Near the end of last month, rumors indicated that James Spader was in talks to return to "The Office" as Robert California, the bizarre character he played in the seventh season finale while interviewing to replace Michael Scott (Steve Carell) as the new office manager.
NBC has now confirmed the rumors with an official announcement regarding Spader's status from "The Office" showrunner, Paul Lieberstein.
"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,” related Lieberstein, who also plays Toby on the series. "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."
As the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin's parent company, Sabre; Spader's character will replace Kathy Bates' Jo Bennett, allowing the veteran actress to focus on the second season of "Harry's Law" for NBC.
Spader has had an eclectic career on film and in TV. He had starring roles in "Sex, Lies and Videotape," "Secretary," "Pretty In Pink" and "Crash" in addition to originating the role of Dr. Daniel Jackson in "Stargate." However, Spader has found his greatest success on television as the smarmy lawyer, Alan Shore; whom he portrayed on one season of "The Practice" before headlining "Boston Legal" for five seasons. Spader also earned three Emmy Awards for best dramatic actor during his stint as Alan Shore.
While Spader is certainly a marquee actor, his character is technically not replacing Steve Carell's iconic boss. The identity of the new office manager is still unknown, but one of the most popular theories has Catherine Tate ("Doctor Who") with the inside line.
There is also a rumor that the show will promote a character internally, meaning that Andy (Ed Helms), Jim (John Krasinski) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) would have the best shot of becoming the new manager.
Who do you think should lead "The Office"? Let us know in the comment section below!