By Ryan Buxton, EnStarz | Aug 22, 2012 11:08 AM EDT
Producers made it official Tuesday: NBC is closing the doors to "The Office" this year with the comedy's ninth and final season
The show has seen an exodus of sorts in recent years, with star Steve Carell exiting during season 7 and Mindy Kaling, the writer who also plays Kelly Kapoor, leaving to focus on her own show, "The Mindy Project."
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Greg Daniels, who developed the British "Office" for American television, dished to the media this week about the show's final days and what's in store for season 9.
The show is known for popularizing the mocumentary style used by other sitcoms like "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation," and Daniels said this season viewers will finally get a chance to meet the mysterious film crew that has been documenting Dundler Mifflin for nine years.
Daniels said the series' swansong season will pack an emotional punch the show has shied away from in the last few years.
"For one thing, the last few years we didn't do arcs so much," he said. "We were pursuing episodic comedy. But the real heart of the show is these arcs that let characters have continuing stories. There's so much to pay off from nine seasons."
The producer also discussed the possibility of a comeback for Carell's Michael Scott, which he says is still up in the air.
"We'd certainly wish for it," Daniels said. "It would be fantastic if he would return. He's probably anxious about not messing up such a stylish exit. We'll see. We haven't written [the finale]. We have ideas. ... But he's pretty busy."
Fans can expect a big focus on the show's central love story between Pam and Jim, which began as a will-they-or-won't-they tease and eventually brought the pair together as a married couple with children.
Kaling has been busy with "The Mindy Project," slated to premiere on Fox in September, but she told New York Magazine's Vulture blog that she was excited to return to "The Office" for the ninth season premiere, even though being back on set felt a little odd.
"It was like I had gone away for this summer vacation where I had like, I dunno, tried drugs for the first time and came back," she said.
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