Your New Office Boss: James Spader

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Whereas Bates functioned more like a guest star in the series, however, Spader would have a significant weekly presence on the show. The actor’s deal is not done and no scripts have been written for the upcoming eighth season, which goes into production in about a month. Yet if all goes according to plan, Spader’s character — named “Robert California” — will be introduced in the premiere as the new Office manager. He quickly decides the role is too small for him, and somehow talks corporate into appointing him as its new CEO.

This is pretty great; he’s certainly the guest who stood out the most during the season finale parade of potential replacements. You could immediately see how his character would work with the existing office crew. He’s certainly bringing a different tone and energy to the show than Carell did, but I think that’s a good thing. Here he is in last season’s finale, for a refresher: