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'The Office' boss: No return for Steve Carell

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

The Office (NBC)

Cast of "The Office." Credit: NBC

Steve Carell returning to "The Office" for one last big - messy - goodbye? (The hour finale is May 16.) Don't bet on it: Asked again in a recent conference call about the possible return of Michael Scott for just one last time, Greg Daniels - one of the show-runners who turned this into a classic - said, and I paraphrase: No.

 "Steve...didn't want to overshadow the ending that the other characters deserved after all these years..."

 And so that's that. No Carell. 

Just another one of those Games that Producers Play - to mute anticipation and that when it does happen, the barn doors blow off? (A cliche Dwight would approve of, by the way.) 

Sure, but doubtful: Daniels is one of the straightest shooters in the business, and I believe him on this. (And of course, also always reserve the right to completely forget what I just wrote if Carell does turn up.) Another reason is that a Scott/Carell return would change the entire tenor of the finale, making it the Michael Scott hour. He is arguably too big a personality, certainly the defining one over seven seasons, and bringing him back for a final romp -  if only to sit on stage and chat about the good old days at Dunder (Daniels confirmed that the finale will indeed be a reunion - somewhat reminiscent of the British version "Office's" Christmas two-parter, in which the camera crews caught up with the gang three years later)  -  would conceivably swamp everyone else.

 Still, let's all admit the obvioius: It's disappointing. Michael, one more time? The prospect is irresistable, but apparently not to be. (Oh yes, in case you're wondering, the finale - which could air 65-70 minutes, thanks to a petition by - has already been taped.)  

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