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The Office Exclusive: Ray Romano, James Spader, Catherine Tate in Running For Top Job

With Steve Carell’s Office exit set to air in a matter of weeks (April 28 to be exact), you’d think the pool of possible Michael Scott successors would be narrowing.

Think again.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that three additional names have been added to the short long list of potential replacements: Ray Romano, James Spader and British funny lady Catherine Tate!

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Although an NBC rep declined to comment, an insider confirms that the trio will appear in The Office‘s hour-long May 19 season finale as candidates for the vacant office manager position. They join previously announced finale guest stars (and wannabe Dunder Mifflin honchos) Will Arnett and Ricky Gervais.

Of the five finalists, only two stand a realistic chance of taking over the gig full-time: Spader and Tate. Romano’s committed to Men of a Certain Age, Arnett just booked an NBC pilot, and Gervais has been there done that. Will Ferrell, meanwhile, wraps up his arc in mid-May, and — despite buzz to the contrary — is not expected back next season.

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Personally, I hope they give it to Tate. The woman is a comedic genius with a proven track record in office settings. The following clip from The Catherine Tate Show is proof of that.

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Thoughts? Do you agree that Tate is the most viable and best option from the list of names above? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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192 Comments
  1. Rock Golf says:

    Donna Noble for The Office for the win!!!!!

    • Bruce_F says:

      Hell yes!

      • Ruth says:

        Oh My God, if Donna Noble – I mean, Catherine Tate – gets the job, I will start watching this show again. She was my fave companion.

        • Kate says:

          Look, Dwight, am I bovvered? Look at my face. I ain’t even bovvered. Look, offices, paper, Emmy award-winning sitcoms, I ain’t even bovvered!

        • Whit says:

          HaHaHa~ “Oi!”

        • Joy Leonberger says:

          YES,YES,YES!! I would watch every week if Catherine was on the show!! She can make me laugh like no other…even when I can’t always understand what she is saying, she is STILL FUNNY!! LOVED her as the Dr.’s Companion on Dr.Who. REALLY enjoy the skit she and David Tennant do for The Children In Need special. The one where he’s her English teacher…HILARIOUS!!

    • Stephanie says:

      YES!

      Doctor Donna! I seriously would love that.

    • I would love Catherine Tate on The Office! Maybe she’d be able to get David Tennant to guest star at some point… Worlds colliding!

      • Tanya says:

        THAT WOULD BE EPIC!!!!! and I honestly do feel that if anyone can carry the show after Steve Carell leaves, it would be Catherine. She would be brilliant and really no matter what she does, it wouldn’t be like they’re just trying to get guy who’s just another Michael. I feel like anything she does would seem refreshing..not that I don’t like Michael Scott! but if he’s leaving, they need a good change and Catherine can do that.

      • DoctorFan says:

        That would be the best office episode in history.

    • Theresa says:

      Ditto.

    • Althius says:

      The Donna-Doctor-Scott!!! Pleeeaaasseee?!?!?

    • Halpen says:

      It’ll be James Spader. First, because he’d be brilliant. Secondly, because Catherine Tate is appearing in the West End till September.

      • James spader would be AWESOME!! Please let it be!!!

      • D. Marie says:

        I think James Spader is just quirky enough to pull it off. I miss Boston Legal because of him (and Shatner, of course)and that quality. It will fit right in to the show.

        • maya says:

          Oh for the love of god, PLEASE let it be James Spader. I can’t think of anyone more appropriate/inappropriate to replace Michael Scott. Please let him be either a burned out former hippy or a sleezy ex-studio exec.

    • Amber says:

      That would be awesome!!

    • Ari Sitaras says:

      Zach Galifianakis or bust

    • clayton says:

      no one can replace steve carell

    • Mike says:

      god all these choices are just awful… will ferrel is the only good choice… period! its like trying to replace heath ledger as the joker it is almost impossible!

  2. Randy says:

    If it comes down to Spader and Tate, I hope hope HOPE they give it to Tate. Not only would it be fun to see a woman in charge of that office (though Pam would be an awesome straightwoman to all the chaos, too….), but I absolutely can’t stand James Spader.

    • Rock Golf says:

      Hmmm… If James Spader does get the gig, there’s the possibility he’ll be on opposite Shatner’s S#!# My Dad Says.

      Denny Crane vs. Alan Shore…

      • that dude says:

        Not a chance, The Office will be on at 9PM Thursdays. S#it will either be cancelled (most likely) or stay at 8:30, it will not be leading off an hour at 9pm on Thursday, CSI will be there or they move The Big Bang Theory to 9PM to capitalize on the weaker The Office.

  3. Andrew says:

    It looks to me like The Office is just bringing in any famous person available to guest star as a candidate for the job to set up as many red herrings as possible. I would guess the actual person to get the gig won’t be leaked, at least not this far out.

  4. Kate says:

    I think James Spader would be great! He was always at his best in the more comedic moments of Boston Legal.

    • Tarasa says:

      I think Spader would be excellent. He can be quite funny in a very dry or droll way. Remember him in Mannequin (1987)?

  5. Kate says:

    Oh my gosh, yes, Catherine Tate please! I would definitely start watching The Office regularly again if she was the new branch manager!!!

  6. steve says:

    Ray Romano — NO! I really like Catherine Tate – she would really bring a new aura to the show.

  7. Erin says:

    Catherine Tate! It has to be her!

  8. Cecilia says:

    OMG I love DONNNA!!! YES!

  9. Diane says:

    James Spader!!! He is hilarious and would be a great fit on the show.

  10. Scott says:

    There is not much that would get me stop watching the Office, but James Spader would probably do it. I used to watch Boston Legal despite him and Shatner because I like Julie Bowen, Mark Valley, and Monica Potter. Once they were all gone I have up on it.
    Not sure about Catherine Tate, but judging by that clip, I wouldn’t like her on it.
    Ray Romano isn’t really funny and is better on shows where he doesn’t have to be.
    My dream casting is still Arnett, Gervais, Will Ferrel, Hank Azaria, Tom Cavanaugh. Any one of those would make me happy.

    • bob says:

      i like tom cavanaugh he was always funny in scrubs, i never thought of him

    • Adrien says:

      Im going to have to agree on this one, I didnt think she was that funny. I love the office and it took me a bit to warm up to steve carrell, but he always throws in the unexpected, so Im hoping they use someone who can do that, and I just didnt get that vibe from her.

  11. Kim says:

    But Catherine Tate’s doing Much Ado in London which is booking through September, last I checked. There’s no way she could commit to a show that starts shooting in July.

    • Rose says:

      I thought of this, too. But London theatre is different than theatre in the States–they have 6 shows a month instead of 6 shows a week. She could still do the play with Tennant (Much Ado about Nothing) and travel to the States for The Office if she was willing to punch it.

      Or the Doctor could lend her the TARDIS for an evening or two:)

  12. Taylah says:

    I didn’t think they could find someone to make Carell justice, and then they name Tate and YES PLEASE. A MILLION TIMES YES.

  13. Lisa says:

    CATHERINE TATE!!!!!!!!

  14. Kristi says:

    Donna Noble, Super Temp! YES, please! Let’s put Tate in The Office! I’d tune back in to it just to watch her if that happened. PERFECT casting. I hope it happens!

  15. Mursal says:

    OMG….I love Catherine Tate…the woman is a comedic genius! :)

    I’m rooting for her!

  16. MKS says:

    Donna Noble FTW. That is all.

    I honestly didn’t think they could ever find someone to come close to Steve Carell on the show, and then this comes out?!?

  17. topoopon says:

    How does everyone but me have any idea who she is??? I never heard of her.

    • Rock Golf says:

      See this series of clips from her season as The Doctor’s companion on Doctor Who.

      • topoopon says:

        Never been a WHO fan, so I didn’t get any of that. And, although I do watch some UK programmes, I have never caught her work. I very much doubt they’d go with a British character as a replacement. Can she do an American accent as good as Idris Elba’s?

  18. topoopon says:

    How is it everyone but me knows who she is??? I’ve never heard of her.

  19. callie says:

    please let it be Tate

  20. Evie says:

    Catherine Tate all the way!! can’t go wrong with Donna Noble…the only thing im worried about it she is doing Much Ado About NOthing on the West End in London with David Tennant for a lengthy engagement and she may not have the time to do “Office”…this is so exciting!!!

    Btw @topoopon Cathering Tate is this hilarious commedienne from England who was on Doctor Who a c ouple of years ago…she is fabulous and freakin funny!!!

  21. Emily says:

    I want Catherine Tate cast if only so at the end on an episode I can say “Donna Noble has left the office. Donna Noble has been saved.” She really would be fantastic on there. James Spader makes my skin crawl, once the jerk in Pretty in Pink, always the jerk in Pretty in Pink.

  22. JenH says:

    Not familiar with Catherine Tate. What bothers me is that no one who actually works at the office are in contention? That was all the talk when Carell’s departure was announced. I was really looking forward to Daryl being the boss. Also, this seems like too many guest stars in one episode, especially a season finale episode. Feels bloated. How are they going to have time for a B or C story if there is so many characters for the A story?

  23. Kathy says:

    I might actually watch it if Tate were to get the job. I love her!

  24. Mac says:

    Catherine tate would be perfect

    Nerds, lets make this happen!

  25. jedichef22 says:

    I have never watched the Office, but if they cast Catherine Tate I might have to start!

  26. Lev says:

    I would go back to watching The Office if Catherine Tate took top job.

  27. Joe B. says:

    It’s just shocking to me that Catherine Tate is in the running for this. She’s certainly very funny and I’m a huge fan of her sketch show and of course her Donna Noble on Doctor Who. But whodathunkit, huh?

    It might actually get me to watch the damn show again.

  28. JessS says:

    The Office isn’t as good as it used to be, but I still love it…but if they pick James Spader to replace Steve Carell I don’t think I could even force myself to watch it anymore. He is the worst.

  29. Stacy Smith says:

    Tate would be great. She is hillarious. I wouldn’t be bovvered if they picked her.

  30. Ellen says:

    If Catherine joined The Office, I would start watching it again.

  31. popGeezer says:

    Spader’s patented dry insanity – lovely. But Tate – a UK comedy legend, TV veteran, and one of the finest character comics of the past 20 years??? Plus, she’s a lady. Sabre/Dunder Mifflin, meet your new boss!

  32. Eileen says:

    I’d tune in to watch the best temp in Chiswick!

  33. Eileen says:

    Best temp in Chiswick gets my vote. She’s hilarious.

  34. Eileen says:

    sorry for the dup posting

  35. Laura says:

    Yay! James Spader!!!! I may begin watching!!!!

  36. Kristen says:

    Gotta be James Spader! The man was EPIC on Boston Legal. Give it to Spader.

  37. M says:

    I looove Catherine Tate! Donna was my favorite companion on Doctor Who! <3

  38. Lindsay says:

    PLEASE CATHERINE TATE!!! She would be FANTASTIC!!! I actually think that the Office could keep going if she took over. :D

  39. Deb says:

    I’ve never watched the US version of The Office but I would if Catherine Tate was on it. Just please, do not attempt an American accent, not that I think she couldn’t do it, I just don’t think it would be a good idea.

  40. Ruby says:

    I can’t think of many things that would make me stop watching The Office, but Ray Romano replacing Steve Carell would be the top of that list. Romano is one of the most un-funny people I’ve ever seen.

    • Steve Carell says:

      I agree. The Office is still my favorite show on TV. If Ray Romano becomes a regular cast-member I’ll have to stop watching it.

  41. Michelle says:

    Donna Noble is in the running? I haven’t been watching The Office this season, but if they get Catherine Tate, I would never miss an ep. She’s amazing.

  42. Melissa says:

    Catherine Tate FTW!!!!

  43. bex says:

    I *adore* Catherine Tate (I’m flying to the UK to see her in Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant!) but I truly hope that she does *not* do this. I’ve never been a fan of the show, but what little I’ve seen recently makes me cringe… it has already jumped the shark and no manner of CTs brilliant can save it. Let it die.

  44. mike says:

    Hoping for divine intervention. Put in Portia de Rossi!

  45. Amber says:

    Ray Romano would be awesome! He never crossed my mind, but he would be fantastic.

  46. Diagoras87 says:

    I don’t watch the Office. If they cast her, I will start watching it, because she is that delightful to watch.

  47. Yonin says:

    James Spader….without a doubt

  48. Desert Cat says:

    Catherine Tate???? I think I actually just swooned a little….

  49. JM says:

    I think that maybe you will believe anything. A little research wouldn’t go amiss. Tate is doing Much Ado About Nothing in London. She probably shot one scene for the finale when she was over in the US a few months ago. Calm down. I can’t imagine that she would even want to be famous in the USA.
    There is NO WAY that they will put a foreigner in a lead role, unless it is an Aussie who does a good american accent.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I do love the idea of Catherine Tate – having a woman in charge of the nutty characters at Dunder Mifflin would be interesting. And why wouldn’t CT want to be famous in the U.S.? The payday for doing an American tv series is pretty good as well.

  50. stacee says:

    If Catherine Tate joins the cast, I’ll start watching.

    She was my favorite on Doctor Who and proved the ability to hold up her end of the humor.

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