James Spader to leave The Office

From Variety:

James Spader is leaving “The Office” early.

The network confirmed the Emmy-winning actor isn’t going to return for a ninth season of the NBC series, a decision made at the actor’s behest.

“James always wanted this to be a one-year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television,” said “Office” executive producer Paul Lieberstein. “He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that.”

Link: James Spader won’t return for more ‘Office’


  1. I’d say I’m shocked, but I didn’t really see him sticking around long term. I’m wondering if this is why they re-introduced Catherine Tate’s ‘Nelly’ character.

    Honestly, when they did the interviews for a new manager, I wanted Spader. But after he became CEO, I felt it hurt his character. Now I see this was probably because they knew he wasn’t staying long term.

    The big question is: does Nelly take over as CEO, does Jo return or do they introduce yet another new character? Should be interesting to see how they write off Robert California, though.

  2. I’m not surprised. And I’m also just fine with it because his character wasn’t all that funny though I do like Spader.

  3. Maybe they won’t write off Robert, they could leave him as CEO but not have him be on the show, especially since we’ve seen with this “Special Project” arc that there can be episodes set at Sabre Corporate without featuring the CEO.

  4. Gotta admit, I was rooting for Spader before the season started. It’s been more painful than funny to watch.

    Really hoping that Catherine Tate takes over from here – didn’t the producers want her from the start?

  5. I think it’s for the best.. I mean, he’s doing ok and he’s gonna be on the office’s history, but i’m not gonna miss him so much.

    And also, I don’t want Andy to continue as the regional manager for the next season.

  6. Good news here. I got sick of him very early on. Let the original cast shine says I. No Spader and no Tate.

    Who should the new CEO be?: Dare I say… Michael Scott!!! Please Please Please Please Please

  7. Don’t say it Mose! M. Scott would be amazing in such a guest spot! David Duchovny still guest starred on X-Files after he left. Why can’t Steve do the same? Oh right, he’s making awful romantic comedies. Damn. We can still hope!

  8. I won’t miss him. They NEVER needed James Spader. It’s insulting to the rest of the amazing cast they brought someone new in anyway. I always thought this. I would rather just see more of the characters we already know, and I wish that we could instead of giving time to “big names.” I hope they don’t go looking for a replacement for Robert now…

  9. So there is a 9th season? Great!

    It is sad to see James Spader go. RC is my third favorite character after Erin and Dwight.

    [ from tanster: the office hasn’t been renewed for a ninth season yet. ]

  10. I have enjoyed watching James Spader, but I am glad he is only doing this season. Robert California has been weirdly interesting, but the writers never seemed to know what to do with him. Frankly I love James as a dramatic actor and really hope to see him appearing in more films again. I also love The Office and know it does not need his character or any other big name actor to create good shows.

  11. I hate to say this, but, uh:

    “…and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television…”

    Are we talking about the same Robert Cali? I admire that the writers really tried with his character, but he never quite got there. (I felt the same with a few characters: Andy pre-anger management, Karen, etc…)

  12. My bet is that Andy steps down as manager to pursue Erin and Catherine Tate takes over for him after completing the Sabre tablet store launch. Which I think was their intention all along.

  13. Maybe Robert California can resign after some sexual harassment charges just like the CEO before David Wallace and Gabe can replace him. And then they can keep Gabe in Florida and have minimal Gabe in season 9.

  14. It’s becoming quite clear that if there is indeed a 9th Season, it’s going to be radically different than the prior ones, and I don’t think that’s going to go over well.

  15. I like James Spader’s acting a lot, thought he was terrific in the S7 finale, and looked forward to his work in S8…but he hasn’t fit in well at all, and the best part of this news is that it implies there WILL be a S9, without him.

  16. I may be the minority here, but I would love for David Denman to come back as Roy. He did such a great job and had some incredible moments.

  17. I hated the Robert California character from the start so I’m not sad (Though I do think Spader is a gifted actor but, like Will Ferrell last year, his talent was largely squandered.)

  18. More important question is: are Mindy & Rainn coming back for a 9th season if there is one? Anyone know if their side projects have been confirmed?

  19. I thought Spader was only signed on for 14-15 episodes anyway, from news at the beginning of the season…didn’t think this was big news.

  20. Is it bad that my instant reaction to that headline was “Thank God!!”?
    I just haven’t been a fan of the character from the beginning and these last few episodes have been so much better to me since he hasn’t been in them.

  21. It says in the report on this on E!online that the pilot of the Dwight spin-off will air as an episode of The Office this season. Is that a mistake or is Rainn actually leaving this season?!!

  22. @24 – Mindy is starring in a pilot for Fox that would air next season. If that is picked up, I’m doubting she will be in the 9th season of The Office.

    If Dwight’s spin-off is picked up and it airs mid-season as was reported, he will be leaving The Office at some point next year as well.

  23. 26. Denise (ddker) I couldn’t agree more about everything you said! I had the exact same reaction and have been talking to my husband a lot recently about how I have liked the last few episodes so much more since there was no Spader!

  24. My dream is to bring back Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates) as CEO. She can just say she was bored being just a figure head of the company, so she fired Robert Cali.

    Also, they need to bring back David Wallace (Andy Buckley) in some form. Gabe should stay in FL, Kathy will be gone, and we can start having fun again!

  25. Thanks James for everything, but I think it’s safe to say, Robert California was just not a good fit. I was never a big fan of the character.

    And guys, I am pretty sure Rainn will be coming back. Mindy on the other hand, I don’t know. I think she will.

  26. I liked Robert California, but truthfully I do think the show is fine with the cast it has. I don’t think they need to go shopping around for another new character at all. If they want to bring in people for a 4 or 5 episode arc, that’s great, and probably gives the writers something new to work with, without having to commit to a new full-time character.

  27. I liked the potential of the Robert California character, but it just wasn’t used right. I like James Spader and will miss him. Any news on whether Carell will return for a guest spot in the 9th season?

  28. I will miss Spader. I believe his character was a very interesting add to the Office, though I liked the episodes that didn’t feature him. Hopefully, we will get to see the return of Michael Scott soon, and hopefully a 9th season! They’ve still got one more year left in ’em.

  29. I liked RC and would have liked to see his character develop a bit more, seeing him occasionally as we did Jo.
    I hope that this is the end of adding more and more characters to the ever expanding office and focusing on the existing cast.

  30. I’m glad he is leaving but I really, really, really hope they don’t replace him with Nellie! It will be interesting to see what S9 brings with Mindy and Rainn’s recent news. I still would love to see Darryl in charge of the branch!

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