NBC entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt is approaching The Office‘s upcoming season sans Steve Carell with “very measured” expectations, yet has faith that the long-running comedy can hold its ground.
“My expectations are always very measured, so that we can under-expect and then hopefully over-deliver,” Greenblatt said Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “The Office is very important to us – it’s our No. 1 show in all kinds of demos — and shows go through transitions as they age, and losing Steve is one of those.”
That said, Greenblatt claimed he “would be thrilled if it continues to do what it had been doing,” ratings-wise, even with fresh blood lording over Dunder Mifflin.
And what about that new blood? Greenblatt – who has attended two table reads featuring James Spader as Robert California, the new company CEO who, it’s been said, “has a power to convince and manipulate, like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior” – says the multiple Emmy-winning Boston Legal alum “is completely different than Steve [Carell], with his own iconoclastic kind of acting style, and his character is very unique. He’s a perfect fit in that mix.”
Greenblatt in fact suspects that having Spader on board – as well as other unnamed guest stars sprinkled throughout the season – will goose the Office‘s writing staff to “get back on their game and refocus on what the show is.”
What do you think, Office fans — could the show in fact be the better for having Spader on board?