B.J. Novak will not return as a cast member for "The Office" when the hit NBC show launches its ninth season. Novak, who stared as Ryan Howard, will possibly stay on as an occasional producer, writer, and/or director for the show and is expected to make recurring appearances in the show's future.
Novak's decision to end his full-time presence on "The Office" comes just as co-star Mindy Kaling, who has played Kelly, Ryan's on-again-off-again girlfriend, since the show's launch, leaves to star in Fox's new fall comedy "The Mindy Project." Novak served as an executive producer on "The Mindy Project" pilot, but won't hold a permanent position there either.
Also departing "The Office" is Paul Lieberstein (who plays human resources manager, Toby). Liberstein is moving on to develop an "Office" spinoff centered on the character of Dwight (played by Rainn Wilson).
With the show entering its ninth season, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters last month that despite the loss of so many of the show's original stars, including Steve Carrell who left two seasons ago, the show will deliver some "explosive story twists" in the upcoming season to keep fans interested in the show.
by RTT Staff Writer
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