There’s news today that Will Arnett has joined the cast of a Lorne Michaels-produced pilot co-starring Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph. That most certainly means that Arnett will not be the new boss on “The Office,” even though Ricky Gervais first told me on Golden Globe night that he wanted him. And so the mystery of who will succeed Steve Carell deepens. With Arnett scratched from the list, it seems more and more possible that Gervais himself will take the spot. (Will Ferrell, coming in for four episodes, returns to films.) Gervais re-appears in the final episode of “The Office” after making his debut back on January 27th as a sales guy looking for a job.
Gervais had told me that the January 27th episode would give a big clue about who’s going to run Dunder Mifflin. Gervais has his animated show with HBO, “The Ricky Gervais Show,” but that certainly wouldn’t preclude joining “The Office.” And as I reported recently, Gervais’s production partner, Stephen Merchant, who helped develop “The Office” in Britain, recently visited the American set. We’ll keep an eye on this, because with Arnett signed up for something else, all bets are off now.
PS Last week’s episode of “The Office,” called “Garage Sale,” was Emmy worthy for acting, writing, and directing. A perfect episode. The engagement of Michael and Holly was just sublime. Carell deserves Best Actor, and I do hope Amy Ryan is nominated for Best Actress. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!