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Could Will Ferrell go from NBC’s Office temp to full-time boss?

Yes, according to the man himself — though other sources strongly caution against such a blockbuster prospect. Ferrell was attending the Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards this weekend when he said he will continue on NBC’s top-rated comedy beyond his previously announced four-episode arc that airs starting next month.

“Yes, I’m taking over,” Ferrell told EW when asked abut a rumor that he’s going to be Steve Carell’s permanent and full-time replacement. “My character’s name is Deangelo Vickers, he loves the American Southwest, and he’s just kind of in his own way going to step into Michael Scott’s shoes and try to fill them. I’m friends with Steve and a fan of the show, and I just selfishly wanted to do one episode with him, and they pitched multiple ones, and I said, ‘That’d be great.’”

And then the multiple episodes became a regular gig? “Yeah,” replied Ferrell. “A regular, full-time gig.” One source close to Ferrell added that the actor’s schedule is being cleared to accommodate the show, which will enter its eighth season in September.

Behind the scenes, however, other sources dismissed the idea. One insider thisclose to the actor highly doubted Ferrell will join the show next fall and a network suit likewise rejected the notion. An Office production source left wiggle room either way: “Will was likely joking, but time will tell.”

Whatever the outcome, rumor has it that producers shot different endings to the season to address whether Ferrell’s character stays or goes.

It makes sense that NBC would want a top box office draw like Ferrell anchoring The Office next year. And the nets have been landing more major name actors than ever for fall pilots — with NBC also backing up the money truck for major celebrities like Christina Aguilera for its upcoming American Idol rival The Voice. The question is whether NBC could really afford Ferrell for a full season, and whether the actor would be willing to make that kind of time commitment. Cast member Rainn Wilson couldn‘t see it happening.

“Will is coming in as a possible boss but everyone knows he is not going to stay because he makes $20 million a film,” Wilson told EW exclusively in January. “He’s got other fish to fry.”

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