After reporting a couple weeks back that Steve Carell would not appear in the series finale of The Office, we’ve now learned that he will, indeed, be on hand for the occasion.
According to TVLine, Carell will make a cameo appearance in the May 16th finale, marking Michael Scott’s first return visit to Dunder Mifflin Scranton since leaving his post as regional manager back in 2011.
In a classic example of equivocation, executive producer Greg Daniels misled journalists into believing that Carell wouldn’t be on hand for the finale during a conference call last week when he said, ”I think Steve felt, and I agree, that the ‘Goodbye, Michael’ episode was his goodbye and he didn’t want to overshadow the ending that all the other characters deserved.”
If Carell’s appearance is indeed a brief one, he won’t technically be overshadowing any of his former co-workers. The meat of the hour-plus-long episode, which received a 15-minute extension from NBC today, will still be dedicated, first and foremost, to giving the remaining Scranton crew a satisfying end to their journeys.
This latest development doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given fans have been clamoring for Carell to make one final appearance on the show before it goes off the air for good. Also, Carell attended the show’s wrap party in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this past Saturday, adding more fuel to the speculation fire.
It seems likely now that the wedding Dwight (Rainn Wilson), Jim (John Krasinski), Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Co. are set to attend in the finale will be none other than Michael and Holly’s (Amy Ryan). Perhaps all we’ll see of Carell is a quick shot of him and Ryan at the end of the episode, exchanging wedding vows at the altar before fading to black.
NBC has declined to comment on the news, and Carell’s rep continues to insist that he will not appear in the finale. Mindy Kaling, who will reprise her role as Kelly Kapoor for the finale, all but confirmed the return during a recent appearance on Letterman, however, when she refused to speak on the matter, saying she had signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and didn’t want to lie. If you read between the lines, the answer is clear.
Welcome back, Michael.
The Office airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
The May 16th finale will run from 9-10:15 p.m. ET, pushing Hannibal‘s start time back a quarter-hour.