After star Steve Carell implied that The Office‘s next season could be his last, NBC top brass are confident that the show can continue without Michael Scott, reports. The producers, in fact, are already “preparing” for a Carell-less Office should he indeed say goodbye to the show, says NBC Universal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin.

Is Steve Carell leaving ‘The Office’?

The Office is a great ensemble show, and the producers are preparing in the event he chooses to move on,” he says.

NBC’s primetime entertainment president Angela Bromstad is more optimistic, saying “Steve is incredibly important to the show and we hope we can keep him for a long time. Whether or not he stays with The Office, it’s a big priority for us to develop a new hit.”

Denying accusations that it’s a negotiation tactic, Carell tells the National Enquirer that he’s doing it for his family, plus a local general store in rural Marshfield Hill, Massachusetts, currently being managed by his sister-in-law.

“It’s just that I want to spend more time with my kids right now,” he says. “I will be manning the cash register and stocking the shelves as times permits.”

We bet that store will have a few more patrons if that happens.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Glenn Diaz

Staff Writer, BuddyTV