Just how much is Steve Carell leaving The Office when his contract expires at the end of next season? So much!
From his profile by Tad Friend in today's New Yorker (not online, sadly):
[Carell] plans to leave The Office when his contract expires, next year, at the end of his seventh season; most of the actors and writers believe that without him there wouldn't be a show, but he insists that they could make it work.
Still don't believe him?
He told EW's Michael Ausiello last night:
"I think [season] 7 will be my last year,” he told us over the weekend at the premiere of his new animated flick, Despicable Me. “I want to fulfill my contract. I think it’s a good time to move on.” Asked if there’s anything that could change his mind, Carell said, "No. I just want to spend more time with my family."
"I just think it's time," Steve told our Kristina Guerrero. "I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go."
Probably nothing to worry about until we get a fourth opinion.
First Banana (abstract) [NYer]
Steve Carell on 'Office' exit: 'It's a good time to move on' [Ausiello Files/EW]
Steve Carell Confirms He's Leaving The Office—but Show May Go On [Watch With Kristin/E!]