- - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

“The Office” will be closing next year. Producer Greg Daniels said Tuesday that the NBC comedy will end its run after the upcoming ninth season.

He said the final year will be exciting and memorable and will take creative chances — and it will reveal who has been making the mock documentary that has given the show its format.

Will former regional manager Michael Scott return as a guest? Mr. Daniels said he hopes Steve Carell will reprise his role as the socially inept boss, but he isn’t counting on it. Mr. Carell left the show in 2011.

“The Office” was adapted from its British predecessor and premiered on NBC in March 2005. While its ratings have slipped, it’s still NBC’s highest-rated scripted series.

Colombian brewers battle over ‘Simpsons’-inspired beer

Actors from “The Sopranos” (from left) Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico ... more >

Two Colombian businessmen are engaged in a legal battle with 20th Century Fox over their right to produce beer inspired by the long-running animated series “The Simpsons.”

Originally named Duff Beer — like the beer Homer Simpson drinks on the show — the company has since changed it to DuH Beer, as the stylized f’s on the bottle label also could be seen as a capital H.

The beer is the brainchild Alvaro and Oscar Ballesteros, brothers who in 2006 decided to produce a real Duff Beer. The following year they founded Duff Sudamerica in Bogota, and in 2008 they registered the trademark. The microbrewed golden ale has no additives and costs between $4 and $6, Oscar Ballesteros, 26, told Agence France-Presse.

“In 2009 we sold our first beers to bars in Bogota, and now we are in seven other Colombian cities, with a national production of 24,000 units a month,” said his brother Alvaro, 31.

20th Century Fox, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., was not amused. It sued the brothers for copyright infringement in Colombia — only to see the Ballesteroses claim that it was no longer “Duff,” but “DuH” beer.

“The fact that 20th Century Fox does not have such a product in the market does not mean [the Ballesteroses] can take advantage of a brand,” said Alicia Lloreda, a Colombian attorney with the local affiliate of News Corp.

“What does 20th Century Fox want? Simply that the product is taken off the market because the brand doesn’t belong to them,” Ms. Lloreda said.

Government regulators agreed with 20th Century Fox last week and ordered the brothers to cease production, distribution and sales of the beer in Colombia.

Duff Sudamerica attorney Santiago Mora vowed to appeal.

“We are not going to let ourselves be frightened by a multinational,” Mr. Mora said. “We are going to fight a battle that is just starting. We will defend our rights.”

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