Greg Daniels, the executive producer of NBC's The Office, has confirmed that Steve Carell's character, Michael Scott, would not be making a re-appearance during the show's current final season or the series finale.
Speaking at a Television Critics Association panel in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Daniels said Carell "was very much of the opinion that the 'Goodbye Michael' episode and the story arc that we did leading up to it was his goodbye to the fans and the show…"
Carell left the series after season seven. Daniels said Carell believes the current final season "is the goodbye that the rest of the show gets to have, so at the moment we don't have any plans for him to come back."
Daniels did say that other series regulars and guest stars, including Mindy Kaling, may return, and "there's still a lot of good things that we have planned for the rest of the goodbyes."
Daniels said next week's episode is "the beginning of the end" of the current 24-episode season. He said on the 15th episode, which is scheduled to air on Feb. 14, "someone is fired."
Daniels confirmed to Deadline.com that he had received no push from NBC to end the series, and predicted that the network would have been happy to have the series remain on the air. The executive producer said last August that creative closure was the primary reason behind the decision to close "The Office" after nine seasons.
Daniels said Wednesday it's nice to be able to plan the end of a series instead of simply being canceled because it gives the writers a chance to tie up loose ends of story lines that have been part of the series since the show debuted.
The two-part "The Office" finale will air in May.