July 06, 2011 10:46am PT by Philiana Ng
It's Official: James Spader Joins 'The Office' as New CEO
It's official: NBC has announced that James Spader has joined the regular cast of The Office as its new CEO.
The Emmy-winning actor will join the half-hour comedy as CEO Robert California of Sabre, the parent company of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. Spader replaces Kathy Bates, who stars in another NBC series, Harry's Law.
Spader last appeared in the seventh season finale of The Office as one of several notable actors vying for Michael Scott's regional manager position. Last month, THR reported that Spader was in talks to join the show as the new CEO.
"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, an executive producer and series regular. "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."
Spader won three Emmys as cutthroat lawyer Alan Shore on ABC's The Practice and spinoff Boston Legal, opposite William Shatner. He has previously appeared in sex, lies and videotape; Crash; and Secretary.
The Office returns for Season 8 on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m.