The Office Scoop: James Spader Eyes Spring Exit

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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 (40)

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

    Comment by PutAforkINit – February 27, 2012 02:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Jeff – February 27, 2012 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • lol.

    Comment by mara – February 27, 2012 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by bmo – February 27, 2012 03:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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..

    Comment by Jules – February 27, 2012 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree… Carrell set the bar pretty high for th Michael Scott character.

      Comment by Karen – February 27, 2012 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by P.Louise – February 28, 2012 07:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show really needs to end ASAP, it’s completely out of ideas and it’s just a shame.

    Comment by Midori – February 27, 2012 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can we get him on an(other) Alan Shore spin-off? I miss Boston Legal…

    Comment by Ross – February 27, 2012 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by snazzy – February 27, 2012 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by P.Louise – February 28, 2012 07:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I second that motion…

      Comment by Jerry – March 21, 2012 09:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If The Office gets renewed for another season, it may end up being its last but it’s too early to tell.

    Comment by kevin – February 27, 2012 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s about time! His character killed the show for me, couldn’t stand watching this season because of him.

    Comment by Chrystal – February 27, 2012 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NO! The Office still has potential! They need to come up with new likable characters.

    Comment by JO! – February 27, 2012 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by jj – February 27, 2012 03:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Justin – February 27, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Emi – February 27, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by brandy – February 27, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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… :(

    Comment by Chad – February 27, 2012 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why don’t they just let the whole show exit in May???

    Comment by Bob – February 27, 2012 04:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How was the transition SUCCESSFUL? The show has lost roughly 50% of its viewers from the Michael Scott days.

    Comment by Jordan – February 27, 2012 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Scrappy – February 27, 2012 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I couldn’t agree more. Robert California has not been funny at all.

      Comment by Johnson – April 10, 2012 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Youdontsay – February 27, 2012 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Since Harry’s law is likely to be canceled, i think Kathy Bates might come back as CEO

    Comment by Ken – February 27, 2012 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by snazzy – February 28, 2012 11:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • THANK YOU. That role was not working for me.

    Comment by John – February 27, 2012 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Ben – February 27, 2012 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sigh. I cannot go through another “Who’s the Boss?” drama. Once in the 80s was enough.

    Comment by Amber – February 27, 2012 06:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Michelle – February 27, 2012 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phew. Nothing against the actor, but Robert California was simply not funny. He was just there to be there. Bring on more Nellie!

    Comment by Kerri – February 27, 2012 09:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by Youdon'tsay – March 3, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Brad – February 27, 2012 11:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by sarah – February 28, 2012 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Josh – February 28, 2012 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Nancy – April 10, 2012 10:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank ya baby jbebus

    Comment by Geoff – April 10, 2012 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Shay – April 10, 2012 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by skelei – April 10, 2012 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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