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'The Office' Showrunner Paul Lieberstein Exits

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Mar 22, 2012 | 1:09pm EDT

TobyToby Flenderson is The Office's mild-mannered human resources director. There's not much else to him, is there? Not unless you count playing writer, producer and showrunner on the NBC series. Paul Lieberstein, the actor who portrays the meek, mumbling Toby, has run The Office since Greg Daniels left after Season 4 to take on Parks and Recreation. But now, Lieberstein is stepping down from the position to take on his own new project.

An Office spin-off centered on Dwight Schrute as a full-time beet farmer has been in development for some time. Whether or not you're in favor of this project, it's underway, with the possible title The Farm. Lieberstein is developing the series with Rainn Wilson (Dwight), and will be leaving The Office as showrunner to focus on the new show. However, Lieberstein will still make appearances as Toby as long as The Office remains on the air.

As of now, a ninth season for The Office has not been picked up. If the long-running NBC sitcom does get another season, a new showrunner will be chosen. It's anyone's guess who this might be, but head writer Daniel Chun or writer/producer/star B.J. Novak might be in the running.

[EW]
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