Credit: Chris Haston/NBC © NBCUniversal, Inc. Photo: TV's Sexiest Cast: The Office

It's true: After nine seasons on the air, Dunder Mifflin Scranton is closing its doors.

“This will be the last season of The Office. And we’re planning a very big, exciting last season,” executive producer Greg Daniels told reporters in a conference call, according to EW.

But why now?

“This year feels like the last chance to really go out together and make an artistic ending for the show that pays off a lot of the stuff that matters most to fans,” Greg added. “If we didn’t let it end this year, I don’t think we would have been able to tell the ending stories of so many characters … we couldn’t count on getting everybody back for Season 10.”

Greg also spilled that there will be a lot of familiar faces coming back, and “all questions will be answered this year” — including the discovery of who is behind the documentary, unmasking the Scranton Strangler, and a few more “explosive” surprises along the way.

But does this laundry list include Steve Carell returning as Michael Scott? They can only hope.

“We would certainly wish for it, [but] we’re not going to put so much pressure on Steve by writing something that would only work if he would return,” Greg said. “He really loves how he was exited. He’s probably anxious about not messing up such a stylish exit. It’s a perfectly legitimate point. We’ll see.”

With or without Steve’s return, Greg promises that fans will still be satisfied — especially when it comes to Jim and Pam. It will be a big, drama-filled year for the golden couple.

And as for the rest of the cast? We’ll probably still see them on TV between Dwight Schrute’s upcoming Office spinoff, The Farm, and FOX's new fall comedy The Mindy Project, starring Mindy Kaling and featuring a guest spot from Ed Helms in the pilot.

The ninth and final season of The Office premieres on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

Are you upset that The Office is ending, or do you think it was a long time coming? Weigh in below!

Source: EW

Alyse Whitney is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @AlyseWhitney.