NBC has finally settled on a replacement for Steve Carell on the next season of ‘The Office’. Stepping in as Dunder Mifflin’s newest boss will be… James Spader. I think this is the right decision. Don’t you?
Honestly, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Spader of course had a guest spot in last season’s finale as one of a host of characters interviewing for Michael Scott’s job. The other candidates were Ray Romano, Will Arnett, Catherine Tate, and Jim Carrey. Romano and Arnett are both committed to other shows (‘Men of a Certain Age’ and ‘Up All Night’ respectively), Carrey still has a movie career for the time being, and Tate just isn’t well known enough in America to take the lead in an established series like this.
At one point, Danny McBride was rumored to be in the running. If that had happened, his first episode would have marked the point where I remove the show’s Series Recording status from my DVR. I find McBride horribly unfunny, and would never, ever watch any episode he appeared in.
I suppose the series could have pulled in someone completely unannounced out of left field, but Spader seems like a good fit. He brings a uniquely weird energy that’s very different than Carell’s schtick, and should make an interesting foil for the Dunder Mifflin staff.
Technically, however, his character will not be taking Michael Scott’s position as office manager. He’ll actually be replacing Kathy Bates as the new CEO of parent company Sabre. According to Access Hollywood:
“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,” Paul Lieberstein, one of the series’ executive producers and a series regular (he plays Toby Flenderson), said in a statement released to Access Hollywood. “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.”
This of course means that the Scranton branch still needs a manager. Will Dwight finally get his day in the sun, or will a whole new character be introduced?
I vote for Spader’s ‘Boston Legal’ cast-mate William Shatner. How great would it be to see the two of them re-teamed, with Spader in the position of authority this time?
Are you looking forward to seeing what James Spader brings to the show next season?