- Associated Press - Friday, January 14, 2011

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Steve Carell will be leaving “The Office” early. The NBC comedy’s executive producer, Greg Daniels, says Carell will be gone before the season-ending episodes in May. The final episodes of the season will focus on the scrambling to replace him at the Scranton branch of the mythical Dunder Mifflin paper company.

Carell had said previously that he was quitting the show to concentrate on his movie career. But NBC plans to press on without him.

NBC said Friday that Carell will leave with four episodes left in the season. That means his farewell episode will most likely come in April.