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One More "The Office" Cast Member Quits; Two More to Follow?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 28, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 28, 2012 |

After only one season on “The Office,” James Spader is retiring. It was all according to plan, according to executive producer Paul Lieberstein.

“James always wanted this to be a one-year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television,” Lieberstein said. “He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that.”

Uh huh. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the show’s dwindling ratings, the poorly drawn character, and the audience’s failure to connect with him. If Spader had made a bigger splash and if he’d managed to reverse the show’s downward spiral, he’d have been signed on for multiple seasons.

However, with Spader leaving, by mid-season next year, “The Office” could have a very different composition. Mindy Kaling — whose contract is up at the end of the year — is developing a new sitcom for Fox, and if it’s picked up, she’d leave the show. Moreover, there’s also been talk of a Dwight Schrute spin-off set on his farm, which would mean that Rainn Wilson would also leave the show. Already missing Steve Carell, that would leave the show in even bigger shambles than it is: They’d have to bring in new cast members, which hasn’t been all that successful so far, save for Ellie Kemper, to a degree. But that new woman trying to sleep with Jim? That’s a trainwreck, and Catherine Tate hasn’t been very good, either. Krasinski would basically be left to shoulder all the heavy lifting, a difficult task now that the show has basically ruined Pam’s character.

I think it’s probably time to hang it up, folks. Eight seasons was too long. Nine seasons is absurd. It’s going to turn into “The Office: The New Class.” Give Kevin the spin-off, and end the madness.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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