Ever since first premiering in March of 2005, NBC's The Office has managed to consistently be funny even if it has never been a massive ratings hit. Based on the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant British series of the same name, the show follows the lives and semi-careers of the workers at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
Well, at the start of the season they work Dunder Mifflin anyway, one of the season-long story arcs this go-round is the impending financial ruin of the company. As the show is returning to NBC's schedule this fall, everyone knows that whatever befalls Dunder Mifflin, the core group of Scranton staffers will be remaining together at the end of the season, but it is still a fun storyline to watch play out.
One of the biggest strengths of The Office is not just the aforementioned core group of staffers, but the fact that the producers have managed to expand the series into a much larger, and much more realistic office world with a large group of secondary characters. Yes, season six still finds much of the action revolving around office manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and paper salespeople Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), and Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), but it certainly extends beyond those people as well. Everyone from Oscar (Oscar Martinez) to Stanley (Leslie David Baker), to Darryl (Craig Robinson), to Phyllis Lapin (Phyllis Smith), and Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) gets their moment to shine.
It has been widely publicized that Steve Carell will be leaving the show when his contract expires after season seven. While he will certainly be a great loss to the show, even with his being the center of so many storylines, it is not impossible to imagine the series without him due to The Office's ensemble nature. Anyone who has spent time watching will have a favorite supporting player, many of whom the series has managed to flesh out into true, three-dimensional individuals.