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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  1. Harrison says:

    It would be an inspired choice for NBC to give Catherine Tate a shot, the kind of inspired choices that the network hasn’t really made that much of over the past few years… do us proud, Peacock!

  2. Lindsey says:

    Wow. Catherine Tate PLEASE. She is amazing. Hilarious woman. Perfect casting. She has great comedic timing. If you aren’t aware of who she is check out some videos of her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A

    And you know…I’d actually watch the Office with her on it.

    As far as being a foreigner – HELLO – The Mentalist has an Aussie at the front as do several other shows. I’m sure she can handle an American accent unless they go with a storyline about bringing in an outsider to straighten things up?

    And Much Ado About Nothing…she can easily film a few episodes in between London shows depending on weekends, days off, etc. It would be hectic for a time, but if she wants the role she’d do it.

  3. Lina says:

    Catherine Tate PLEASE!!!!!

  4. Amy says:

    Spader would be good. Tate would be GENIUS.

  5. Jared says:

    PORTIA DE ROSSI should be the replacement!!!! Hands down!

  6. Amber says:

    Absolutely, bring in James Spader as the control freak boss, and then bring in Maggie Gyllenhaal to be the office Secretary. Seriously, has no one on here seen Secretary? I’m surprised I’m the first person to bring it up. He was a very funny boss in that movie, and hella sexy to boot. I have a feeling though it’s not really him that will be the boss and his performance here just may be a nod to his boss character in Secretary. If he shows up for the interview with a red pen in hand, I’ll know it’s doing that for sure.

  7. XK says:

    Of everyone mentioned, I’d prefer Arnett. Think he’d fit in well, yet bring his own brand of mania.

    I do like the ideas floated by fellow posters of Tom Cavanaugh or Portia de Rossi though.

    Not sold on Tate, (sorry, I don’t watch Dr. Who), and, while I like Spader, there are enough people that don’t that I think the Office would be better off not casting him.

  8. Saneperson says:

    You people are insane if you think this corny british chick would fit in the show. You might as well get Mr. Bean. James Spader is incredibly lame but he’s bland enough that he might be able to keep from running the show into the ground. Romano or Mrs. Bean would get the show cancelled within 1 season.

  9. ecg says:

    Could Catherine please, please bring David Tennant along with her? The two of them together bounce off of each each other ever so magically and delightfully…He needs to be introduced to mainstream viewers on American television.

  10. ecg says:

    Unless the television shoot was relocated to London, that would be impossible. She just started rehearsals this week, with the play starting previews on May 16th and running until September 3rd. With the run nearly sold out, there is no way she would upset patrons, including many international fans from North America and Australia flying in to see her and David Tennant on stage together for one of their 7 weekly shows (Monday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with an afternoon matinee on Saturdays.) Especially when it was their idea to have the production, with the two of them approaching the theater production company with the proposition…and having significant creative control of the play itself…I cannot see Catherine willingly missing any performances.

    But saying that, Patrick Stewart filmed the RSC edition of Hamlet in the London area by day, while on stage in the West End each night. And David Tennant while in the US last summer to film the upcoming Fright Night, managed to make time to spend in an Albuquerque recording studio to record narration for a 6-episode comedy about the 2012 Olympic preparations currently airing on one of the BBC channels.

  11. Brock says:

    If it was Ray I’d be bailing out quicker than Sheen’s webcam viewers!

  12. Monika says:

    Catherine Tate would be AWESOME. She is sick funny and I loved her on Doctor Who. ‘I ain’t bovvered’Ha-ha. I can totally see her do a great job.I haven’t seen the Office in a while,but if they make her boss I am definitely watching.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I will watch anything with Catherine Tate in, she is A-MA-ZING. Love her so much. Make it happen NBC!

  14. Francesa says:


  15. jay says:

    Catherine Tate has a theatre gig(Much ado – with David Tennant) so isnt available until mid september.

  16. Sarabi says:

    I think James Spader isn’t the obvious choice here, but I would watch him, because I love him. Also, I agree with other posters that Portia de Rossi would fit in PERFECTLY. Just watch Better off Ted and see for yourselves. :)

  17. sandra says:

    Catherine Tate is brilliant and I’d love her to get this role.

    But she’s in a play from May to Sept 3… 7 times a week in London.

  18. Alex says:

    No way Tate, she’s so unfunny that every time she tries comedy I vomit blood. If you Americans wanna see Tate do “comedy” then watch clips of the awful Catherine Tate Show. Do not pick Tate, the worst assistant and has zero comedy timing and would not fit The Office. Give it to Ricky Gervais, a true comedy genius.

    • Nick says:

      Thats pretty much the only way I’ll keep watching the office, is if they replace Carell with Ricky Gervais. The guy IS the Office, there is no other option. And none of the people I’ve heard are in the running are even close to Carell or Gervais.

  19. choco says:

    James Spader.
    He’s got more talent than your favorite oscar-winning actors.
    He once saved The Practice, pretty sure he’s going to be able to save The Office this time.

  20. S. says:

    OMG, Catherine Tate *___* this would be far too awesome *____*

  21. Bobsind says:

    Catherine Tate… ummm HELLL YES

  22. Saerwen says:

    My dreams will all come true if Catherine Tate ends up on this show. Please please make this happen, TV powers that be.

  23. Casto says:

    Have only seen Tate in Doctor Who, but she was my least favorite character since the revival. She might be a decent choice but she really annoyed me as Donna.

    Not a big fan of Spader either.

    Hopefully there are other options or the boss gets promoted from within (Jim).

  24. bhm1304 says:

    If Catherine Tate is in I may have to start watching “The Office” again. That would be such a breath of fresh air on this “past its expiration date” show. I’d be interesting to see if anyone in this cast could keep up with her.

  25. Sigh says:

    If its any of these three I will not be watching that crap next year, thats for sure.

  26. Will says:

    Yay to Tate!

    “I ain’ even bovered, tho …”

  27. Alyson says:

    If Catherine Tate was on The Office, I would definitely watch. I’ve never seen a full episode yet. I love Steve Carrell (in Movies) but can’t stand his character on The Office.

    Ms. Tate, yes, yes, YES! But PLEASE, do NOT make her use an American accent. Part of her charm is her accent (well, all of them, actually). The only thing better than having Catherine Tate on The Office, would be if they made a sit-com around her character – Lauren Cooper.

  28. Bob says:

    What? What! Catherine Tate What? It’s a home run for many of us. The Office “purists” won’t like it, but they could use this kind of jolt to wake them up.

  29. Bob says:

    Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but not sure how they’d work around this for Catherine Tate (from her wiki page):

    “Tate will be appearing alongside former co-star David Tennant in the Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre from 16 May to September 2011.”

  30. VV says:

    OH MY GOD. If they put Catherine on that show, I will start watching RELIGIOUSLY, whereas right now it’s just a passing, “Oh, it’s on Hulu and I have time to kill” thing. Seriously, grinning ear to ear right now. This would be SO BEAUTIFUL. Pardon me while I faint.

  31. Athae says:

    I’m a big fan of Catherine Tate but logistically there is no way she can do this with “Much Ado About Nothing” going on until September. As others have noted, there are performances Monday through Saturday and it is inconceivable she would drop the play. Rehearsals have already started and it is very high profile- the booking website and telephone lines crashed when the play was announced!

  32. Julia says:

    Tate. Absolutely Tate. If it comes down to Donna Or Murray, I might have to rethink, but from these three, Tate.

  33. Chris says:

    In the UK, Tate’s show is only popular with simpletons. She is grating and would kill the show.

  34. Jasmine says:

    Catherine Tate please! Donna Noble FTW!

  35. redreh says:

    GOD, the woman is comedic genius–seriously, OMFG. If she’s on, I’m back to watching on a regular basis. SHE CAN DO NO WRONG. DOCTORDONNA!

  36. oinmq says:

    Can’t stand Catherine Tate, but I do, in general, love British comedy. Why not just get Steve Coogan in on this? He sort of looks like Ray Romano and he’s a lot funnier than Tate.

  37. Eskay says:

    That’s a pretty awesome list, so my previous prediction that The Office will suck next year may be off. If they add Tate, I would say it’s a guaranteed winner… although Spader is pretty great, too.

  38. Mike says:

    yeah…but am i bovvered?! look at my face. does it look bovvered?

  39. Kit says:

    Catherine Tate! I really really really hope she gets it!

  40. VBarkley says:

    Can’t they just hire Ted McGinley and call it a day????

  41. Alex says:

    If Catherine Tate gets cast, I’ll definitely start watching as well.

  42. Alex says:

    One thing to bear in mind with Tate being committed to the play until September. There is no law saying the next season of The Office has to start in September. NBC could choose to start it in January; the old September-to-May season is fading in US TV.

  43. PLT says:

    Absolutely love Spader, so he would be my choice. Nobody does obnoxious likeable better…nobody!

  44. Sophie says:

    I would love to see James Spader join the cast. If the writers can come up with a character strange enough to intrigue him he would be a terrific addition to the show.

  45. RayA says:

    Recently watched the excellent but sadly short-lived Party Down, and immediately thought that Ken Marino would have made a great new boss for the Office.

  46. BigDerf says:

    Dunno why but immediately thought Romano would be great. Too bad.

  47. Jacqui says:

    It should DEFINATELY be James Spader :-D x

  48. Sophie says:

    Catherine Tate should not be in the office. I am British and I hate her humor, I stopped watching other programmes because she was in it and I will stop watching the office. This is a huge mistake!

  49. Sophie Bourne Lewis says:

    Catherine Tate should not be in the office. I am British and I really dislike her humour. If she joins The Office I will have to stop watching, this is a huge mistake.

  50. Shannon says:

    NONE OF THEM! As soon as Steve is gone, i am done watching this show, it just won’t be the same.