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Steve Carell, a nominee at tonight’s Golden Globe Awards (Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical), has had a long career at ‘The Office.’ He even won the Globe in 2006 for his work on the series.

Still, last year’s announcement that he’d be leaving the cast at the end of this season was a jolt. Would paper sales in Scranton — and Thursday nights on NBC, for that matter — ever be the same without Michael Scott?

You’d expect the entire season to culminate with the milestone moment of Michael’s good-bye. But leave it to ‘The Office’ to embrace awkward timing!

NBC now says the farewell is actually going to happen well before the season 7 finale in May.

Why the early exit? According to the Huffington Post, the show’s executive producer, Greg Daniels, confirmed that Carell’s character will be written off the show before this season’s last episode; the remaining weeks will reportedly see Dunder-Mifflin “scrambling to replace him.”

The last four episodes of this season will be Carell-free, as NBC explained on Friday. So the party-planning committee better pick up the pace, since Carell’s last scenes will likely air in April.

Steve Carell, 48, who has said that he’s moving on from network TV to concentrate on his busy slate of movie roles, will be both a nominee and a presenter at this year’s Golden Globes (airing live on NBC — Sun., Jan. 16, 8 p.m. ET).