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TWoP 10: Replacements for Steve Carell on <I>The Office</I>

There are rumors swirling that Steve Carell will leave The Office after the 2010 season. Apparently the allure of doing quality films like Date Night is just too tempting for him. Whether or not he actually leaves Dunder Mifflin probably comes down to contract negotiations, but if Michael Scott does depart Scranton, we've identified some folks that would be well-qualified to serve as the new office manager.

10. Andy Richter
He's had repeated trouble getting a new sitcom off the ground (see Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Quintuplets and Andy Barker, PI for evidence), and his gig on The Tonight Show didn't exactly pan out well, either. Perhaps what Richter really needs is a role on an established series.

9. Jack Coleman
If Heroes ends, the man behind H.R.G. needs a great new role. He typically plays stern, no-nonsense types, but we've read his blog and we know that he can pull off funny when he wants to. Plus, we've got a hunch that Angela won't be able to resist throwing herself at a man wearing horn-rimmed glasses.

8. Amy Sedaris
If you thought Prison Mike was hysterical, just wait until you see the nutty ex-con Sedaris has her pocket. While we don't necessarily want Strangers With Candy's Jerri to run the office (okay, who are we kidding, of course we totally do), Sedaris is adept at creating characters that aren't exactly the brightest bulbs, which would fill the Michael Scott void.

7. John Lithgow
This acclaimed actor was off our radar for a while, but after his intense stint on Dexter, we're convinced that he's more awesome than ever. He can easily pull off the role of a beloved character who is surprisingly smart but totally oblivious to all social cues. Why do you think he won all those Emmys for 3rd Rock From the Sun?

6. Portia de Rossi
We'd love to see a woman take charge, just to see how the dynamics of the Scranton branch would change. Who better than this Arrested Development alum? She could basically recycle her icy boss from Better Off Ted and call it a day (it's not like that many people saw her on that show).

5. Michael Emerson
He doesn't exactly have much comedy on his resume (more Shakespeare and serial killers) but he's quite the capable actor and we'd like to see the Office staff squirm as they try to figure out the new guy's deal. It would be like when Idris Elba came on, but actually funny. Maybe he could arrive by hot-air balloon and go by the name Henry Gale.

4. Mary Lynn Rajskub
Yes, Chloe can be comical -- we've seen it. And with 24 heading off the airwaves, Rajskub will need a new job, preferably one that doesn't involve sitting behind a computer all day frowning. In fact, we'd get a chuckle if she played a complete Luddite. And if nothing else, she could make selling paper seem like a matter of life and death.

3. Hugh Laurie
House has been pretty terrible lately, with Dr. House himself relegated to a supporting character role. Laurie deserves far better than that, especially considering that his roots are in brilliant British comedies like Blackadder and A Bit of Fry & Laurie. Sure, we'd love to see Ricky Gervais reprise David Brent full-time across the pond, but since that's not going to happen, we'd be happy with Laurie in charge.

2. Craig Robinson
He's wildly entertaining, already works as the head of the Scranton warehouse and, as arguably the most competent employee that Dunder Mifflin has on staff, definitely deserves a major promotion. Plus, we'd really like to see Craig get more screentime on this show so we don't have to trek to movie theaters for the likes of Hot Tub Time Machine.

1. Glenn Close
Like Michael Emerson, she isn't exactly known for comedy, but Close is an award-winning actress who is capable of anything and has done some of her best work on the small screen. We've watched her as a tough boss on The Shield and Damages, so now it's time to see her softer and kookier side. And Dwight might actually appreciate someone who knows how to boil a bunny.

Look back at Michael Scott's best and worst career moves.

Watch TWoP's editors discuss Steve Carell's possible replacements in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.

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