Tags: Hollywood | steve carell | the office | nbc

New Book: Network Forced Steve Carell to Leave 'The Office'

actor steve carell
Actor Steve Carell (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2020 12:46 PM

Steve Carell did not want to leave the mega-hit TV show "The Office" after Season 7 but NBC execs gave him no choice, a new book claims.

Andy Greene dropped the bombshell in "The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s," revealing that Carell never intended to exit the show but NBC forced his exit, according to Collider.

The allegations stemmed from a 2010 interview during which Carell casually said he may leave "The Office" once Season 7 had wrapped up. He later told sound mixer Brian Wittle that the network's lack of response to his comment was what got the ball rolling.

"He didn't plan on saying it out loud and he hadn't decided anything. He was kind of thinking out loud, but he did it in an interview in public and it created news," Wittle said. While the public was reeling, NBC executives had nothing to say.

"When he realized he didn't get any kind of response from them, he thought, 'Oh, maybe they don't really care if I leave. Maybe I should go do other things,'" Wittle said. "So I think that made it easier, because when the news broke that he was considering it, the people that are in charge of keeping him there didn't make a big effort to do so until afterward."

Hairstylist Kim Ferry shared a similar account of how events unfolded.

"He didn't want to leave the show. He had told the network that he was going to sign for another couple of years. He was willing to and his agent was willing to. But for some reason, they didn't contact him," Ferry said.

Carell's manager contacted the network, informing executives that his client wanted to stay on and hoped to sign another contract for a few more years, but nothing came from it.

"So all of that was willing and ready and, on their side, honest," Ferry continued. "And the deadline came for when they were supposed to give him an offer and it passed and they didn't make him an offer. So his agent was like, 'Well, I guess they don't want to renew you for some reason.' Which was insane to me. And to him, I think."

Negotiations came as Bob Greenblatt was coming in to fill the position of NBC's head as Jeff Zucker was departing. Producer Randy Cordray said Greenblatt was "not as big a fan of 'The Office' as we wished he would've been."

"He took 'The Office' for granted," Cordray continued, "If you're not respected and don't even get offered a contract or a discussion of a future contract, then you move on." Cordray was convinced that Carell would have stayed on if NBC had taken a different approach.

Ferry recalled Carell's sad departure from the show.

Carell "was like, 'Look, I told them I want to do it. I don't want to leave. I don't understand.' It just is mind-boggling how that happened," she said. "And I feel bad because I think a lot of people think he did leave the show on his own merit and it's absolutely not true. I'm telling you. I was there. I was there. He really wanted to stay. And it devastated all of us because he was the heart of our show."

"The Office" aired for two more seasons without Carell before finally coming to an end in 2013.

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Steve Carell did not want to leave the mega-hit TV show "The Office" after Season 7 but NBC execs gave him no choice, a new book claims.
steve carell, the office, nbc
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 12:46 PM
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