Fall TV Preview

James Spader In Talks to Be New Office Boss - But There's a Twist

Cocksure job candidate Robert California may be heading back to Scranton, Pa., on a full-time basis, if James Spader closes a deal to join NBC’s The Office on a full-time basis this coming season.

The twist, though, is that Spader’s character — who like most of the applicants in last month’s star-studded season finale didn’t deliver the best job interview (he preached the “universal truth” that “everything is sex”) — would only sit as Michael Scott’s desk for a brief spell. According to EW.com, which first reported on Spader’s contract talks, California would in short order grow tired of the menial office manager position and successfully angle for the lofty position of Dunder Mifflin’s CEO, ostensibly taking the place of Jo Bennett (seeing as Kathy Bates’ Harry’s Law renewed for fall).

That would then free up anew the office manager job, for someone else to occupy on a truly long-term basis.

Ricky Gervais: The Office‘s Star-Studded Finale Jumped a ‘Big’ Shark

Now it’s your turn to play decision-maker: What did you think of Spader’s own “interview” for a role on The Office? Revisit the first part of his interview here, then vote below.

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. Jon says:

    This is a pretty good idea, especially if it means that Catherine Tate has enough time to finish her play and take over as the new boss!

    • Rock Golf says:

      Great idea. Only problem is that Tate’s character was a friend of Jo’s so why would someone who forces Jo out appoint her?

      Having said that, I’d love Catherine Tate to join the office.

      • Depends on how they handle it. If Sabre wasn’t removed from the equation, but she hired a CEO because it doesn’t make sense for her to spend all her time dealing with piddling details at one of presumably many companies that Sabre owns, everyone could have their way.

      • kyrjar says:

        Thought Tate’s character was boring and worst of all, NOT FUNNY.

        • Tarasa says:

          I agree. Love Tate but thought her character was the WORST (and not in the good office kind of bad way). Poorly written and seemed like a big waste.

    • NickC says:

      If Tate takes over im out…she is terrible..IMO.

  2. Kara says:

    Spader would be perfect!!

  3. John Berggren says:

    I love Spader from Boston Legal, but I’d far prefer Catherine Tate take the position.

  4. Joe says:

    i actually really like that idea. although i think when he’s ceo his best back and forth with the new manager would be Jim and jim’s not taking the job (or so we think)

  5. Amanda says:

    If this means that they’re putting him on in order to buy time for Catherine Tate to finish up with Much Ado About Nothing this fall and then join as a series regular later on, I’m all for it.

  6. Matt Palastro says:

    I thought he was funny, and different from Steve Carell, so he won’t feel like a copy cat. I agree with most people who say that Catherine Tate would be fantastic as the new Office Boss. She was by far the highlight of the season finale.

  7. PaulR says:

    I just dont get the Tate love. Her character was just awful. And she’s just not that funny to begin with. If they go with Tate the show would go down the toilet and would be canceled come the end of the season. Mainstream would not go for it.

  8. april-ann says:

    I like James Spader, but I was hoping for an inside job promotion because I love the cast of The Office and don’t think they need any new blood. Could be good though, if it’s well written.

  9. Nirvana says:

    Catherine Tate is all I will accept .

  10. Office fan says:

    Spader will be brilliant in this. He was the best thing in the finale and literally stole the scenes in a way I haven’t seen anyone do on this show.
    The dynamics of him and Dwight and Andy, alone, would be worth it, but I’m sure he would add life, conflict and new developments in the rest of the cast.
    This is a home run swing for the fences kind of move that will inject something vibrant to this show.
    Lock him down and make it happen. To all the people who want to see Jim or Daryl become manager, get over your crushes on what you know. That would be the death rattle for this show. They need to change upt the dynamics big time to make these characters fresh and interesting again. Save the Jim for manager campaign for your fan fiction late at night. Let the smart people make this series interesting again or at least go down swinging.

  11. lethargic says:

    I don’t get it one bit. Found his character stupid, annoying and creepy to the point that it was anti-funny. And that doesn’t even take into account having to look at that bloated, greasy, five-headed head of his. I think Tate would be better. I wasn’t blown away by her scenes in the finale but the finale as a whole was pretty weak and none of the candidates really made a good impression.

  12. Donna says:

    Finally, a reason to watch the Office. I love Steve Carrell in movies, but never warmed to him on the small screen. Love, love, love James Spader. Such comedic timing. Looking forward to the final word on this and the season premiere.

  13. Timothy McNeil says:

    I also don’t get all the love for Tate. If Spader’s character is not going to stay the branch manager it would be better to not bring him back. A little shocked that this is still unresolvd.

  14. Justin says:

    I love the idea. His interview had me rolling! I also liked Catherine Tate. Her ideas had me laughing my butt off!

  15. Sam says:

    Catherine Tate should join the show.

  16. Glenn says:

    Sounds good… As long as Tate is the one who finally gets the gig.

  17. Alice says:

    I like the idea of him as CEO, not as a long-term manager. As I was watching the finale, I found that I liked his character and found him interesting and funny, but I don’t know if I could deal with a large dose of him every single episode. I personally liked Catherine Tate better.

  18. Kent says:

    I agree that Spader was the best of the candidates from the finale. His character was unique, and the responses from Jim being intimidated by his ‘over’ confidence was very funny. I don’t even remember the scenes with Catherine Tate.

    Spader gets my vote.

  19. Samira says:

    Catherine Tate = yuck.

  20. jaded says:

    I LOVED James Spader! Catherine Tate not so much.. I hope James is there to stay!

  21. Amber says:

    I knew the producers hadn’t figured out who the permanent boss would be when that finale aired. I feel vindicated. I like James Spader, I’m hoping he can do well on the show, but I am incredibly disturbed by how bad he looks. I hope the lack of sexiness came from a really good makeup job and not because that’s really what he looks like now. And I am not a fan of this thing where they’re doing revolving bosses. I worry if they do this with Spader, there will be another mystery about who the next boss will be, and then there will be more revolving bosses, and then they could theoretically carry it out another year. I really don’t want that. This boss position is becoming like a foster child that can’t seem to get adopted. Hire someone, producers!

  22. Brittany says:

    I will only continue watching if Catherine Tate comes on.

  23. Bob says:

    James Spader rocks. Would love to see him on The Office. His creepiness is what makes him so good there. Not a fan of Tate. She was forgetable.

  24. edawg says:

    If you love Tate, watch reruns on BBC America. Her character was awful on the finale and she just isn’t funny (And I’m British!). Spader’s a decent pick. The other options were terrible. We’ll see how he does.

    • Louise says:

      I totally agree with you (I’m British too).

      I found Tate’s character to be confusing, unfunny and nothing new from what I have seen from her already, but maybe that’s the draw. Unless they find something majorly different to do with her character, I will be tearing my hair out.

      I did however find Spader slightly alluring in a weird, I wouldnt mind knowing more about the character kind of way. I think he has the possibility to be funny and create good storylines.

      We’ll see, the jury’s still out. Anyone who come’s in is obviously going to change the overall dynamic and I’m still a little up in the air about it all.

  25. Juan says:

    I think Spader is just annoying in general.
    And though I like Catherine Tate, her character in The Office was pretty disappointing.
    I would still rather have her aboard though.

  26. David says:

    I think his character stood out above the rest and this would be a great idea! And to give him a role in addition to a new office manager is a great idea too! I don’t get the push to give it to Catherine Tate though. Her character was horrible in the interview and she should have been different if they actually expected to give her the job. It’s not realistic that she would have given that interview and get hired into the position. Too bad Ray Romano would never have been available! Otherwise he would have been a good choice with an interesting dynamic. But Spader would be awesome and I’ve missed him since Boston Legal!

  27. allie says:

    OMG. I haven’t seen Spader in YEARS & just saw this picture… what in the hell happened to him????

  28. Emgee says:

    The series, for me, ended with Michael’s last episode. I finished off the season, but I’m officially done watching the show.

  29. Tee says:

    He was one of the few good things about that finale.

  30. Sarabi says:

    Love Spader! Now just bring out Portia de Rossi, and we have a done deal! :)

  31. Norah says:

    I think Kevin Nealon from “Weeds” would be a good choice. His character is irrelevant on “Weeds,” and he could breathe some new, fun life into “The Office.”

    • tnsmoke says:

      No new names are even in the mix at this time. Spader is probably in. Filming for the new season starts in July and scripts are already being written.

  32. Kristi says:

    Hopefully this means he’d be filling in until Catherine Tate’s obligations with “Much Ado About Nothing” are fulfilled, then she could be the full-time manager at the Scranton branch! *fingerscrossed*

  33. COMMENT BY JOAN says:


  34. Bob says:

    With Catherine Tate not being available until September, it may explain the temporary nature of James Spader’s hiring. Warm the seat long enough until she can get to LA. And if that happens, don’t blame her when the show is cancelled at the end of next season. It’s going to happen no matter who gets the job. The only thing that would save it is if the new person brought in millions of more viewers. I don’t see that happening, since even Carrell couldn’t keep the ratings high. And for those questioning why Tate, it’s a Doctor Who thing. Sorry, geeks rule.

    • tnsmoke says:

      The Office has been a ratings winner for NBC every year it’s been on. Most of us aren’t fair weather fans, we stick with it. People come in and catch an episode here and there and bemoan how it’s not good anymore. I disagree. Last season had more great episodes then bad ones. And MOST Americans can NOT understand what British actors mumble. And most Americans have no interest in shows on BBC America. Saw Ricky G on The Marriage Ref last night and could barely understand half of what he said. British humor is an aquired taste. I have been watching that stuff since the Monty Python days and Benny Hill days and it is just not for everyone. Don’t want Tate on The Office but am not one of those fans who will stop watching the show just because I don’t get my way. Spader and ther rest of the Office actors will entertain me.

  35. Zack says:

    I love that James Spader is gunna join the cast. But id rather Rainn Wilson be the new boss rather than Catherine Tate.

  36. H. says:

    me gusta.

  37. Mr. Furley says:

    I hear The Sheen & The Ween need new jobs!!! :D ;)

  38. Erin says:

    I just don’t know… if it’s temporary, fine. But I really didn’t like James Spader’s character and couldn’t take him beyond every once in a while. I didn’t really like ANY of the characters they introduced for the job, to be honest. I’m not quite sure what I want, though.

  39. Christopher says:

    I still have a little bit of hope that Jim Carrey will be the surprise boss next season. I loved his character the best, and I think he could work in the role well. It would be a nice denoument for Carrey’s career (and he should finally admit it’s that time)

  40. Chrid says:

    My hope is Will Arnett becomes the new boss, and James Spader is just going to hold the position until his new show with Christina Applegate is cancelled. Wishful thinking. Spader and Arnett would be a great dynamic I think.

    • tnsmoke says:

      Well, if NBC cancels Will’s new show as fast as FOX cancelled his last one, he might be available. He was my pick in the early days, him and Andy Buckley (David Wallace)….but love having Spader on board.

  41. Meg says:

    I stopped in the middle of the sixth season, and the ONLY way I’ll start watching again is if they hire Catherine Tate.

  42. chris davis says:

    I agree with those who were not wowed by Catherine Tate’s character in the finale. The character she played was a one off joke, and could never be developed into a 3 dimensional or even 2 dimensional character necessary for a series. I have no problem with the actress, but if the writers wanted her for the part, they should have written her into an interviewee who was at least remotely plausible as a boss.

    JAMES SPADER’s CHARACTER WAS AWESOME IN THE FINALE!!! Seriously, his character was easily the best of all the peeps that interviewed, and the only logical casting choice based upon those interviews.

    I have no opinion on either actor/actress prior to their spot on the Office, I’m just basing this upon the characters that were presented in the finale.

  43. Christine McGlinn says:

    I also don’t understand the Catherine Tate love. She was shrill and off putting on Dr Who.
    James Spader was amazing, but I read he’s replacing Kathy Bates not Steve Carell.

  44. Simon says:

    James Spader was the best thing about the season finale. The interview scene where he has the three of them petrified and gives that knowing look to the camera – classic!! Can’t wait to see more interaction between him and Dwight as well, loads of potential there.

    *Please* do not add Catherine Tate to the cast. Frankly she was awful in this episode, a really bad imitation of David Brent. As a Brit it would ruin the feel of the show for me, Gervais appearance was bad enough! Please restrict Tate’s role to the cameo that it has been.