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Steve Carell quitting "Office" job

Soak up the Michael Scott goodness while you can: Steve Carell confirmed yesterday that he will be leaving The Office.

The Huffington Post reports that the actor-comedian told the BBC in April that his contract was up at the end of next season, and he did not plan to renew.  However, Carell told E! that he will definitely be departing.

"I just think it's time," Carell said.  "I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go."

However, Carell is optimistic about the popular NBC sitcom continuing without his bumbling-boss lead character.

"The show is great, and the ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it's just one part of that ensemble drifting off," he said. "They've incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great storylines that I have no doubt it'll continue as strong if not stronger than ever."

Though he now lives in Los Angeles, Carell got his start as a player for Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe.  The Office also features Loyola University Chicago alum Leslie David Baker.