Story time, kids! Once upon a time, James Spader was not the slightly bloated, sometimes disturbingly zen man you’ve seen on TV in The Practice, Boston Legal, The Office and now his new show, The Blacklist. He was a threateningly cool teen heartthrob. We weren’t supposed to like him in Pretty in Pink or Less Than Zero, but secretly, we kinda did. Heck, long before Christian Grey, he was lawyer E. Edward Grey, a sexual dominant who was responsible for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sexual awakening in Secretary.
Fans of NBC’s The Office were cautiously optimistic when star Steve Carell departed the series last spring. Although quite clearly the heart and soul of the show, many hoped that the incredibly strong ensemble cast would carry the series through at least a few more successful seasons without the hapless Michael Scott at thte helm. But sadly, it already looks as though the remaining Dunder Mifflin crew is starting to splinter. James Spader has announced his exit after a year on the show as office jedi Robert California. Show writer and actor Mindy Kaling has an uncertain future on the show, depending on whether her her pilot is picked up over at Fox, and head-writer Daniel Chun has signed a deal with rival network ABC.
VH1 News caught up with current Dunder Mifflin boss Ed Helms while he was promoting Jeff Who Lives At Home last weekend. In addition to talking about his new film, Helms opened up about how he’d like the see The Office wrapped up when the time finally comes. “I hope whatever it is — I hope it’s after a nice long run and has a real celebration of the amazing cast.” We have to admit, even as the cast starts to pursue other opportunities, we’ll still be sad to say farewell to the prime-time mainstay that’s been bringing laughter to homes (and offices!) for nearly seven years. Even without Carell, The Office has always left us smiling and satisfied.
That’s what she said.
[Photo: Getty Images]
The producers of The Office are really pulling out all the stops to try and fill the vacuum left by Steve Carell. Guest stars are like CPR for elderly sitcoms, and the end of last season was loaded to the brim with big names, including Will Ferrell, Kathy Bates, Ricky Gervais, Will Arnet, Ray Romano, and more. Plus James Spader has been tapped for a recurring role on the show, but as Dunder Mifflin’s new CEO and not Carrel’s replacement, as previously assumed. And it looks like the parade of guest stars is about to continue with Josh Groban.
The pop-opera crossover heartthrob (and mom favorite) will appear as the brother of Ed Helm‘s character, Andy Bernard. Andy is a passionate a capella singer, so we have our fingers crossed for a hilarious in-office duet! Groban has been flexing his comedy muscles lately, playing a small but memorable role as Emma Stone’s douchey boyfriend in this summer’s Crazy Stupid Love. The flick starred none other than Steve Carell, so who knows..maybe that’s how Josh got the Office job in the first place. We’re excited by all of these famous faces showing up around Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, but we just hope the show go the Love Boat route and drive the guest stars into the ground.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Sure, James Spader‘s career has spanned decades. He most recently won three Emmys for his work on Boston Legal in 2004, 2005 and 2007. But truly, there is no better version of James Spader than from 1986, when he played the world’s sexiest a–hole, Steff, in Pretty In Pink. Second runner up: Spader as a sexy dom in Secretary. Now there’s a new Spader for us to love, as the new CEO of Dunder Mifflen (and Sabre) on The Office, replacing Kathy Bates.
“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,” said Paul Lieberstein, who plays HR dud Toby and is also a producer on the show. “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.”
We’re thrilled too, as he was great on the finale and can totally hold his own among the show’s veteran cast. The more Spader we have in our life, the better. Now please tell us who’s replacing Steve Carrell, will ya NBC?