7:51pm PT by THR staff
James Spader on 'The Office': What the Viewers Are Saying
James Spader's Robert California made his debut as the new CEO of Sabre, Dundler-Mifflin's parent company, on the season eight premiere of The Office on Thursday night.
California first made his appearance toward the end of last season as one of the candidates vying for the job vacated by Michael Scott (Steve Carell, who left the show to focus on his movie career). Scott departed Dunder-Mifflin's Scranton branch after getting engaged to girlfriend Holly (Amy Ryan), with whom he moved to Colorado. (Scott's replacement was announced at the beginning of Thursday's episode.)
California, meanwhile, actually takes over the role previously held by Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates, who now stars on NBC's Harry's Law).
Viewers hit Twitter to share their thoughts about Spader's character, with most of them happy about the new addition to the show. Among the tweets:
That Office episode was outstanding! James Spader is going to be unbelievable. Just hope they give it some time to develop.
Watching James Spader on The Office. I like it.
PHOTOS: 'The Office': Behind the Scenes
James Spader is such a comedic genius and when he guest appeared as the POTENTIAL new michael scott I was praying they'd pick him...#genius
#planking on #theoffice and I'm cracking up! Love james spader so far too- good casting choice!
James Spader was severely underused in The Office. Come on people. More Spader.
I love this show, but I love James Spader even more. Have loved him since Pretty in Pink.
PHOTOS: Fall TV Preview 2011: The Returning Shows
N&O TV Blog
He may be an acquired taste, but I love James Spader. #theoffice
I really am digging Andy as the regional manager, Dwight as enforcer, and James Spader as creepy CEO.
James Spader on The Office is fantastic.
The "James Spader Era" of The Office? Not bad for it's start. Hated the Pam "weeping" end.
PHOTOS: Fall TV Death Pool: Will 'Charlie's Angels,' or 'Whitney' Be Axed First?
First Office ep sans Michael Scott, not sure James Spader can save it but his one appearance to date was epic
Still, there were a few viewers who weren't won over:
James Spader is not going to be a good fit for The Office...
I don't think I can adjust to James Spader as anyone other than Allan Shore [his Boston Legal character].