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'The Office' finale extended fifteen minutes

The Office (NBC) Cast of "The Office."

The Office (NBC)

Cast of "The Office." (Credit: NBC )

Now, with fifteen extra minutes, surely one Steve Carell will be able to find time in his busy schedule to make one...last...final...appearance on the show he helped make a classic: "The Office."

 Right?

 Right. And in the meantime, hats off to website Officetally.com, which months ago began a petition drive to get NBC to extend the finale of "The Office" by fifteen minutes and...mission accomplished: The May 16 finale will air from 9 p.m. to 10:15,  cutting into "Hannibal" (bad pun intended.) So my guess would be: 50 minutes of program time, and twenty five (give or take) minutes of commercials. Seems like a lot but really, it's a darn sight better than the alternative: An "hour" finale with 37-8 minutes of programming, and the balance ads. This is a victory for "The Office" writing crew, which also sought an expansion. 

  Meanwhile the show sent out a list of special guests too, and the names are  most excellent ones - Rachael Harris, Dakota Johnson, Joan Cusack, Ed Begley Jr., Malcolm Barrett... Harris? Intriguing indeed. Begley? Does this mean "Office" will close with a "St. Elsewhere" ref too (same as "30 Rock"). Dakota  Johnson? She's new to Dunder Mifflin. Joan Cussack and Barrett ("Better off Ted") too.) Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak will be in the house too.  

 There's at least one notable absence here - not counting Steve Carell, playing cat and mouse about a possible reprisal: The wonderful Melora Hardin who did such a standout job on this classic over the years... A shame if she doesn't turn up. 

 And Carell? Greg Daniels, the show runner who adapted "The Office" from the British version, said last week it was not going to happen; Steve didn't want to take away the spotlight from the rest of the castmembers. But that was before he secured the extra fifteen minutes, which he had long been lobbying for. Did fifteen little minutes make all lthe difference?

 NBC is now in an official "no comment" mode which means...he'll be in the finale. 

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