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Fall TV preview: The Office

Returning comedy, 9-9:30PM, NBC

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One upside to losing Steve Carell next May? This season will be packed with classic Michael episodes. ”We’re doing all the [stories] we never got a chance to do with Michael,” reveals coexec producer Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby. At the top of the list: ”Michael goes into therapy with [nemesis] Toby as his counselor.” He’ll also contact all of his former loves — Amy Ryan’s Holly and Melora Hardin’s Jan included — when he’s faced with a herpes scare. Michael’s impending departure forces Jim (John Krasinski) to reevaluate his professional future. ”I don’t think he ever expected to be at the company longer than Michael,” notes Lieberstein, who adds that a succession plan is now in place. He also says recent reports that Harvey Keitel will be replacing Carell are overblown: ”Harvey is just one of the exciting names that came up during a brainstorming session for a possible arc. We have not approached him.” The comedy is also interested in bringing in Eastbound & Down‘s Danny McBride or Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby in some capacity. SEPT. 23

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