The US version of hit British TV show The Office will end its season early, because lead star Steve Carrell has urgent filming commitments.

The 42-year-old funnyman, who stars as cringe-making boss Michael Scott, is taking a break to star in EVAN ALMIGHTY - the big-budget sequel to Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty.

Despite the shortened run, American broadcasters insist the series will return next season. Fellow British-born sitcom, TEACHERS, will take The Office's current Thursday night slot.

Further details have yet to be released.