'The Office': Steve Carell Will Likely Not Return For Series Finale, According To NBC Exec

“I’m hopeful, but I don’t think [Carell] will be back,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters, according to TVLine.

Greenblatt revealed to reporters at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that "The Office" will say goodbye with a one-hour series finale in May, but Dunder-Mifflin's original boss probably won't stop by.

“He left in the way that he wanted that character to leave," Greenblatt told TVLine. “There’s maybe a little Hail Mary pass on a cameo, but I think the decision is that he [doesn't want to compromise] his [original] exit.”

Carell left "The Office" after its seventh season. But in January 2012, viewers thought he made a brief cameo on the NBC comedy as a hairy, flannel shirt-sporting member of the "Queerenstein Bears" trivia team. NBC squashed the rumors, but "Office" fans have been holding on to hope.

In June 2012, Carell opened up to the "LA Times" about the possibility of returning. "It hasn't been discussed ... Do you really think that people want to see Michael Scott again? I think the people who say they want to see Michael Scott reappear would be ultimately slightly disappointed. I think you always wish for something that you don't sincerely want to come true. And I think in a way it's better to imagine where Michael and Holly are at this point than actually see it."

Carell or not, viewers will see another highly-anticipated event in the final season of "The Office." "All questions will be answered this year," Greg Daniels, "The Office's" original showrunner who returned for the final season, told Entertainment Weekly. "We're going to see who’s behind the documentary."

"The Office" returns with its midseason premiere on Thursday, January 10 at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.

The Office Season 9 Photos