That headline, of course, is a bit misleading. The actual Michael Scott Paper Company was bought out by Dunder Mifflin several years ago. But tonight marks the end of Michael Scott's tenure, both at Dunder Mifflin Scranton/Sabre (that's Say-ber, not Sah-bray) and on The Office.
And while the show lives on while Steve Carell moves on (which, along with Charlie Sheen's exit from Two and a Half Men, makes Josh Radnor TV's longest reigning sitcom star), it will certainly become a different series without the star who led it. Much of this will be determined by Carell/Scott's eventual permanent successor (spoiler alert- Will Ferrell isn't sticking around). But tonight is about celebrating Michael Scott.
The Michael Scott that we first met 7 years ago bares little resemblence with the one leaving our tv sets tonight. The pilot featured a David Brent clone, just without the beard or the accent. While Scott and Brent marveled at some of their similarities upon meeting earlier this year. But unlike Brent, who's Office reign in England lasted only two years, Scott changed significantly. He softened around the edges and it became clear he was moderately competent at his job. His employees grew to appreciate him- Pam went from telling him she hated him after he pretended to fire her in the pilot, to being the Renee Zellweger to his Tom Cruise when he left, to holding a meeting to help him with his proposal in Garage Sale.
Many others have written their farewell pieces this week better than I could, so here are some of those:
-TVLine's Top 32 Michael Moments
-Alan Sepinwall's Farewell
-E!'s 5 Things They'll Miss About Michael
-TVSquad's Mashup of Outrageous Michael Moments