The Office Scoop: James Spader Eyes Spring Exit

More turnover at Dunder Mifflin: James Spader will not be returning to The Office next season. 

“James always wanted this to be a one-year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television,” Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein said in a statement. “He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that.”

News of Spader’s exit was first reported by Variety. It’s one of three departures producers may be forced to contend with at season’s end, the second being Mindy Kaling (who has a pilot in the mix at Fox) and the third being Rainn Wilson (who is circling a possible Dwight-centric spinoff).

It’s unclear how Spader’s character, Dunder Mifflin/Sabre CEO Robert California, will be written out.

Thoughts? Will you miss him? 

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. PutAforkINit says:

    was a HORRIBLE role for him
    why won’t they put a FORK in this show?
    it’s DONE

    • Jeff says:

      Nah, it’s been a great character and not overused.
      Also, the past few episodes have been great.
      But I do think they should call it a day. Maybe one more season and end it.

  2. bmo says:

    this has to be the office’s last year, the EP and Mindy kaling are leaving and this. Stack up w/ Syndication and go out w/ a bang vs a guest star filled last season that will pumment in the ratings.

  3. Jules says:

    Respect James Spader, but waste his time in that show… plus I stop watching after 3 episodes this season … Really miss SCarell!
    But even, the Us version was never as good as the Uk with Ricky Gervais..

    • Karen says:

      Agree… Carrell set the bar pretty high for th Michael Scott character.

    • P.Louise says:

      I LOVE James Spader and I love The Office, but I am not disappointed that James is calling it a day after one season. There were episodes I totally enjoyed him in (Mrs. California, Best Wishes, and Pool Party), and there were episodes where you could tell they just didn’t know how to develop the character or use him (Pam’s Replacement being the most egregious). This is not the way an actor of Spader’s talent should be used on a show. I want Spader back on my TV in a good show that can show off his range as an actor, not being pigeon holed into being a weird sexually deviant character.
      As for the show it too should probably call it a day…with Spader leaving, Mindy Kaling doing a pilot for Fox, and Rainn Wilson perhaps getting a spin-off. That’s not to mention that John Krasinski (with a burgeoning movie career) needs to re-sign. Perhaps a 13 episode ninth season to end things properly and then segue into Rainn’s new show.

  4. Midori says:

    This show really needs to end ASAP, it’s completely out of ideas and it’s just a shame.

  5. Ross says:

    Can we get him on an(other) Alan Shore spin-off? I miss Boston Legal…

    • snazzy says:

      I miss some of the characters on Boston Legal — Alan Shore is most definitely one of them! James Spader is fun to watch and I hope he stays on TV.

    • P.Louise says:

      I too really miss Alan Shore, whether on The Practice (my favorite) or on Boston Legal. I’d be all for a third incarnation of this wonderfully twisted character, but I doubt Spader would do him again…the schedule for doing those shows really seemed to take it’s toll on him health wise. By the last season he looked so tired and worn it was alarming.

    • Jerry says:

      I second that motion…

  6. kevin says:

    If The Office gets renewed for another season, it may end up being its last but it’s too early to tell.

  7. Chrystal says:

    It’s about time! His character killed the show for me, couldn’t stand watching this season because of him.

  8. JO! says:

    NO! The Office still has potential! They need to come up with new likable characters.

    • jj says:

      no. you just need to get over the fact that they are beating a dead horse for laughs and move on to something else for your viewing pleasure. people like you are why we have so many shows that get run into the ground. as long as folks will keep these shows ratings going, they will keep making them- funny or not. Yeah, 2.5 men, i’m looking straight at YOU!

  9. Justin says:

    Gonna miss him a lot. He was a bright spot on the show this season, but I still respect his decision given that he did say it would be a one-year stint. If this season won’t be the last, next season may very well be.

  10. Emi says:

    Although I do miss Steve, I still enjoy the show, but I absolutely HATED his character. His character was terrible and just odd and really ruined the scenes he was in.
    Same with Nellie character they have in Florida.
    I’m glad to see him go and I hope that it can continue. But it should be nearing the end of it’s fantastic run.

  11. brandy says:

    Ugh, GOOD. Robert was the worst thing to ever happen to this show. The episodes without him have been just fine. (I especially enjoyed this past week’s.) I don’t, however, want Kelly or Dwight to leave the show.

  12. Chad says:

    This is one of the best/funniest show ever! Adding a big name like him to the show made you forget Steve left. He was a good character but didn’t seem like he was a permanent one. I’m sad Rainn is leaving… :(

  13. Bob says:

    Why don’t they just let the whole show exit in May???

  14. Jordan says:

    How was the transition SUCCESSFUL? The show has lost roughly 50% of its viewers from the Michael Scott days.

  15. Scrappy says:

    Worst character on the show. They need to give Andy a chance to be the manager of Dunder Miflin Scranton and let the core characters shine. Robert California has just been a huge distraction and not funny.

  16. Youdontsay says:

    I enjoyed watching Spader, but never thought that Robert California was a good character except in last year’s finale. Really Spader is too good of an actor to be wasting years in a role like this. I’m hoping other decent parts come his way so he can put his talent on display. He just finished a role in a Steven Spielberg production so that should be a good start.

  17. Ken says:

    Since Harry’s law is likely to be canceled, i think Kathy Bates might come back as CEO

    • snazzy says:

      good idea – Kathy Bates was great as the CEO. James Spader does very, very well on dramas where he plays brilliant but perverse characters. I still remember his work on the Practice – absolutely outstanding!

  18. John says:

    THANK YOU. That role was not working for me.

  19. Ben says:

    I like James Spader, but I deplore his character on the office. My favorite episodes this season have been the ones from which Robert California was absent.

  20. Amber says:

    Sigh. I cannot go through another “Who’s the Boss?” drama. Once in the 80s was enough.

  21. Michelle says:

    I don’t like his character at all, but these days, I’m not enjoying any of the characters, including ones I used to love. This show is past its prime. It used to be great, but is now just painful to watch.

  22. Kerri says:

    Phew. Nothing against the actor, but Robert California was simply not funny. He was just there to be there. Bring on more Nellie!

    • Youdon'tsay says:

      UGH…now her as Nellie Bertam I can’t stand. Every time the character comes into a scene I want to flee the room! I hope her stay is very short!

  23. Brad says:

    I have gotten a few laughs from his character, but I am glad that he won’t be around after this season, I don’t really feel he was necessary. I am more worried about losing Rainn Wilson and Mindy Kaling. Rainn for obvious reasons, but Mindy more for her writing and less for Kelly, I like Kelly, but feel they haven’t really ever done anything very good with her.

  24. sarah says:

    Seriously NBC you are keeping the Office which should have ended last season it loses viewers each week and is not funny. Yet you give it a full season and are most likely going to renew it next year BUT Parenthood which is super good and gets more viewers each week you gave it 18 episodes and may not renew it…..the honchos at NBC need to be fired and people that know what they are doing should step in.
    It is no wonder they are the worst network of the 3 ABC, CBS and NBC

  25. Josh says:

    I hope they don’t give Dwight his own spin-off. I like him where he is and something set on Schrutte Farm would be bad.

  26. Nancy says:

    Hmm, apparently most of the posters here do not appreciate subtle humor. I thot Spader and his character were like a breath of fresh air to the show… a little quirky but not overly so, intelligent and deviously in control of things. Until he entered, the show was just getting so ridiculously outrageous, it was hardly funny anymore. Of course, I thot it was brilliant to immediately replace Carrel with Will Farrell. As far as the show, overall, if Wilson and Kaling are also leavng, maybe it’s just time to atleast end the “filming” at that branch. I wouldn’t mind seeing the “camera crew” going to and following a entirely different Dunder Mifflin branch with a completely new cast and occasional special appearances from the Scranton branch employees.

  27. Geoff says:

    Thank ya baby jbebus

  28. Shay says:

    I think to end the show they have to do Michael and Holly’s wedding. Make that the finale next season and call it a day.

  29. skelei says:

    The office is done… It’s not near as funny anymore. It should have ended with Michael Scott. Regardless I’ve just switched to Parks and Rec, that show is stinkin funny.