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The Office to end its 8-year run

Hit sitcom’s viewership dwindling as stars move on to new projects

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"The Office" will air it's last episode, a 1-hour finale, on May 16 in the U.S.
Tabloid on Saturday

LOS ANGELES — Emmy-winning comedy The Office will pack up its pencils and staplers after eight years with a one-hour finale on May 16, U.S. broadcaster NBC said on Thursday.

Producers have promised that the episode will tie up several loose storylines on the workplace mockumentary, which debuted on U.S. television in 2005 as an adaptation of the British series of the same name created by comedian Ricky Gervais.

NBC announced last year that the show, set at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, would end in 2013.

Audiences began to turn away from The Office after Steve Carell, who played bumbling manager Michael Scott, left in 2011. Viewership fell to about 4 million last year per episode from a high of about 8 million in 2008.

The U.S. show has won four Emmy Awards.

The show's producers said last year that the success of The Office actors outside of the program played a role in the decision to wind it down.

Mindy Kaling, who played office magpie Kelly Kapoor, left last year to develop The Mindy Project, her own comedy for Fox, which is owned by News Corp.

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, who play office couple Jim and Pam, have launched film careers on the back of their performances on the show.

Office sycophant Dwight Schrute, portrayed by Rainn Wilson, also sought to create a spin-off show but it was not picked up for broadcast.

It will be the second big NBC comedy to end its run. 30 Rock bowed out last week after seven seasons.