Why Did The Office End After 9 Seasons? A Retrospective

Why Did The Office End After 9 Seasons? A Retrospective

The series finale of "The Office" aired on May 16, 2013.

The show was widely recognized for its hilarious cast, including Steve Carell as well as actors Rainn Wilson (as Dwight Kurt Schrute III), John Krasinski (as Jim Halpert), Jenna Fischer (as Pam), among others who were all able to make fans laugh with their comedic acting throughout the seasons.

For nearly a decade, America's favorite TV show was The Office. With nine seasons and over 200 episodes, the show was one of the most successful and popular sitcoms in recent years.

It was a very enjoyable and light-hearted comedy that featured a very talented cast that made viewers laugh for nine seasons. It was a very enjoyable and light-hearted comedy following the main character, Michael served as the Regional Manager and employees' lives in the fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania.


the office series final

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A Little Background, Reminisce

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(If you haven't watched this NBC's famous comedy show, you missed out! You've got to watch it! If you were a fan, it's about time you rewatched :) )

The office was a mockumentary-style sitcom about employees at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, during its final years before being bought out by Sabre Corporation.

The American version, developed by Greg Daniels, was an adaptation of the original British  UK sitcom of the same name scripted by Ricky Gervais. With Steve Carell as the lead actor portraying the character of Michael Scott, a humorous and awkward manager, the show debuted on NBC and had a wildly growing viewership by the end of season 2.

So, what happened? Why did it have to end?

Steve Carell Left The Show

This was the first big blow just when the show was in its seventh season.

This was big news at the time because Michael Scott was the lead role of the show! He was an essential character who had wormed his way into everyone's hearts and was one of the main reasons the show became so iconic. Michael Scott wasn't just a comedic character; he had very real human qualities that made him empathetic to viewers, especially when he overstepped boundaries, which were often hilarious!

So imagine everyone's shock when the news broke that Steve Carell was leaving the show!

"The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of 2000s", a newly released book written by Andy Greene, revealed that Michael's exit from the tv series was more to do with NBC's network new management contradictory & mixed feelings to keep the show than Scott's desire to break free from the constraints of a broadcast sitcom.

It's also worth noting that the executive transition that saw Jeff Zucker leave and Bob Greenblatt as the replacement had a significant effect on Carell's contract. In the book, The Office producer Randy Cordray suggested that Carell would have stayed with the series had NBC handled things differently. In his words. – "If you're not respected and don't even get offered a contract or a discussion of a future contract, then you move on."

The Office Cast Didn't Like Season 8

Once Carell left the office, it had a domino effect on the cast.

What made the TV show special was that everyone got along really well. But things started to change once he left! According to Jenna Fischer, the Office cast were all very disappointed with how season eight turned out because there was a lack of focus on their own characters, and they didn't like what direction for some of them.

It was hard to imagine how the series could still be as successful without him. This is not to say that other characters such as Rainn Wilson (Dwight Shrute) and John Krasinski (Jim) don't have great comedic timing or aren't capable of carrying a sitcom on their own - but it just didn't feel right without Micheal Scott! However, the introduction of Will Ferrel and Robert California (played by the legendary James Spader) also brought a nice twist to the show.

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John Krasinski, Ending In Season 9

Technically, the Office cast and crew had a mutual agreement to end the sitcom on a high note. However, John Krasinski was the leader in initiating the decision to bring an end to the final season. According to Greg Daniels, who recalled his conversation to Baumgartner, Krasinski said, "Look, I think we need to do our last season. What do you think?' and I said, 'You have to end the show.'"

Krasinski wanted to end the show on the highest note possible before the network made the decision for them, as the viewership and popularity of the show were already greatly declining.

While most of the cast never wanted the show to end, they eventually agreed to end it early rather than see the cast members start to leave one by one to pursue other projects. Scheduling commitments with the documentary crew and the rest of the cast was becoming more difficult. The ratings were certainly not getting better.

With all in agreement, Daniels was able to write a memorable ending. The alternative would have been lots of pressure to abruptly end the show had the NBC management decided that the show had to be canceled. In doing so, he made sure that their final season, right to the final episode, was one to remember!


We might never know the actual or all the reasons why the show ended. But the cast and crew of the show did a great job in creating memorable characters that were relatable to viewers across all ages while also bringing some hilarious acting moments!

Fast forward, almost a decade after The Office ended in 2013, there are revival rumors doing rounds. Peacock's move to buy streaming rights and having the show move from Netflix to its platform is a good indication that there might be a new season in the making. Early in 2021, the showrunner, Daniels, said that a reunion of the cast members could take the form of new episodes set during the show's original run.

While there hasn't been any official confirmation, we might very well be seeing the return of the Dunder Mifflin in the near future! See also our article on The Office filming locations.

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