The Office is the show that just keeps on kicking: having outlasted the interest of the early Pam/Jim doe-eyed crush, it's now approaching its ninth season on the air as the anchor of NBC's Thursday-night comedy block. Like many of the rest of the shows on NBC, though, it's been suffering a bit in the ratings this season, with the February 16th episode registering the fewest number of viewers in the show's history, according to Wikipedia. It's tough to weather the departure of Steve Carell, obviously, but it looks now like they'll have to pull off a similar trick two years in a row, as James Spader, who's taken over the role of celebrity boss on the show, has decided to opt out of appearing in Season 9 of the show.
I've always considered Spader more of a film actor than a television actor, despite his lengthy run on Boston Legal, so it's no surprise that he might want to head back to greener pastures after a year of television. He might not be the only one leaving, though, as Mindy Kaling has a pilot that might get picked up on FOX, according to THR; if it does she'll probably bow out of the proceedings as well. And then there's the whole Dwight Schrute spinoff rumor that was bruited a few weeks ago.
Most shows don't even approach nine seasons, of course, which makes The Office's longevity fairly praiseworthy. It can't be that expensive of a show to produce outside of cast salaries and royalties to Ricky Gervais, either, so it wouldn't be hard to imagine NBC doing some kind of soft reboot at some point with younger actors mixed in with the old regulars. It'd be difficult to watch the show become some kind of zombified, shuffling version of what it used to be, but it wouldn't entirely be unexpected.
Anyone actually still watch The Office? Is it doing well? I know most of the writers have stuck around through thick and thin, but I confess to having not watched it much over the past few years for some reason. I think eventually the format became a bit too familiar; even something as simple as a shift to a new set might've helped me stick with it.