'The Office' Signs John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and Ed Helms for Next Season

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Fear not, fans of 'The Office!'  Even with Steve Carell gone, executive producer Mindy Kaling officially leaving for her new FOX sitcom, Paul Lieberstein stepping down as show-runner, Rainn Wilson preparing for his own spin-off, the departure of James Spader, waning ratings and critical interest...boy, this is a depressing list.  What was I talking about?  Oh!  Jim, Pam and Andy will officially be back for season 9!

While it had seemed that a ninth season of long-running NBC docu-comedy 'The Office' would depend on the status of its then-unsigned leads, lest the series reboot with largely new characters altogether, Deadline reports that viewers can rest easy that John Krasinski, on-screen wife Jenna Fischer, and Ed Helms are all but signatures away from being locked down.  As we've mentioned, there was a rather long list of black marks working against a potential renewal of the network's highest-rated comedy, but with the stars locked down official word from NBC is all but a given.

What remains unknown about the deals however, is how 'The Office' will work around each star's flourishing movie careers, Helms for one eventually needing time out to film the third installment of 'The Hangover' series.  Fischer recently filmed and completed 'The Giant Mechanical Man' with husband Lee Kirk, and Krasinski has several features lined up as well.

Still unknown is the fate of fellow 'Office' co-star and executive producer B.J. Novak, who has yet to negotiate a contract and will also pick up executive producing duties for long-running creative partner Mindy Kaling's 'It's Messy.'

What say you, 'Office' fans?  Is another round at Dunder-Mifflin shaping up well, or has the series aged as much as the paper industry?  How would you like to see the show ended, or even re-booted? Pitch us some ideas in the comments!

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