A couple weeks back, we passed along then-speculative rumors that James Spader was likely to join the cast of The Office as a series regular this fall, on the heels of his scene-stealing cameo in this past season’s finale. Now, NBC has made it official, via a fittingly corporate press release. An excerpt:
"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."
Bates’ exit, while not mentioned in the release, still likely results from her commitments to Harry’s Law.