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Exclusive: 'Office' producer wants Dwight to succeed Michael as boss

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the-officeImage Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBCRainn Wilson failed to snag an Emmy nomination for The Office this morning, but he still has reason to pop open the champagne today: The actor has emerged as the odds-on favorite to succeed the departing Steve Carell as boss.

“I’d love to see Rainn Wilson in that position,” says coexecutive producer/costar Mindy Kaling, who snagged a much-deserved Emmy nomination for co-writing last season’s four-star Jim/Pam wedding episode. “Dwight has become so nuanced — you actually care about him now. I think if [we did a good job laying the groundwork] this coming season, he would be a fantastic boss.

“But that’s my dream,” she adds. “It certainly hasn’t been approved by people that are more powerful than me and who make those kinds of decisions.”

Kaling says she’s always been a “promote from within” kind of gal as opposed to “trying to throw in an element of the show that people don’t know. It’s like the stand-up [expression]: The audience doesn’t want someone whose hand they haven’t sniffed.”

Of course, in Kaling’s perfect world Carell wouldn’t be going anywhere. (Carell recently confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that he’ll be moving on when his contract expires at the end of next season.) “We’re still infatuated with Steve and love him so much that we’re hoping for some 11th hour like, ‘I really do like this schedule and I like craft services here, so I don’t want to go.’ But I’m going to take him at face value and [assume] he’s not being coy and that he really wants to [leave].”

Regarding her Emmy nod for co-writing the nuptial-themed “Niagara” (with EP Greg Daniels), Kaling says the recognition is especially sweet because “so many people were invested in that moment being done right.” She reveals that one of the episode’s funniest bits ended up getting cut because it took the focus away from Jim and Pam’s big day. “There was a very long extended Monty Python-type scene at the reception desk of the hotel that Greg and I wrote, but it never made the episode because it had nothing to do with story. It centered around this curmudgeonly innkeeper and we were like, ‘America doesn’t want to see this. America wants to see Jim and Pam making the right decision.’ So that got cut.”