make a special cameo as the show ends its nine-season run.
Greg Daniels, executive producer of the mockumentary NBC comedy about a clan of quirky office-dwellers at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co., said earlier this month that Carell would not be returning for the series finale.
"I think Steve Carell 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," Daniel told reporters last week.
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But Carell, who played wacky office manager Michael Scott — a character originated by British comedian Ricky Gervais in the U.K. version of the show — is rumored to have been on set the final day of filming. He also reportedly attended a wrap party in Scranton, Pa., where the show is set.
Carell left the show in 2011 to concentrate on his movie career. Since his departure, audiences have fallen from around 8 million at the show's height in 2007-8 to about 5 million this year. The return of Carell would be a huge draw for audiences who miss his lovable portrayal of Scott.
Daniels did, however, reveal the general plotline of the finale. He told reporters it will be patterned after the original British version, in which the characters reunited after becoming famous as reality TV stars.
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And though Carell has not been confirmed as a cameo, other former "Office" stars are set to make appearances including B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Joan Cusack, Ed Begley Jr., and Malcolm Barrett.
"The Office" series will conclude May 16 with a special one-hour episode on NBC at 9 p.m. EST.
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