DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
My Wish Came True: James Spader Is Joining NBC's 'The Office'
July 7, 2011  | By David Bianculli
 
office-sf-spader-2.jpg

I'm really happy about this one. NBC has confirmed that James Spader, one of the many guest actors who appeared as candidates to replace Steve Carell's Michael Scott in the season finale of The Office, will join the cast next season. It's exactly what I hoped for when the episode was televised in May...

Here's what I wrote here, back then, as part of a season-finale wrap-up. (Hey, if TV can spend most of the summer bombarding us with reruns, I can repeat part of ONE blog without feeling guilty, can't I?)

office-sf-james-spader.jpg

The Office (NBC). The season finale here was just a place-holder, buying more time as producers scrambled to replace Steve Carell with a new paper-pushing boss next year. But of all the candidates paraded through the office for this finale, the next boss, for me, already has been found.

James Spader, as a management candidate so forceful and confident he made even the search committee cower (and the faux documentary camera crew, as in the photo at the top of this column) was hilarious. He also brought a completely different type of dynamic to The Office, which would be a healthy thing next year.

--

That was then. This is now...

And so it shall come to pass.

Spader, who was nothing short of magnificent as attorney Alan Shore on David E. Kelley's Boston Legal, will become a formidable presence this season at the fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company. So much so, in fact, that we're told his character of Robert California, seen in last season's finale applying for the management job to replace Michael Scott, already has impressed and imposed his way through various promotions during the off-season.

When the show returns, California will be in place as the new chief executive of the parent company, filling the role played occasionally last season by Kathy Bates, now busily employed (coincidentally, at a David E. Kelley series) on NBC's Harry's Law. This means there's still a chair to fill at the Scranton branch.

But Spader, with his vulture glare and impenetrable ahporisms, already is off to a great start. All of a sudden, there's even more potential depth in The Office pool.

 

1 Comments

 

Eileen said:

He is the absolute perfect choice. If Christine Baranski wasn't otherwise occupied, she'd be the perfect foil for him in the Kathy Bates' role. James Spader should keep the office humming along nicely(?) for a few more seasons.

And speaking of replacements, what is to become of L&O: SVU without the wonderful Christopher Meloni? Is there any way to sneak Vincent D'Onafrio into this role via promotion/demotion/transfer? My dream replacement would be Jimmy Smits; remember how everyone thought NYPD Blue would just collapse without Mr. One Season David Caruso? Well, Jimmy stepped in and seamlessly made the role his own. Dennis Franz was always the star, anyway.

But I'm very happy for The Office -- it's genius casting.

Comment posted on July 7, 2011 4:17 PM
 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
MNGMO
Type in the verification word shown on the image.