Carell leaving The Office early
The Office star Steve Carell will hand in his notice a month ahead of schedule - the funnyman is leaving the hit U.S. show before the series finale.
The actor has played embarrassing boss Michael Scott on the comedy since 2005, in a role based on Ricky Gervais' original star turn in the British version of the show.
Carell confirmed last year (10) he had no plans to return to the series after its current seventh season.
And now, according to show runner Paul Lieberstein, Carell will make his exit a month earlier than expected, leaving before the season ends in May (11).
Lieberstein tells New York Magazine's Vulture blog, "Steve will have a number of episodes that dramatise and lead up to Steve leaving. Then we'll continue on for about four more episodes, and the spring will prove to be not about an actor leaving, but what happens in an office when a manager leaves and the chaos ensues and people vie for the job and are uncertain about their future."
A replacement for Carell has yet to be announced, and Lieberstein reveals producers are considering bringing in "guest stars" to interview for his character's position.