Fall TV Preview

It's Official: James Spader Joins The Office as 'High-Class Weirdo Jedi Warrior' CEO

The resilient Dunder Mifflin staff is about to meet its match, now that James Spader has officially boarded The Office for Season 8.

“James will reprise his role as Robert California, this uber-salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate, like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior,” series regular/executive producer Paul Lieberstein said in announcing the casting.

The Office Manager Race: It’s Down to Jim, Dwight or Andy

As previously reported, Spader’s ambitious character won’t be long for his mid-level Dunder Mifflin job. As Lieberstein previews, “He’ll have been hired over the summer as the new manager, but within hours, got himself promoted. Within days, he took over the company” as the new Sabre CEO.

All of which means that The Great Office Boss Mystery will continue, since Robert California won’t occupy Michael Scott’s vacated office for long.

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A veteran of films as well as TV’s The Practice/Boston Legal (for which he won three Emmys), Spader made his debut on the NBC sitcom in the Season 7 finale, as one of multiple all-star guest-star candidates who interviewed for Michael’s job. Notably, Robert California did in fact almost play Jedi mind games with his interviewers, practically incepting his twisted life and work philosophies in their brains.

“James has an energy that is completely his own, and the office [staff] has no tools for dealing with this guy,” says Lieberstein. “We’re thrilled he’s joining our cast.”

Are you thrilled, Office fans?

Comments (35)

  • Now they should sign Maggie Gyllenhaal to play his secretary

    Comment by Keith – July 6, 2011 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be hilarious! But she has to make typos.

      Comment by Todd – July 6, 2011 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • oh my gosh, I’ve been saying that all along. =) And then after she’s hired, her behavior will be very bad.

      Comment by Amber – July 6, 2011 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No.

    Comment by Dick Whitman – July 6, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes?

      Comment by Don Draper – July 6, 2011 11:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ugh, he creeps me out. I have never been a fan of Mr. Spader.

      Comment by rebecca a – July 6, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree – totally creepy. It’s enough to get me to stop watching for good.

        Comment by busybee – July 7, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bring Candice Bergen and William Shatner, too ;)

    Comment by Steven – July 6, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes, yes and yes. that would be a hoot if bergen and shatner joined the cast!!

      i’ve never watched the office but will now. i absolutely adore james spader.

      Comment by iceturkee – July 6, 2011 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Scranton Legal? Hey, it works….they still sell some paper at Dunder-Mifflin/SABER right?

      Comment by Pat D. – July 6, 2011 06:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This stinks. Spader will ruin the show. Bank on that.

    Comment by Mike D – July 6, 2011 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have always found James Spader kind of annoying, but oh well. At this point I am going to watch the Office until they run it into the ground. Unless, of course, they break-up Jim and Pam.

    Comment by Amy – July 6, 2011 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s too much of a freak for The Office. The characters are “zany”, not freaks

    Comment by Heather – July 6, 2011 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you, Heather, great point! I was wondering what it was that bothered me about this, because I generally like James Spader and do think he’s talented. But it’s possible the character is just not a good fit.

      Comment by april-ann – July 6, 2011 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agreed. I’ve liked him in the past, in his creepy, off beat, dramatic roles but can’t stand the thought of him on a show like The Office. I’ll probably continue to watch, but I don’t have high hopes for liking him on the show.

        Comment by timshel – July 7, 2011 02:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Should have been Catherine Tate, but I’m sure Spader will be fine.

    Comment by Mercedes – July 6, 2011 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They can still have Catherine Tate as office manager; Spader’s the CEO of the company.

      Comment by susela – July 6, 2011 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They now have their new wacky cast member, so I don’t think they’ll add a second one by hiring Catherine Tate. My guess, “Andy” will get the manager’s job.

      Comment by Bob – July 6, 2011 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by TJ – July 6, 2011 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t much care for Spader, but if the new boss turns out to be Tate, I’ll be happy.

    Comment by Joyce – July 6, 2011 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Catherine Tate was the most unfunny thing on the finale last year. Despite her comedy chops in other projects, she was NOT a fit for the Office.

    Comment by Nick Nitro – July 6, 2011 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • agreed. I was really disappointed her character was so not funny in The Office.

      Comment by kristine – July 6, 2011 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is absolutely AWFUL news. I am so disappointed it hurts me.

    Comment by Heazie – July 6, 2011 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • this is awesome. i loved his weird energy in the finale.

    Comment by murley – July 6, 2011 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • but I liked Kathy Bates…I loved her occasional visits to the office or via web chat.

    Comment by bamalam – July 6, 2011 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • her show Harry’s Law got picked up for next season, that’s probably why she’s not going to be around on The Office anymore.

      Comment by kristine – July 6, 2011 11:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • he cracked me up so hard in the finale. he really was the best of all the guest stars. I don’t know what everyone is so grumpy about him. the guy’s hilarious (not just on The Office finale but in Boston Legal as well) and even if you don’t like him, he’s not going to be on that long. win-win for everyone, really.

    Comment by kristine – July 6, 2011 11:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great news – love James Spader. I don’t understand all the hate here. He is a very good actor and will add something extra to the show. I’ve certainly never seen him ‘ruin the show’. More likely to have another Emmy nomination!!

    Comment by sarah – July 6, 2011 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Go ahead, make a typo — he dares you.

    Comment by MichelleR – July 6, 2011 02:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Good casting choice. And once again–Catherine Tate was horrible, is horrible and would make me turn off and possible detonate my TV if she were hired. Don’t understand the love for this one note comedienne.

    Comment by edawg – July 6, 2011 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally happy! James Spader is so unique and will be a great addition to the cast. People who say they don’t like him just don’t get it. BRILLIANT on Boston Legal…can’t wait to watch Season 8 of The Office!

    Comment by SB – July 6, 2011 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You guys are nuts. Spader is awesome no matter how small or big the role he KILLS it every time.

    His guest spot on Seinfeld was GENIUS, his turn on The Practice as Alan Shore is what led to Boston Legal. Don’t forget about this tremendous body of dramatic work.

    Don’t be afraid of his unique energy or his oddly sexual presence. He’s a hell of an actor.

    Comment by LauraHolt – July 7, 2011 08:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James Spader is GOD. Anyone who has not seen him in Boston Legal simply cannot know his genius. And genius aside, James has an incredible sexual energy about him that however odd or initially “creepy”, is SURE to capture and draw in women sooner or later. The more you watch, the more you fall in love with him. Excellent move for the Office…I am STOKED!

    Comment by Amy – August 2, 2011 01:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so surprised that some people here think of James Spader as “creepy”! I have always thought of him as a brilliant actor, and sooo sexy. He was hilarious in Secretary…I can’t wait to see him in The Office.

    Melbourne, Australia

    Comment by Andrea – August 8, 2011 09:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awful fit! Spader is obnoxiously monotonous as an actor and a labor to watch. The thing about The Office is that has always had a breeziness to it and that’s what’s created it’s staying power; throwing Spader in the mix is like using mud for motor oil in a Hemi that was purring along great. Spader sucks.

    Comment by DTH – November 23, 2011 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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