NBC hires James Spader for “The Office,” replacing Kathy Bates, not Steve Carell

NBC announced today that James Spader will join the cast of The Office this fall as a full-time regular, but not for the job he auditioned for — instead of replacing Steve Carell as office manager at Dunder-Mifflin, Spader's "Robert California" will replace Kathy Bates as CEO of Sabre, the paper company's corporate parent.

Said Paul Lieberstein, an executive producer on the show who also plays HR man Toby: 

"James will reprise his role as Robert California, this uber-salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate, like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior. He'll have been hired over the summer as the new manager, but within hours, got himself promoted. Within days, he took over the company. James has an energy that is completely his own, and 'The Office' has no tools for dealing with this guy. We're thrilled he's joining our cast."

You can see part of Spader's unofficial official job interview with Toby and the search committee in this recap from the season finale:


Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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