December 29, 2011: NBC
Summary of the January 19, 2012, episode, Pool Party:
ROBERT’S LAST HURRAH—After Robert (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) decides to sell his mansion following his divorce, Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) suggests that he have a office pool party. Erin (Ellie Kemper) tries to make Andy (Ed Helms) jealous by flirting with Dwight (Rainn Wilson). Meanwhile, Robert gives everyone a tour of his massive home. John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson and Zach Woods also star.
December 22, 2011: NBC
Summary of the January 12, 2012, episode, Trivia:
ANDY TRIES TO FIND A WAY TO MEET HIS GOAL OF DOUBLING SALES — When Oscar (Oscar Nunez) joins a trivia night contest, Andy (Ed Helms) decides to get the whole office involved. Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) visits Sabre headquarters to explore other job opportunities. James Spader, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.
December 14, 2011: Mindy Kaling
Mindy tweets “Hyphenates @MCWarburton @mattselman did such a great job guest starring on my episode of The Office today!”
December 9, 2011: Brian Baumgartner
Brian tweets “Not a lot of tweets this week — cause I’ve been Directing my first ep of The Office. HUGE thanks to all cast/crew for their work and support!”
A tidbit about the holiday episode Christmas Wishes:
“Jim and Dwight must cease pranking each other, lest the offender forfeit his year-end bonus to the other.”
Gretchen: The Office always puts out the best Christmas episodes. What’s in store this year?
A possible new couple emerging from certain shenanigans going down during the Christmas party!
November 18, 2011: NBC
Summary of the December 8, episode, Christmas Wishes:
ANDY GRANTS EVERYONE’S HOLIDAY WISHES— Andy (Ed Helms) tries to make this year’s Christmas the best ever by granting each person’s holiday wishes. Meanwhile, Robert California (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) tries to drown his sorrows at the office party. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.
Coralville native and aspiring comedian Dan Gill recently nabbed a small speaking role in an upcoming episode of the hit NBC television show, “The Office.” Gill will play a bar trivia announcer in Episode 11, “Trivia,” set to air later this winter.
November 12, 2011: NBC
Summary of the December 1 episode, Mrs. California:
MEET MRS. CALIFORNIA— MAURA TIERNEY AND LINDSAY BROAD GUEST STAR— Robert California (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) brings his wife (guest star Maura Tierney) into the office to find her a job. Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) opens a gym in the building. Ed Helms, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.
November 4, 2011: NBC
[The Office Halloween episode] scares up one of its best Halloween episodes, in part due to a montage of Dwight costumes that Toby nixed over the years due to safety concerns. Also, Erin is cuteasabutton as freckled Wendy of “Hot ‘N’ Juicy” burgers fame.
October 27, 2011: NBC
Summary of the November 17 episode, Gettysburg:
ANDY TAKES THE OFFICE ON AN INSPIRING FIELD TRIP TO GETTYSBURG— LINDSAY BROAD GUEST STARS– Andy (Ed Helms) decides to motivate and inspire everyone by taking them on a field trip to Gettysburg. Some people in the office stay behind and Robert California (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) asks them to come up with Dunder Mifflin/Sabre’s next big idea. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Zach Woods, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson and Ellie Kemper also star.
This week the Nard Dog (Ed Helms) is once again trying to impress the ever-intimidating Robert California (James Spader) with a haunted Halloween party and has requested everyone to wear their best costumes. Please take a moment to picture Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) in a barely-there negligee, Pam (Jenna Fischer) as an adorable kangaroo and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) with boobs. Yup! And for all you Andy/Erin (Ellie Kemper) shippers we will finally get a firm answer to their on-again off-again flirtations. (Hint: Andy has been keeping 31 secrets from Erin).
October 21, 2011: NBC
British Comedy Award winner and BAFTA nominee Catherine Tate (BBC’s “The Catherine Tate Show”) returns to “The Office” this season reprising her role as Nellie Bertram. Joining the second half of the current season, Tate’s Bertram is hired by friend and Chairman of the Board Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates, not seen) as a misguided special projects manager working directly for the corporate office and who very much enjoys the favoritism received from Bennett.
Tate was introduced to “The Office” audience in last season’s finale episode as one of the candidates interviewing for the regional manager position left vacant by Michael Scott.
“Catherine is hysterical. We introduced her briefly in last season’s finale and knew she had to be a part of the show somehow. We’ll meet her again as corporate’s special projects manager, and her relationship with Robert California (James Spader) will be far from professional. We’re thrilled that she’s joining the cast,” said executive producer Paul Lieberstein.
October 21, 2011: NBC
Summary of the November 10 episode, Pam’s Replacement:
PAM TRAINS A TEMP TO TAKE HER PLACE WHILE SHE IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE — Pregnant Pam (Jenna Fischer) recruits Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to prove that Jim (John Krasinski) finds the office’s pretty new temp (guest star Lindsey Broad) attractive. Meanwhile, Robert California (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) shocks Andy (Ed Helms), Darryl (Craig Robinson), and Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) when he asks to join their band. B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton also star.
October 18, 2011: NBC
Summary of the November 3 episode, Doomsday:
DWIGHT STARTS A SYSTEM TO FIND MISTAKES IN THE OFFICE — Dwight (Rainn Willson) tries to help the office’s efficiency by installing a Doomsday device that will get them all fired if they make too many mistakes. John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms, James Spader, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson and Ellie Kemper also star.
Summary of the October 27 episode, Spooked:
FEARS ARE REVEALED ON THE SPOOKIEST HALLOWEEN IN DUNDER MIFFLIN HISTORY — Erin (Ellie Kemper) struggles to make the Halloween party at the office exactly how Andy (Ed Helms) and Robert California (two-time Emmy Award winner James Spader) want it. Meanwhile, Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) argue about whether ghosts are real, and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) bonds with Robert’s 11-year-old son, Bert. B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, and Creed Bratton also star.
October 13, 2011: Mindy Kaling and Kate Flannery
Mindy Kaling tweeted: “We’re shooting some nighttime exterior work with Meredith’s van. It’s a horror movie van.”
Kate Flannery responded: “”Thanks, Mindy! Great writing.”
Mindy responded: “KateFlannery was so funny tonight in shooting the Christmas episode. There’s no office party without Meredith.”
October 10, 2011: Brian Baumgartner
Brian tweets: “Hey peeps! Christmas at Dunder Mifflin this week as we r shooting the Christmas episode. Already over gingerbread cookies and only Monday.”
From an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
Does Angela being pregnant throw a wrench into Oscar’s idea that her husband the state senator is gay?
It’s definitely a further complication there. We’ll get to an episode [around] midseason where we start to dig into what’s going on there. We have a couple of fun episodes where we learn more about that situation.
Have you shot the episode with Andy’s parents [Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace] yet?
We did. It came out really well. His brother is played by Josh Groban, and the two of them together are really funny. Josh plays this very innocent younger brother — it’s a younger Andy who is just excited and happy and doesn’t realize any of the competitiveness that Andy feels. … And his parents are kind of ball-busters.
Does the family just come for a visit?
There’s a garden party that Andy throws to celebrate his new position, up at Schrute Farm. Jim [John Krasinski] plays a prank on [Dwight] — he creates this book about how to throw a garden party, and Dwight follows the rules of the book pretty carefully.
Are you doing Halloween and Christmas episodes again this year?
We are. Halloween has a giant ghost story at the end of it that Robert tells. He spends the episode figuring out people’s deepest fears, then tells a ghost story exploiting them. And Christmas, Andy is Santa and wants to grant everyone a wish.
September 30, 2011: NBC
A repeat is scheduled for October 20 and the October 27 Halloween episode is entitled ‘Spooked.’
September 28, 2011: NBC
Summary for the October 13 episode ‘Garden Party’:
ANDY THROWS A GARDEN PARTY AT SCHRUTE FARMS — JOSH GROBAN, STEPHAN COLLINS AND DEE WALLACE GUEST STAR — Andy (Ed Helms) decides to throw a garden party to impress Robert California (James Spader). Dwight (Rainn Wilson) researches how to host a garden party and thinks he has made it a very classy event. Meanwhile, Andy’s parents (Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace) and brother (guest star Josh Groban) attend but make him feel self-conscious. John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.
September 27, 2011: Paul Lieberstein and Ed Helms press call
I got to participate in a press call today with The Office’s Paul Lieberstein and Ed Helms!
A few tidbits:
- On the upcoming Halloween episode: Ed says it was a fun one to shoot because of the brewing tension between Andy and Erin. Erin doesn’t know how to interpret the fact that Andy isn’t giving her any work. Ed also mentions that Erin’s Halloween costume is “preposterously adorable.” :)
- On Josh Groban’s upcoming appearance: Ed says that Josh was great and hilarious to work with, and that his appearance is part of a really exciting episode, where we learn about Andy, and “not all of it is good.” Ed also adds that there is some rivalry between Andy and Josh’s character, but it takes a compelling turn that is unexpected; the source of the rivalry may not be what you expect.
More details to come!
September 27, 2011: Mindy Kaling
Mindy tweets: “I’m at home writing Office Christmas episode. I’ve eaten two gluten free donuts, now listening to Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s sad here.”
[Maura] Tierney, the long-time “ER” star who was last seen on the final season of “Rescue Me,” will play Robert California’s (James Spader) wife, “Office” showrunner Paul Lieberstein tells Zap2it. She’s currently signed for just one episode, which will likely air in late November or early December.
In an interview with Ed Helms:
How does Andy’s promotion impact his relationship with Erin?
Erin and Andy are basically two weirdoes who are attracted to each other, but incapable of understanding each other. Add to that a boss-employee dynamic and their awkwardness pretty much goes nuclear, especially around Halloween.
This season introduces Andy’s parents [played by Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace] and his brother [singer Josh Groban]. Are we to assume they come to town to celebrate his promotion?
Obviously, Andy has a musical background. And there are some fun revelations about where that came from. The reason for expanding Andy’s world and getting into his family is to kind of help the audience understand a little bit more about who he is and where he comes from. And you’ll see in his family a lot of reasons for Andy’s issues. I think I can also tease that there is a party situation in the episode, but I can’t go any further than that.
Contractually speaking, can we also assume that NBC has locked you in for a few more years of Office duty?
I don’t think anything is settled yet, but I hope we have a long and prosperous future at Dunder Mifflin.
[The List] gets its title from a list composed by California that office receptionist Erin (Ellie Kemper) finds lying around the office. Some employees’ names are written on one side, while the rest are on the opposite side.
“The whole episode is about what it means. It doesn’t mean nothing,” [B.J.] Novak said. “This is a character who is not only mysterious, but complicated.”
For all his quirkiness, California does seek to connect with his employees. For instance, Mr. Novak said, he’ll take a liking to lovable buffoon Kevin (Brian Baumgartner).
“He thinks Kevin is a genius who speaks in metaphors,” he said. “Everyone’s jealous that Kevin’s become his favorite.”
California’s personal life will come out in dribs and drabs. His marriage is on shaky ground, and he has a son named Burt whom Dwight befriends during the annual Halloween episode, Mr. Novak said.
TVLine has learned exclusively that ‘Til Death‘s Lindsey Broad has been cast on The Office in the potentially recurring role of Pam’s competent and likable pal, Kathy. She’s slated to first air in late October/early November.
September 17, 2011
The October 6 episode is Lotto.
September 2, 2011: NBC
Summary for the Sept. 22 season 8 premiere, ‘The List’:
THE NEW REGIONAL MANAGER OF DUNDER MIFFLIN IS REVEALED AND FACES A CRISIS–TWO-TIME EMMY WINNER JAMES SPADER JOINS THE CAST– The Dunder Mifflin staff accidentally discovers a list of their names in the notebook of the company’s mysterious new CEO, Robert California (two-time Emmy winner James Spader), triggering a frenzy of speculation. Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Phyllis Smith, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods also star.
Crooner Josh Groban has been tapped to play the brother of Ed Helms’ character Andy Bernard on the long-running NBC comedy series. This is the latest member of the Bernard clan to be cast as the network just cast Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace as Andy’s parents.
In an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
Will the search for a new office manager be an ongoing arc next season?
Lieberstein: No. The search will be answered in the premiere. We’re not going to drag it out.
Do you have an end date set for the series?
Lieberstein: I think it has a couple more years, for sure. I think we have a total of eight or nine in us.
Are you anticipating more cast departures in the near future?
Lieberstein: Probably. It will morph into a new office, maybe the way ER changed. But I think a lot of that was driven by actors having their fill. If people want to stay around here, we are happy to have them.
…who will play Andy’s mom? EW can exclusively report that role goes to Dee Wallace (E.T, Sons & Daughters).
Regarding the casting of Stephen Collins:
Collins will play Andy’s dad, Walter Bernard, in an upcoming episode on Season 8.
The Office has cast the onetime 7th Heaven patriarch [Stephen Collins ] as Andy’s (Ed Helms) father, TVLine has confirmed. Collins’ episode is slated to air in October.
August 16, 2011: Rainn Wilson
Rainn retweeted this from Stephen Collins: Doing “The Office” this week. Ridiculously fun & talented group, including @rainnwilson who I worked w/in his 1st job in ’89 in the Park.
Spader’s persuasive and mysterious character Robert California is appointed CEO of Dunder Mifflin and, during a visit to the Scranton branch, accidentally leaves behind a piece of paper. There’s a line down the middle of it, with the names of every Scranton staffer either on one side of the line or the other. Employees go into a frenzy trying to figure out: What does this mean?
The actor is expected to appear in 15 episodes this season…
“Robert California is there much more,” Spader says. “He doesn’t have an office, really. He catches a desk where he can. Already we’ve also gone out on locations …
…Showrunner and co-star Paul Lieberstein and his team of writers have concocted several intriguing story ideas lined up for season eight in addition to “The List”: California challenges the office manager to double sales. Dwight builds a productivity machine that becomes a sort of Doomsday device when it threatens to shut down the company if people make too many mistakes. The entire warehouse staff wins the Lotto and quits. And, of course, there’s Jim and Pam’s second baby.
“We’re doing something fun with her hormones, [which] are in a state where she doesn’t know who to trust. After a scene of everybody being very polite to her, saying she’s more beautiful than ever, and ‘the old and the pregnant are the most beautiful,’ Dwight is the only one honest with her. She starts to think Dwight is the only one she can trust.”
From an interview with Mindy Kaling:
“We made Rainn do some very interesting stuff so far this season,” Mindy tells us at the Kendra Scott Jewelry event. “He does a lot and he’s as militaristic as he’s ever been. I love Dwight when he has a lot of strict rules and stuff like that.”
So how much of James Spader will we be seeing this season?
Paul Lieberstein: He’ll be in at least fifteen episodes.
Pam will be expecting her second child this season. How far along will she be when the season starts?
We’ll be at about six months.
Will this add any stress to the Jim and Pam marriage?
It’s not serious trouble. But they have to go through things; all relationships do. It’s really hard with two kids. Jim’s going to maybe not want to go home so early. We’ve been talking about him wanting to have drinks [with co-workers] on a regular basis, or attend business meetings that aren’t business meetings.
Will we see another big birth episode.
Nope. Not this time.
Craig Robinson told me tonight that Daryl and Andy will be reviving their band, and that Spader’s character will want to get involved.
He wants to sing in the group. They’re a little scared, but they say okay. Then he wants to keep singing the same song over and over and over.
When will we find out who will be the direct replacement for Michael Scott, if anybody?
We’re not playing out the cliffhanger beyond the cold open. Then we’re done, and it’s a new dynamic.
Any specific plots you can reveal?
There’s an episode about a list. James Spader’s character accidentally leaves his notebook on Erin’s desk, and it’s open to a page where there’s a list. Everyone’s name is on this list, on one side or the other. And they can’t figure out which is the good side or the bad side. We’ll also do a Halloween episode. We’re talking about a spooky banquet. And there will be a Christmas episode.
From an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
Is the executive secretary whom DeAngelo hired sticking around?
What will the Toby Flenderson of season 8 be like?
There’s going to be a reckoning, I think. I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to break my arc (laughs), but either someone’s got to start to hate him again, or he’s got to be lost without the hate. Just an existential existence.
How many episodes do you have Spader for?
We have him for 15.
Even in episodes where Michael wasn’t the central character, he was always driving the action in some way. Michael would do something that would cause reactions by others. Spader isn’t going to be in every episode, and he’s in a slightly different role. Is there someone else in the current cast who can fill that function? Will you have to spread it around?
I think there are a few characters who are story starters. It will move around. Dwight and Andy are definitely story starters.
August 2, 2011: Yahoo News
In an interview with B.J. Novak:
Dwight (Rainn Wilson) will feel threatened by the new boss. “Dwight is extremely torn around Robert California because, on the one hand, Dwight wants to be an alpha male, on the other hand, Dwight admires nothing more than an alpha male who will put him in his place, which is what Michael Scott was to him,” Novak says. “So Dwight is torn between loyalty and competition.”
With Robert set as CEO — although executive producer Paul Lieberstein says they’d love to have Robert’s former competition, Nellie Bertram, return once Catherine Tate finishes a run in a play — there will still be a vacancy for the managerial slot at Dunder Mifflin. The three front-runners? Darryl (Craig Robinson), Dwight and Andy (Ed Helms), Novak says, adding: “Those became the three leading candidates in our minds when it came time to shoot.”
But what about Jim? “Everyone agrees Jim would be the best manager,” he says. “And Jim has been offered the manager job before, but Jim isn’t about his job. Jim works to have a great life at home with Pam [Jenna Fisher] and his family.”
From an interview with John Krasinski:
Q: Do you have scenes with different characters than you’ve had in the past?
JK: Yes, I will definitely start having different [scenes]. I know that I have a lot of fun stuff with Andy who needs my help in different ways, shapes and forms. I have a lot of stuff with Kevin, which is great. It feels a lot like the first couple seasons where just inter-office relationships are the thing that was so fun.
Q: How will Jim be messing with Dwight this season?
JK: We have a whole bunch of different pranks. One of my favorite ones will be at Schrute farms.
JK: I don’t think Jim was made for the leadership role. I think he’s a really good middleman and he’s a good cushion and filter for the rest of the office. I don’t see him running the office any time soon.
[Ed] Helms also revealed that his character Andy will be “mortified and hypnotised and beguiled all at once” by new Sabre CEO Robert California (James Spader).
“[Andy is] desperately seeking his approval,” he explained. “But that’s sort of James’s energy, he’s the guy you want to impress all the time. And he brings that to Robert California. So much gravitas! So Andy’s sort of struggling to measure up.”
More about the new season from John Krasinski:
“I feel like we’re definitely all inferior to James’ character and I think he very much knows that. He puts us on the spot immediately for being not so good at what we do which is weirdly incredibly motivating. We get to be a lot better very fast.”
“I don’t think Jim was made for the leadership role. I think he’s a really good middleman and he’s a good cushion and filter for the rest of the office. I don’t see him running the office any time soon.”
“Jim’s finding it a lot more fun to be at work and just providing for his family. He starts to feel like with the office being run a little more efficiently he can have a lot more fun himself.”
[Paul] Lieberstein… teased an upcoming Pam-centric storyline:
“We’re going to do an episode where she doesn’t trust how she’s feeling toward anything, because her hormones are just running wild,” he says. “There comes a point where she feels like everyone’s obviously lying to her about something — but Dwight [Rainn Wilson] doesn’t, so she starts to think Dwight’s the only person she can trust.”
Question: Is there any chance that Daryl could turn out to be the new manager on The Office? —Pam
Ausiello: There’s a chance, but my spies say it’s very unlikely. The frontrunners to succeed Michael remain Dwight, Jim and Andy. Speaking of Daryl, rumor has it he’s at the center of one of the show’s funniest plots ever. Actually, it’s not so much a rumor since it came directly from Krasinski himself. “The warehouse wins the lottery and they all quit,” he says. “It’s pretty awesome. But Daryl wasn’t in the warehouse, so he doesn’t get to quit, and he’s super bummed. I think that’s one of the best plotlines we’ve had in a while.”
“Someone else [besides Pam] is pregnant too,” castmember Creed Bratton confirmed to TVLine at NBC’s press tour party Monday night.
“It’s true,” added co-star John Krasinski. “We can’t say who, but someone else is pregnant.”
August 1, 2011: Staff tweet
One of The Office staff members send out this update: “Shooting at a tattoo parlor.”
August 1, 2011: Yahoo News
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed on Monday that a host of new faces are heading to “The Office,” when it returns for the 2011-2012 television season.
The addition of Spader’s character, Robert California, will “cause some adjustments from the rest of the cast coming around… There’s some new actors coming besides Spader,” Greenblatt said at the Television Critics Association Summer Session 2011 in Beverly Hills.
When asked who was joining the cast permanently, like Spader, Greenblatt said the additions would actually be in guest star form.
July 21, 2011: Angela Kinsey
Angela tweets: “Our 1st Season 8 tableread was yesterday! Spader crushed it! Hilarious! And Pam and Angela have a fun frenemies story line!”
In an interview with Jenna Fischer:
James Spader is joining the show full-time as Robert California, the CEO of Dunder Mifflin’s parent company, Sabre. What do you think he’ll bring to the series?
I’m really excited because I didn’t get to have any scenes with him when he was on the finale. They told me I’m not allowed to say, but there’s a great story line with Pam and Robert California. And then the new role of the manager, they told me who that’s going to be — and also said I wasn’t allowed to say. I’m really happy about the choice that they made, and I think that fans are going to be really happy, too.
Jenna Fischer confirmed to Vulture that her real-life pregnancy has been written into season eight of The Office. “Pam will be pregnant when the season starts,” she told us in an interview. “Pam and Jim snuck away last season on Valentine’s Day, and they had sex. The story is that they conceived this baby at that time and were keeping it a secret until we come back from the summer.”
It will be the second child for Pam and Jim, and the plot development conveniently overlaps with Fischer’s real-life pregnancy, which she announced back in May.
Entertainment Weekly reports that James Spader is joining The Office for Season 8.
James Spader’s ultra-confident and sexually charged character featured briefly in the NBC hit’s May finale is set to join the cast of the show’s upcoming eighth season, NBC confirmed.
“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, one of the series’ executive producers and a 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.”
NBC is set to announce the hire, adding a new well-known actor to the ensemble series that saw the departure of its biggest star, Steve Carell, this season, and will also say goodbye to recurring performer Kathy Bates as well. Bates played the company’s CEO last season, though Spader’s character is expected to have a greater presence on the show.
Question: I had my heart set on Catherine Tate being the new Office boss. In light of the recent news about James Spader possibly coming in as the big boss, might they be marking time until Catherine is done with her overseas theatre gig this fall? —Michelle
Ausiello: I hear NBC still has an option on Tate, so anything’s possible. The likeliest scenario — as of this week anyway — has Spader replacing Kathy Bates as CEO and Dwight, Andy or Jim succeeding Michael as manager.
Entertainment Weekly reports on James Spader possibly joining The Office:
Whereas [Kathy] Bates functioned more like a guest star in the series… [James] Spader would have a significant weekly presence on the show. The actor’s deal is not done and no scripts have been written for the upcoming eighth season, which goes into production in about a month. Yet if all goes according to plan, Spader’s character — named “Robert California” — will be introduced in the premiere as the new Office manager. He quickly decides the role is too small for him, and somehow talks corporate into appointing him as its new CEO.
Sources say California will have a strong impact on the rest of the Office staff, demonstrating a manipulative power and a somewhat creepy sexual vibe:
“Dwight has never come up against somebody equally powerful and diabolical. With Andy, he could be a real father figure and make life really hard for him once he senses he can manipulate him. Jim reads people really quickly, yet wasn’t sure what to make of this guy.”
“In writing season eight, I’m trying to come up with new relatable stories for all the characters we still have,” [B.J. Novak] says. “Next season will return to the very small, observational stuff we started with, but with all these characters — Andy, Darryl and Erin –we didn’t have in the beginning.”
NBC’s The Office, which is undergoing a creative transition following the departure of star Steve Carell, added several writers, Owen Ellickson as co-producer, Allison Silverman as supervising producer and Dan Greaney as consulting producer.
Any word on who the boss will be when The Office returns in the fall? —Adam
Ausiello: All I know is who it probably won’t be: Catherine Tate. At least that’s what I’m hearing.
Question: I thought we were going to find out who Michael’s replacement would be in the Office finale. What happened? —Jennifer
Ausiello: I suspect producers wanted to give themselves the summer to weigh all their options. I hear a five-second scene at the end of the episode that showed the field of candidates narrowed to three was excised at the last minute. Interestingly, none of those would-be finalists were rumored frontrunner Catherine Tate, which may explain why the clip was cut.
In an interview with Paul Lieberstein:
I think we’re looking for an addition to the ensemble. We’re not looking to fill a star’s role with another star, or really just like continue to center the show around the manager. I think it’ll be much more of a shared experience.
You know, we’re such in the beginning stages of talking about season 8. This is really our first week. I feel like I can go so much deeper into the lives of our characters that we’ve just been kind of skating the surface for a while. You know, we got to know so many levels of Michael. As a writer, I’m looking forward to delving into all the levels of Jim and Dwight and Andy and Darryl, you know. We did Michael. And I’m interested in writing episodes that center around a different person in each episode. So I guess I would say look forward to more of what you liked in the show of our cast. There just is more.
If The Office producers have their way, Catherine Tate will be the new manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. The British comedienne… is said to be the top choice of the show’s producers, though her ability to take the job is in question due to her current theater commitment.
Tate, who is best known for work on England’s hit series Doctor Who as well as her eponymous U.K. sketch comedy series, is reuniting with her former Who co-star David Tennant as Beatrice in this summer’s Much Ado About Nothing in England. The Telegraph recently dubbed it “this summer’s hottest theatre ticket.”
Question: What will Jenna Fischer’s pregnancy mean for Pam on The Office?
Ausiello: I hear there’s a very good chance it’ll mean the Halperts will be adding to their brood next season [next season, as in Season 8].
In an interview with Paul Lieberstein, when asked about Mindy Kaling returning for Season 8:
“She’s coming back as an actress, for sure,” Lieberstein told me. When I pressed and asked if that means she won’t be writing for the show anymore, he said, “It doesn’t look that way, but I don’t think that’s been … We don’t know yet.”
In an interview with Rainn Wilson: “we start shooting [Season 8] in late July”
In an interview with Rainn Wilson:
[Rainn] is meeting with the writers to discuss next season… “Now we’ve just got to figure out what season eight’s all about,” Wilson said. “I’m actually going in later this week to meet with the writers and try to talk to them about it. It’s really mostly up to them but I’ll put in my two cents and see where they’re at and stuff like that.”
An interview with Rainn Wilson states “[Rainn] is doing some writing for television and movies, adding he would continue to play Dwight for at least another year or two.”
As recently as the White House correspondents’ dinner held on April 30, Mindy Kaling stated “I don’t even have [an Office] deal for next year, actually… As a writer, my deal is up. So I don’t even know if I’m coming back. Obviously I would love to come back…”
An article about John Krasinski reports “Krasinski recently closed a one-year deal to continue on NBC’s The Office, where he is among the core cast members whose presence is expected to be beefed up following the pending departure of star Steve Carell.”
April 14, 2011: Brian Baumgartner
Brian tweets: “YES there will be a season 8; start filming it in July; and YES I will be back!”
From an interview with Jenna Fischer:
Do you guys have just one more year left on your contracts?
Jenna: It’s true that the rest of us all have one more year on our contracts.
Have you given thought as to whether or not you think the show would be better to end once your contracts are up, or would you like to find a way to continue?
Jenna: I think that if the show, creatively, can support more years, then there’s a good chance that we would all sign up for more. We all really love our job and we really like the show. Right now, I feel really optimistic about it. If the ideas that they’re pitching pay off and work, then I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t keep doing it.
TVLine reports that Rescue Me’s Cody Horn has been cast as a character in The Office:
‘… model-turned-actress Cody Horn (Rescue Me) has been tapped to fill one of the three new roles being added to the NBC comedy in the post-Steve Carell era.
Not much is known about Horn’s character, except that she’ll be a pleasant and smart addition to Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. She’ll also be involved in a hot-and-heavy romance with a longtime staffer — that is if this next quote from executive producer and costar Paul Lieberstein (Toby) is to be believed.
“We’re very excited to have found Cody,” Lieberstein tells TVLine. ”We’ve been searching for a love interest for Creed for a long time. So just sit back and get ready to be disgusted.”’
The Office is reportedly casting for two new Season 8 characters:
One role is for a woman described as “Scranton hot.” She’s hired as an assistant to the office manager. Her former job was at an old folks’ home and she seems “pleasant and smart.”
The second role is for a man who’s fresh on the job market who joins Dunder Mifflin’s accounting department. The guy used to work at a golf course, probably went a community college, and is just happy to have a real job in this tough market. He’s “good-looking, but not WB looking.”
The parts are in addition to the role of Stanley’s older daughter — a part that’s now being cast [in Season 7] that may also become a series regular.
January 19, 2011: IGN
Excerpt from an interview with John Krasinski:
[Classy Christmas] was one of my favorite episodes –- I thought that a prank gone paranoid was perfect. And I love when Jim gets his comeuppance every now and again and he certainly did that day. But yeah, that’s really fun and it’s always fun to do Dwight/Jim pranks. I think you’ll see a lot more of them in Season 8.
In an article about Rainn Wilson:
Wilson has one year left on his contract to play the role of Dwight Schrute on “The Office,” and with Steve Carell leaving at the end of the season, it could mean changes at Dunder Mifflin.
In a story about Mindy Kaling:
[Mindy’s] Office contract is up this year, at the same time as Steve Carell’s. “This isn’t some big scoop or anything, but I can see this season being my last. Right now, I’m hankering for new adventures…”
One question being mulled by “Office” writers is whether those two roles — the new star of the show and the new boss of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch — are going to be the same person.
By season’s end, one character will have Scott’s job — but that person is not necessarily Carell’s replacement as the show’s star. Sources say writers are tempted to have the character who becomes the Scranton branch’s new boss fail in some spectacular manner, leaving the seat open again for another successor during Season 8.
One radical notion being explored is the possibility of subtly shifting the show’s point of view so that a current character is the star instead of the boss.
According to Variety, actor/writer/producer B.J. Novak has extended his work on ‘The Office’ through season 8:
B.J. Novak has cut a deal with Universal Media Studios that covers his services as an actor and writer-producer on “The Office” through its seventh and eighth seasons. He’ll be upped to exec producer status (from co-exec producer) about halfway through the show’s upcoming seventh season. Pact also includes a development component for Novak to field new projects for the studio.
September 25, 2009: October 2 print version of Entertainment Weekly
… fans can count on seeing a first birthday (if not a second) for baby Halpert, as most of the cast is signed through Season 8… [John] Krasinski and [Jenna] Fischer say they’ll stick around as long as the show does…