During a conference call with reporters this afternoon, The Office executive producer Greg Daniels dropped a bombshell announcement: The upcoming ninth season will be the show's last.

"All questions will be answered this year," said Daniels, who will be replacing Paul Lieberstein as showrunner for the sitcom's final season (Daniels ran the show for its first five seasons).

Daniels continued: "We're going to see who is behind the documentary. [It's a] big Jim and Pam year… [fans] will pleased and excited by what we have planned for them this year."

Regarding the possible return of Steve Carrell, Daniels said "it would be fantastic if he would return," noting that the crew is "certainly wish[ing] for it." Other "familiar faces" are also expected to return alongside new ones such as Jake Lacy and Clark Duke whose casting was recently announced.

A spin-off starring Rainn Wilson's Dwight Schrute is also on track, with Majandra Delfino and Blake Garrett cast in the roles of his sister and nephew, respectively.

The ninth season of The Office will revolve around arcs "that allow these characters to have ongoing stories," Daniels said. "There's so much to pay off from nine seasons, so many great characters that my biggest concern is just tacking in these great ideas that the writing staff has on the walls and making sure we hit all of them or at least squeeze as many into the ending."

[photo via NBC]