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NBC’s hit sitcom The Office is undergoing big changes at the end of this season. The latest change is the departure of Paul Lieberstein. While most might know him as Toby, he is also the showrunner for The Office, leading the team of writers. Lieberstein is preparing to leave so that he can work on the spin-off series, The Farm.
On Wednesday, Deadline confirmed that Lieberstein will be leaving the show at the end of its current season. Lieberstein co-created the spin-off series, which will take Rainn Wilson’s Dwight Schrute character out of the office so that he can focus on Schrute Farms.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC will be looking for a new showrunner, while also trying to sign as many of the stars of the series as possible. Ed Helms, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski are still in negotiations to return, but it looks like Mindy Kaling, who is also a writer, might be leaving. She is working on a show for Fox, which has already been picked up for a pilot and if Fox orders it as a series, Kaling will have to leave The Office. Another problem is that Daniel Chun, the head writer, signed a contract with ABC, so his future is in question.
Deadline also reports that talks with Helms, Fischer, Krasinski and B.J. Novak have stalled.
James Spader, who was brought on as a potential replacement after Steve Carell left last season, announced last month that he will not be back if NBC does pick it up for another season.
Image courtesy of NBC