A full-time character on the NBC comedy “The Office” is getting a demotion to recurring character, TV Guide reports. The character is Ryan Howard, played by B.J. Novak.
Novak has been a writer on the show along with his regular on-screen role, and has directed several episodes of the show. He’s cutting back his work on the show, but is slated for recurring appearances and may continue to do writing work for the series, the story reports.
The report notes: “Novak’s decision to end his full-time presence at ‘The Office’ comes just as his good friend Mindy Kaling, who has played Kelly since the show’s launch, leaves to star in Fox’s new fall comedy ‘The Mindy Project.’ Novak served as an executive producer on ‘The Mindy Project’ pilot but won’t hold a permanent position there either.”
“The Office” has seen a series of changes since Steve Carell left the series two seasons ago, and more changes are in store. The piece reports: “Besides Kaling and Novak, James Spader is exiting after one season, while Catherine Tate is now full time. Stars Ed Helms and John Krasinski are expected to appear in fewer episodes next year as they juggle their busy movie schedules.”
Showrunner Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby on the show, is leaving to work on the Rainn Wilson “Office” spinoff. “That means executive producer Greg Daniels, who originally adapted ‘The Office’ from its U.K./Ricky Gervais roots, is returning full time to oversee the show’s creative evolution this season,” the piece reports. “With Daniels in charge, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters last month that the show will deliver some ‘explosive story twists.’"