The Office Exclusive: The New Boss Speaks! (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)

You know how sometimes I say SPOILER ALERT, and you just kinda keep reading anyway, assuming it won’t be that big. This is a “that big” SPOILER ALERT. If you don’t want to know who the new manager of The Office’s Scranton branch is, STOP READING. NOW.

Andy Bernard was only just this second announced as Michael Scott’s successor, and boom! TVLine already has an exclusive interview with Ed Helms. When did he find out he had the coveted gig? How did he find out? What does this mean for Andy’s relationship with Erin? What does he think of the show’s other new authority figure, James Spader? Why am I asking these questions this way? Let me put them to the actor himself, and then I can put some answers after the questions. Brilliant!

TVLINE | Congratulations!
Thank you very much. It’s kind of an exciting night.

TVLINE | When and how did you find out that Andy was the new boss?
It was probably about three or four weeks before production [on the new season] started. I had lunch with [showrunner and costar] Paul Lieberstein, and he’s a marvelously cryptic guy. So it was a little bit of a dance at first and then it came out that that’s the direction they were planning. And I was so excited that I wet my pants. [Laughs] That’s not totally true, but it was exciting. In some ways it felt like just another lunch meeting, but with epic news. And then we had a nice little toast.

Mindy Kaling Gets Major Office Promotion — But There’s a Twist

TVLINE | Do you feel any pressure?
I feel more excitement than pressure. The character of Andy is a jackass, and that’s a role I’ve been preparing for my entire life. [Laughs] So I feel prepared. It feels like a reboot for the show, with this boss change and also James Spader coming into the mix. There’s a real different energy afoot… I’m trying to make it sound like I don’t feel the pressure but I guess I am trembling on my way to work every day. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Have your work hours increased?
Yes. The workload is dramatically more than I’ve ever dealt with on this show before. I see Steve Carell in a whole new light. We all took it for granted just how professional and prepared and hilarious he was. And now being in a position where I need to learn a hell of a lot more lines and run more scenes, I mean God, I just really appreciate what he did. And I’m trying to step into those shoes.

TVLINE | Rumor has it the boss  position came down to you, Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski. Was there – is there — any weirdness between you guys?
This could not be a cooler cast. And the fact that it was kept a mystery for a while kind of allowed all of us to come to terms with whatever the result might be. I’ve gotten nothing but just epic support from those guys, and the entire cast as a whole. They are some of the funniest and sweetest people I could ever hope to work with. And to feel their support just means the world. And it’s the only reason that I feel capable of stepping into this role. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been doing already. The vibe on the set has been so great. Of course we miss Steve, but there’s this new energy. It’s like when you reboot your computer and you have all this fun new software to play with. And we’re all sort of sharing that energy.

TVLINE | What kind of boss is Andy?
Great question. Andy is a boss who is terrified of being a boss. He is making an overt attempt to step up his game. And just as me the actor, Ed Helms, is feeling pressure and excitement about stepping into a larger role like this, Andy Bernard, the character, is also feeling a hell of a lot of pressure and anxiety. And that is a lot of fun to watch unfold — especially when juxtaposed with James Spader’s fabulous Robert California. Andy has always struggled with a little bit of anger. And he has some real perception gaps; there’s a giant chasm between how he sees himself and how others see him. In some ways, Michael Scott really believed he was a great manager. Andy’s not quite there yet.

TVLINE | How does Andy’s promotion impact his relationship with Erin?
Erin and Andy are basically two weirdoes who are attracted to each other, but incapable of understanding each other. Add to that a boss-employee dynamic and their awkwardness pretty much goes nuclear, especially around Halloween.

The Office Exclusive: Look Who’s Playing Pam’s New Buddy

TVLINE | This season introduces Andy’s parents [played by Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace] and his brother [singer Josh Groban]. Are we to assume they come to town to celebrate his promotion?
Obviously, Andy has a musical background. And there are some fun revelations about where that came from. The reason for expanding Andy’s world and getting into his family is to kind of help the audience understand a little bit more about who he is and where he comes from. And you’ll see in his family a lot of reasons for Andy’s issues. I think I can also tease that there is a party situation in the episode, but I can’t go any further than that.

TVLINE | It’s safe to assume there’s going to be a duet with you and Josh.
[Laughs] I will neither confirm nor deny the rumors.

TVLINE | Contractually speaking, can we also assume that NBC has locked you in for a few more years of Office duty? 
I don’t think anything is settled yet, but I hope we have a long and prosperous future at Dunder Mifflin. This cast has so many stories buried in it. I’m amazed by how fantastic everyone in the cast is. From Phyllis Smith to Creed Bratton and Kate Flannery – everyone down the line is batting a thousand this season. And the writers have really bit into this fresh new fruit. It’s a dream job.

Office Scoops and Spoilers are Running 24/7 on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

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. Lary says:

    I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Andy…but I still thinking that the new boss should be someone outside. In my opinion no one that already is there will be a good boss.

    • Paul says:

      Michael wasn’t a good boss. I think Andy fits the Dunder-Mifflin mold perfectly.

      • seb barker says:

        you are a massive idiot mate, Michael Scott was the best, so funny. no David Brent though

      • Brad says:

        That’s what made Michaele great. It was even brought up in the interview. Michael thought he was a great boss and so he could do no wrong. He was a perfect “boss” for the show.

      • Dean says:

        I kinda think that was the point the fact that Michael wasn’t a good boss. I think the best stories come from conflict comedies and dramas both. And Michael was conflicted with that sense of popularity and respect. Andy is just conflicted with social awkwardness haha. I agree someone from the outside should’ve gotten the job. Ferrell tried but his character wasnt developed enough. They had a lot of good options from the season finale last year.

    • fe says:

      I agree, but Will is perfect replacement, wake him up!

    • Pam says:

      That’s the idea. Although someone from outside would bring a new dynamic–and Spader was chosen to do that at the corporate level–I think the choice of Andy is smart. Andy is the exact opposite of good supervisor material, and I think we’ll see him get himself into some funny situations trying to manage the people he’s worked with for years.

    • Hawkeye62 says:

      It happens all the time in the real world. People should be replaced by someone already in the office….That’s called a promotion. Something that most employees would expect.

  2. Sean says:

    Should have been Catherine Tate

  3. Buffy Freak says:

    I was hoping for Pam. But with the pregnancy that wouldn’t have worked. If she hadn’t been pregnant though, it would have been cool to see how the guys dealt with having a female boss, especially one who had been the receptionist and how Jim would handle working for his wife…

    • charla says:

      I think the boss title could’ve worked with PAm, even with the pregnancy. It could take some hilarious directions. After all, female bosses do get pregnant in real life situation.

  4. JP says:

    I was so glad to see Andy chosen as the boss. I like him.

  5. Pepper says:

    I hoped it would be Andy. If Jim or Dwight had gotten the job, they couldn’t mess with each other anymore.

  6. Kristen says:

    I love Ed and I’m in love with Andy, so I’m very excited about this decision.

  7. Qwerty says:

    I’m gonna cry… Why was there so much hype about an exciting new hire??
    The Office looks doomed

    • Eric says:

      I totally agree. So much hype, what a let down. This is gonna be the last season I think, sad to see such a great show die.

    • Tim says:

      I would be surprised to see The Office be renewed after Christmas. Michael Scott made the show and they should have gone out on top and cancelled after season 7.

  8. Amy says:

    I actually like the episode, though my expectations were pretty low. I like Andy as Manager and I thought he isn’t great, but he is getting there. I liked that he stood up for them. Also, finally someone acknowledged Michael Scott (Jim jokes that is what they are naming their son.) They have acted like Michael never existed since he left and I am glad to have mention of him.

    • Erin says:

      “They have acted like Michael never existed since he left and I am glad to have mention of him.”

      You say that like seasons have gone by since Michael left. It was one half hour episode, that’s it. They’re not going to spend the entire half hour talking about him.

      • Adam says:

        Uhh, it’s been more than one half hour episode. In fact I think its been like 4 or 5 now. And wouldn’t the time right after somebody left be the time you’re most likely to talk about that person? I agree that it was nice to have a mention of Michael Scott as the OP pointed out, it has almost been like he never existed.

        • jenna says:

          i totally agree, adam. he left before the last season was over, and they didn’t talk about him… it was weird from an audience point of view, because all we can think about is “wow, i miss steve carell.”, and yet the people in the office weren’t talking about it. i was happy for the reference of his name, as well. i think the episode stayed true to form, and andy is the right kind of guy to be the manager, because he’s a tool – making it funny for US to watch, which is the POINT of the show…. not to get a manager who would truly be equipped and have all the qualifications that would make him / her a good boss… where’s the FUNNY in that?!?!

  9. Jessa says:

    Jim needs to be the boss. Robert CA needs to go to FL and make infrequent visits. His creepy charisma is lame and I don’t see room for his character to develop past controlling weirdo.

  10. Thomas says:

    Agree with the post above about robert california. His character just doesn’t fit with the dunder mifflin clan. When is the word ‘epic’ being retired? Everything is epic now.

  11. Captain says:

    Andy’s always kind of been Michael Scott 2.0 so isn’t this just basically replacing Michael with Michael? I feel like they should have gone in a new direction but oh well.

  12. Bryon says:

    I like Andy…I was kind of hoping it was Dwight, but, this should be interesting!

  13. Eric says:

    The office is a sinking ship now. They had a chance to make it new and fresh again but they failed. Its sad too, I love the office, and watching it die is going to be hard.

    • charla says:

      I think it is WAY too soon to tell. I personally want to see the storyline develop. They are reesablishing from last year at this point. Can’t wait for more episodes!

  14. Zizou says:

    Ed Helms will be an excellent replacement for Steve Carrell, after all, that is one massive hole to fill. And I can’t imagine any other character more peculiar, compassionate, incredibly funny/stupid and at times, completely insane (“hardcore parcore”) in the cast to emulate Michael Scott’s antics. The “Nard Dog” will do great!

  15. maria says:

    Looooved the episode and loved Andy as the new boss. Ed Helms killed it!

  16. Okbye says:

    Yeah Andy wasn’t expected. However, if Ed Helms happens to read this post: I BELIEVE IN YOU! Make The Office an even funnier feel-good sitcom for us! Never give up!

  17. Todd says:

    It seems to me Andy is the best choice so they can keep the weird boss dynamic going and keep Jim and Dwight at each other. Also those two have so much other stuff going on character-wise, Andy has the most room to grow.

    From a business perspective, Ed Helms’s star is on the rise from The Hangover movies and it makes sense to get him as the anchor of this show, to bring in new audience who may have liked him from the two worldwide Blockbusters.

  18. salvador says:

    I think they should have gotten Jim carrey to be the new boss it would have been funny

  19. Jerome says:

    Its still way to early to tell how this new dynamic of Andy as manager and Robert C hanging around. But theres still no doubt in my mind that Dwight should be the boss. It couldnt have been Jim because hes a straight character, the boss has to be wacky, which Andy is, so they at least got that right. Regardless, I miss Michael, even if the last couple seasons have been so-so. Just be thankful its not aston kutcher.

  20. JB Smooove says:

    GRRR DAMN, STUPID SHOW. Well, parks n Rec, you are my new favorite show. Screw you, “the office”

    • rebecca says:

      what?this will still be the funny show i like to watch and i’m just glad it was someone inside Andy’s cool and they needed someone to fill Michel’s shoes someone who’s just as big of an idiot,,, i satisfied.

  21. I was somewhat surprised. Not that Helms was given the role, but how bad he looked and by how poorly his part was written in the season opener.

    I guess I don’t think the answer for The Office is “more Andy”. Moreover, it doesn’t make sense in the continuity of the story that it not be (one time co-manager) Jim, who was trusted more than anyone else to keep the branch up and running. Given that previous episodes have shown that Jim can’t actually manage the office and be liked by his coworkers (something he wants), it would have maintained some of the basic premise that Steve Carrell brought to the table with Michael Scott.

    I’m a fan, so it is not as though I am going to stop watching. But I don’t think it was a strong move. And to find out that no decision was in place (were I the show runner, I would have wanted that taken care of before the previous season finished) until shortly before filming began tells me that the writers are just trying to figure it out as they go along now.

  22. Paige says:

    I know Kathy Bates did it for a few episodes here and there too, but realistically, what kind of CEO goes and works in a branch office conference room everyday? I don’t think it will be realistic to keep James Spader there for every episode.

    I thought the show last night was ok. I think Ed Helms as the boss will be interesting. However, I’m still not used to Steve Carell being gone. I keep thinking he’s just not in that particular scene or story arc. I miss him!

  23. Julie says:

    I was surprised when I saw him as the boss but you know something I do believe that it is work in progress. I do believe that he will make a good boss at some point… we just have to wait and see I guess.

  24. Fred says:

    This has been the fifth episode since he left… Calm down, why would they talk about him a week after his departure from the office? They had to build other story lines.

  25. Stephanie says:

    I think Ed Helms is hilarious and have always loved Andy. He first really shined for me in the Niagra episodes and I’ve been a fan ever since. I think as far as who would fit the Boss role best, I was rooting for Andy or Darrell. I don’t know all the actors background on the show but I do know Ed Helms has had improv experience and so has Craig Robinson. I know Steve Carrell’s lines could not have all been scripted so in that aspect, that’s why I was pulling for one of them. Dwight had his shot (literally) and blew it. Love Dwight probably more than anyone else on the show but it’s not his time. Jim would have been the obvious choice since he’s who I feel is the best “boss” type in the office. I really like how they’re giving someone who hasn’t really had the chance to have a leadership role on the show a chance. I’m excited to see how Andy does as the new boss but I have major faith in the show. I think that it isn’t dying as many people seem to believe. I loved loved loved Michael Scott but I think without him the other cast members truly get a chance to shine. The energy of the show is different and renewed (I’ll admit the past few seasons though funny as always have been a bit rough) which I think the show needed to bring it back to life. I’ve been a fan of the Office for ages and am excited to see where they take it from here.

  26. Bella says:

    I think they should have ended the show when Steve Carell left. However, I’m willing to see what happens. I bet they made Andy the manager because Ed Helms has been doing so well in the movies lately. I know John Krasinski has had some success, too, but not like Ed has.

  27. Marie says:

    This was a great episode. Andy is a great fit as new regional manager. I look forward to his interactions with RC.

    Though, a bit disappointed Angela is married to the senator and is having his child. I always hoped she’d reunite with Dwight.

    • James says:

      Don’t forget that the senator is secretly gay and everyone but Angela knows it. There’s no way that doesn’t come back into play.

      • Darlene says:

        Yes, I’m wondering if it’s really Dwight’s baby. We all know Angela is a self-righteous floosy, lol. She and Dwight had a contract to conceive.

  28. david says:

    I think it was a pretty good episode. Andy was sort of the logical choice since it keeps the goofy boss thing going but I am sort of mixed about it. He did a good job but this could have been a good chance to change the dynamic to a more serious boss – and that would have been interesting. You know someone like Daryl. It seems pretty easy to just put a goofy character in there after Steve Carrell. But the dynamic was good and it was entertaining. I think the show does have life after Carrell and I think it will be interesting to see it become more of an ensemble show because I think some of the characters have been underutilized for a while.

    • Paula says:

      I have to admit I was surprised when they chose Andy as the new boss, but by the end of the episode, I felt that it was a smart move for a couple reasons. 1) I don’t think it was expected 2) His character has the most room for change & growth. I think it’s going to be fun to see how Andy’s character develops & interacts with the rest of the office personnel. As for James Spader, his character is odd to me, but that could turn out to be an interesting move for the show’s writers. I think we should keep an open mind & just see how it develops. I know I will!

  29. lacey says:

    Hearing this news makes me glad that I’ve stopped watching!

  30. matt says:

    Dwight is often way too annoying and aside from that him being boss would never make sense and would get old really fast. Jim had the job if he wanted but he didnt want to be boss so he didn’t get it. Darryl could have worked, and Andy wanted it badly and had the credentials to back it up. It makes sense Andy got it and Ed Helms is awesome. Also, I loved James Spader so I dig what they are doing with him.

  31. Slacker101 says:

    Staying in The Daily Show family. I like it.

  32. Peter says:

    I went in with low expectations, so I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed. But I’m not jumping for joy either. Andy is a good choice for manager, but it’s still weird. After having Michael as the boss for 7 seasons, anyone filling his position would be weird. Episode 1 had it’s funny moments (planking, WARNING!, and Pam being a basket case and crying at the dog commercial), but overall it was still lacking. Oh and I absolutely CANNOT STAND Robert California. Worst and most pointless character in the show’s history.

  33. lex says:

    I just kept comparing him to Steve Carrell, I think that is going to be common for the new boss. Just take it for what it is now, it is not a big deal. I am still entertained.

  34. JC says:

    I don’t know. I loved the sweetness of it, especially Andy’s big speech and the little beat with Pam at the very end. But somehow it didn’t feel like the Office. I get that Andy’s different than Michael, but I’m not sure the show will work without someone unconsciously embarrassing themselves all the time. It was harder to laugh when Andy is so obviously insecure. I’m sticking around, but we’ll see.

    Not sure we need Robert California, either.

    • Taylor says:

      Totally agree about James Spader. He’s not funny at all and he’s just weird. Andy isn’t the ideal choice either. Jim would’ve made the most sense as the boss, but I guess Andy’s not all that bad. I would’ve been so excited if Will Arnett were the new boss. He would’ve been the perfect fit, in my opinion. Also, I can’t explain how disappointed I was with the new episode. Totally lame.

  35. Keith says:

    Angela Kinsey tweeted a photo of Dwight and Mose a few weeks back – assuming she is filming at Schrute Farms, Dwight may turn out to be baby daddy

  36. JT says:

    Andy is the best possible choice

  37. Leslie says:

    I liked it. Best line of the night was Dwight’s: “Pam, quit being so right list.” I cracked up. It was good to see everyone again…

  38. joanna says:

    I am glad they picked Andy. I miss Michael but I think Andy is a good fit because he is most like Michael. I’m excited to see where the show will go.

  39. Laura says:

    To be honest, I didn’t like last nights episode. It wasn’t really funny… And I am going to find it very hard to like James Spader’s character! I wish they got a new manager from the outside… I think Will Ferrel should have got to keep the part! He would have been like the most excellent replacement!

  40. Dana says:

    Andy is a great choice. I thoroughly enjoyed that episode with him obsessing over his cell phone. Jim got him good, too. We need Jim and Dwight for their antics and not as boss. I LOVE James Spader and watch anything he is in- he is awesome.

  41. Sean says:

    Actually Michael left before last season finished and the gap between season 7 and season has been the summer. They act like that time went by.

  42. brian halifax says:

    I hope michael will make a few guest appearances! Go Andy, his character has the energy needed for this role, the orher characters are too ‘supporting’ to take it. Also Andy has not been to cemented in his role before. Great decision and the only TV show I watch on a regular basis.

  43. juar says:

    This show actually has more potential now than it did last season. The character development of Andy as a boss and with his parents coming in you get to see where his roots came from, Angela as a mother, Pam as a mother of two. I think we are in for a good ride fir at least another season or two. Don’t be surprised if Michael Scott makes an appearance (maybe with a baby?) That’s a huge ratings grabber. So you can either tune in on Thursday nights and enjoy it or….. shove it up yo butt!

  44. Amber says:

    I really enjoyed the episode. Loved Andy as the boss, though I never really considered him.

  45. Darlene says:

    Andy is bumbling and self-unaware and that was the Michael Scott formula but I don’t think Andy has the magic qualities that Steve brought to the position. We’ll see. Give him time to grow into the role. I was hoping for someone really neurotic like an Owen Wilson or Nicolas Cage character or that Zach Granafalikis (whatever his last name is). Zach definitely could have delivered the goods. I’m still a huge fan and will watch every episode.

  46. Dani says:

    Win! Best comment ever!

  47. Jordan says:

    This was the right choice. The carrell/helms friendship has been in place since the dailyshow days. Ed knows how to be Michael Scott 2.0 better than anyone and any outside hire would have seemed like another will ferrell situation with the audience just waiting for him to screw up and get fired. Andy as boss has a lot of room to grow and his personality being the total opposite of Robert California sets up a great corporate/Scranton face off. If the show can move back toward the old days when david wallus and corporate were pulling strings we might see a renewed vigor in the show. I say bring Colbert in now and then as the company president and head shareholder who acts tough but is secretly terrified of Robert California. Could be funny.

  48. Omar Arcadia says:

    I would have loved Will Ferrell to have continued his role on the office. I saw the similiarities between his character and Michael Scott. Yesterdays episode and every episode without Michael seems oh so strange. It’s a good thing we can watch him on TBS!!

  49. Heather says:

    I agree with every single point you made, Stephanie!

  50. Paula says:

    You don’t think that Andy embarrass’ himself? What were you watching last night?