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Is anyone even going into The Office (Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET, on NBC) these days? It seems like all the news about NBC's top-rated comedy is focused on departures. Mindy Kaling's developing her own show. So is Rainn Wilson, who's taking Paul Lieberstein (writer-producer and portrayer of sad sack Toby) with him. James Spader's not returning. And now comes word that Ed Helms has a part in the pilot for Kaling's as-yet-untitled sitcom.
Helms will play a Wall Street analyst who goes on a blind date with Kaling’s character, and for now, the role is a guest part. Will it stay that way? Well, for the moment anyway, signs point to "yes." A source close to Helms told TV Guide that the actor "would like to return (to The Office), at least for part of the year, and that he has submitted a counterproposal to the studio's initial offer."
But as the popularity of the show has grown, so has the star power of its actors. And that means a greater chance that more will leave to make movies, as Steve Carell has done. In the coming months, Helms will probably shoot The Hangover 3, and John Krasinski is scheduled to shoot the upcoming Matt Damon flick, Promised Land. No doubt more film offers will come to these two, and for the other cast members as well.
Hey, maybe the writers could incorporate a new-season time jump, a la Mad Men, or a flash forward, a la Lost! Dwight's grown-up son could take over the office, and torture grown-up CeCe, and hire Michael Scott's grown-up progeny! Nah, actually that sounds more like a spin-off. The Office doesn't need any more of those.