Exclusive

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.

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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.

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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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110 Comments
  1. Jebadiah says:

    I love Andy as the new boss, even though the first episode was kinda slow. I think it’ll pick up soon and become the “office” once again, even without Steve carell. There is still hope!!

  2. Art says:

    i really enjoyed last nights episode! the planking part in the beginning was pretty funny… i liked that they picked Andy as manager. i dont like the fact that people keep saying that the show is going to die without Michael being there anymore. yes i agree that he was really funny but he isnt the only one that has made the show fun. with him gone, hopefully we will be able to see more of the other characters and hopefully more of Jims pranks that get Dwight mad. Pam and Angela being pregnant at the same time will also bring new things to the show!… i think the show is going well as always! been watching this show since the first season and dont plan on changing! ha!

  3. Courtney says:

    I like the Andy idea,but what about Angela as the new boss?

  4. Teresa says:

    Disappointing

  5. Cynthia says:

    Someone please tell me… what happened to Jim Carrey’s character? Did he ever interview? I saw a show from May where he was getting ready to go up on the elevator, and then there’s a jump ahead to Andy getting the job. I understand where Carrey wouldn’t be selected due to being out of reach salary-wise, but I was really looking forward to seeing what he’d do with the role. As for James Spader… I’ve liked him a lot in his serious movie roles, but I’m one of the many who think this character is creepy and out-of-sync with all the others. I may stop watching the Office just for that reason. I certainly won’t enjoy it nearly as much. Too weird!

  6. paulie says:

    I liked the episode. Yes, Michael Scott will be a big character to fill, but, remember, in real life, bosses change all the time. Andy makes sense, and I’m glad to see him move from an obnoxious angry person to a kind, albeit very insecure normal person. He’s a good choice. Hopefully, they’ll focus on the other characters a little more. Robert California is odd, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet. I hope he isn’t in EVERY episode (Yes, I know he’s only supposed to be in, like, 1), and if he is in a majority of them, I hope most are just background parts. Also, loved the “Shove it up yo butt” and “WARNING! WARNING!” lines. Priceless, even if the former was a little out of character.

  7. Jesse says:

    It was clear to the discerning viewer that Ed’s character was being geared up to take over.
    It was indeed the best choice and they couldn’t have written it any better. It was indeed at win for The Office.

    Now, whingers.. get over it and move on.
    If you think “it should have ended”, then cease watching.

    I love the new direction.

  8. chris silver says:

    James Spade is awesome. Creepy fits the cast because they all have there strange personalities but Jim and Andy is perfect for the job. The Office took a great direction.

  9. Chris Silver says:

    I love everything about the show still. Andy being manager was a great decision. He is terrible at his job (Lowest numbers on the sales team), he is hilarious and its freaking Andy Bernard lol. And yes James Spade is a bit creepy but Dwight and Creed is too lol. Thats what makes The Office funny. As you seen in the season premiere, he had this weird vibe but he has a meaning for his actions. He gives it to you straight up towards the end. Its sad Steve Carrel left but the show must go on. I wanna learn more about everyone else.

  10. CvGuitar says:

    Am I the only one who thought Ricky Gervais would have been awesome!?

    • Sam Amofah says:

      Ricky Gervais would’ve been perfect…u must’ve seen the UK episodes of the office.. i don’t know if people would have responded positively to the fact that he has a strong..(sometimes hard to decipher)..British accent though

  11. connie says:

    Micheal is the best! He is missed. Haven’t watch since he left.

  12. Chris says:

    if everyone here TRULY loves the office then they will support this decision. Andy is easily one of the funniest on the show and hes gonna be a funny boss too.

  13. Nick says:

    I’m alright with Andy being the new manager. I can see him having funny awkward moments like Michael, just to a lesser extent because he’s not nearly as socially inept. All the accidental racism and sexism will definitely be missed, but I’m sure they’ll find new things that’ll work for Andy.

    Personally I was really hoping Dwight would be the new manager, but long before the season opener I came to terms with the fact that that’d never work storyline-wise; he would fire half his employees.

    I like Robert California; I don’t know why I’m the only one. Yes, he’s creepy, but that makes him funny. I agree with how Jim put it, too– he may be a genius. A lot of things he says, while not relevant to the matters at hand in the least, are pretty dang smart. I get this vibe from him like he’s not really a jerk like the new episode made him seem, like maybe he made the list as some kind of clever plot to get everyone thinking about their strengths and weaknesses or something.

    Also, I’m rooting for Andy and Erin to get together again!

  14. Erik says:

    There was only one good follow up really! Ricky Gervais would be beyond awesome! But I’m sure Ed Helms will do very well too!

  15. UbiquitousGeek says:

    I honestly hope that Will Arnett’s new show bombs (it’s almost like he’s trying to make it bomb) so it’ll get canceled and he can fulfill his perfect role on The Office.

  16. Chris says:

    I thought the episode was great. So many wonderful moments. I look forward to seeing where season 8 goes, but like many people here, I think less is more with Robert California.

  17. Rachel says:

    I always knew it would be Andy who got the job ever since Steve announced he was leaving the show. Ed/Andy is the perfect choice for the role. Andy is the only character that won’t screw up the cast dynamic and the audience already knows him well enough that the show doesn’t have to introduce and develop a whole new character. Besides, they are already doing that with James Spader/Robert California. I can forsee a lot of great comedy opportunities for the show with Andy as the new boss.

  18. J5fan says:

    I loved Andy as the new boss. He is definitely the right person for the job. Yes, I will miss Michael, but this show has so many great characters in it that it can survive without him and still be the same funny show it has always been. I’m looking forward to more Robert California and Andy interaction in the future. And I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for Andy and Erin to get back together.

  19. graham says:

    will ferrell would have been best to continue. darrell was my inside choice but given the interaction with robert california, Andy was probably a better choice. Just think it would be better without California for a few episodes to establish Andy as the boss. It took almost a full episode for Andy to seem like the boss with his ‘Michael Scott moment’ of evaluating the other office staff. Seems like Gabe is the new Toby, but what is Toby’s role now that Michael’s gone? He seems to have no place now.

  20. Greenzone says:

    I think the office should have some hot girl in the show, Pam is now old and boring..bring some sexy chick in the show..

  21. George says:

    i still think Ricky Gervias (i don’t know how to spell it) shoul’ve been the new boss, he’s hilarious in everything he does.

  22. DINESH R MAKWANA says:

    Without the irreplaceable lead superstar Steve Carell, there was a small doubt that the new Season 8 would somehow not deliver; should not deliver, why should it deliver!!…….and could not deliver.

    However, such is the strength of the cast now, I really liked the first episode and it made me do what I like to do with The Office – hideously laugh.

    People laugh because these actors connect and connect well. I recommend this connection to comedy yet again.

    Best Wishes,

    DINESH R MAKWANA (DREAMWORDS AND INORBITS)

  23. Stenbot says:

    I totally think that Jim carrey would have been perfect!

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