Image Credit: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic.com; Byron Cohen/NBC As fans of the The Office continue to debate who should replace Steve Carell when he exits the show after this season (or if the show should end along with Michael Scott), exec producer Paul Lieberstein has revealed his dream replacement: Life on Mars’ Harvey Keitel. “He’s probably the only guy who can do it, and he’s doing TV now,” Lieberstein told E! Online, adding that while he actually hadn’t actually mentioned this to Keitel’s people yet he’s already got the character’s backstory. “He’s an old salesman who thought he could retire and the stock market went down, and he has to come out of retirement to work for a few years.” (Keitel’s agent told EW on Sept. 3 she’s yet to hear from the show.)
Producers are looking for someone with a different energy than Carell, and Keitel definitely has it. He could intimidate Jim and go toe-to-toe with Dwight, take a special interest in Pam that she thinks is borderline sexual harassment until she sees a picture on his desk and he tells her that she reminds him of the daughter who no longer speaks to him….
Is Keitel now your dream replacement? If not, who is? Other names bandied about in the press include Danny McBride (HBO’s Eastbound & Down) and Rhys Darby (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords). Micheal Ausiello has suggested Lost‘s Michael Emerson (which would be brilliant) or Arrested Development‘s David Cross (who’s got a good audition reel with his upcoming IFC series The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret) — if Dunder Mifflin doesn’t promote internally.
It would probably ruin the show, but part of me likes the idea of having a 13-episode eighth season with a new boss every week. How would that happen? I don’t know. But then we could get Keitel, Emerson, Better Off Ted‘s Portia de Rossi (another one I could see facing off with Dwight on a regular basis), Fred Willard, and, of course, Ricky Gervais. Your turn…