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Posted at 02:53 PM ET, 08/21/2012

‘The Office’ will officially end after this season

The cast of “The Office.” (NBC - CHRIS HASTON/NBC)
Next May, “The Office” will follow in the footsteps of original series star Steve Carell and say goodbye for good.

The upcoming ninth season will be the final one for the NBC comedy, executive producer Greg Daniels confirmed on a conference call with TV reporters on Tuesday.

“This will be the last season of ‘The Office,’ and we’re planning a big exciting last season,” Daniels said. He added that viewers will finally see who is behind the longrunning camera that's been filming the show for a “documentary” since its inception.

“The Office” is coming off its lowest-rated year — except for the six-episode first season in 2005 — with an average of 6.5 million viewers, ranking No. 78 in total viewers for the 2011-2012 TV season. The show is, however, still NBC’s most-watched comedy series, and the network’s highest-rated scripted show in regards in the all-important category of viewers age 18-49.

This was going to be a trying year for “The Office” regardless — multiple cast members are planning to move on to other ventures, such as producer/writer/actress Mindy Kaling getting her own show on Fox. Plus, actor Rainn Wilson and showrunner Paul Leiberstein are heading off to the ”Office” spin-off, starring Dwight Schrute (Wilson) and his wacky family.

Daniels, who was the original showrunner, is returning to helm the show for its final season.

The series had also gone through a series of replacements for Carell, who exited in April 2011, trying to find a new boss character who fit, ranging from Will Ferrell to James Spader.

By  |  02:53 PM ET, 08/21/2012

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