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'The Office' to end at conclusion of upcoming ninth season

UPI News Service, 08/21/2012 

"The Office" will end after the upcoming season, said original Executive Producer Greg Daniels, who will return to oversee the season.

"As we head into the homestretch, we have a lot of exciting things I've been wanting to do since season two," Daniels told reporters in a conference call from the program's set Tuesday. "The end should be pretty cool."

Daniels -- a former "Saturday Night Live,""King of the Hill" and "The Simpsons" writer who adapted the BBC series "The Office" for American audiences -- said the final season would be a "last chance" for the crew "to go out" the way he envisioned.

He said "familiar faces [would be] coming back," but did not say if Steve Carell, who left last year, would return for a swan song as Michael Scott, regional manager of the Scranton, Pa., branch of fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co.

"We'll see," Daniels said. "We have ideas for the ending, and obviously if he would participate, we would have a lot of good times. The idea will fly without him if he can't make it. He is pretty busy."

Daniels said the final season -- the series' ninth -- would rely on story arcs, or an extended or continuing story line from episode to episode, rather than self-contained or standalone episodes.

"The real heart of the show are these arcs that allow these characters to have ongoing stories," he said. "It's all going to be set up in the premiere," Sept. 20.

"There's so much to pay off from nine seasons, so many great characters, that my biggest concern is just tacking in these great ideas that the writing staff has on the walls and making sure we hit all of them or at least squeeze as many into the ending," he said.

The Hollywood Reporter said the final season is scheduled to run 22 episodes.

The show debuted on NBC as a midseason replacement March 24, 2005.

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