James Spader Is Quitting The Office


He came, he saw, he CEO'd. And now he's leaving. James Spader will not be returning to The Office if the show is renewed for another season, reports Variety, another sign that the future of the long-running NBC comedy is in doubt.

After the departure of star Steve Carell in Season 7, Spader joined The Office as a series regular in the currently airing Season 8 as Robert California, the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin. The character was first introduced at the end of Season 7, when the series interviewed several famous faces in an attempt to fill the hole left by Carell. The stunt-casting bonanza also featured several other well-known actors, whose characters all vied for the position of Scranton's new regional manager (ultimately, Robert California was hired as the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin and the regional manager gig went to Andy Bernard). Spader's arc was always meant to be a one-season trip, so his departure isn't exactly shocking.

However, if things were going well on the show, Spader would have stayed, right? This is another ominous sign for The Office, which is the TV equivalent of a ship sinking into a pit of lava full that's full of lava-proof piranhas. Writer/actress (and Office executive producer) Mindy Kaling (who plays Kelly Kapoor on the show) is one greenlight from leaving herself. She's writing and starring in a comedy pilot for Fox about a young OB/GYN, and if the network orders it to series, she'll leave The Office. And last month, NBC reportedly started developing a spin-off centering on Dwight Schrute and his beet farm, providing an escape for another one of the show's original cast members, Rainn Wilson. Clearly, the people behind The Office are scrambling for a way to keep the show alive.

Then there's the current state of the show itself, which has divided fans and critics. The ratings are at an all-time low as NBC's Thursday-night comedy block continues to collapse, leaving NBC with a big decision to make this spring.

Look, eight seasons is a great run. But The Office is a long way past its heyday and would be better off exiting in its current state than running until all the wheels fall off in Season 9. However, it's still one of NBC's top shows, so it's likely that we'll see it will return for at least one more season, if only to remind us that the plug should have been pulled after Season 7. Steve Carell looks smarter and smarter everyday.


Are you still watching The Office? Will you keep watching if the show lives to see Season 9?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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ITs not what it was without carell. It is still one of the best comedies on tv. Which is funny to think about how at this shows worst its still at the best...
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Even though the office has lost some of its charm, this world would be better with the office as it is then no office at all. Parks and Rec is the only thing that comes close to this show!
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I watch The Office ONLY for James Spader. I love him and he's one of the most entertaining actors in the biz! I will follow him wherever he goes next and will not watch The Office next year if he isn't a part of the cast.
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I can't stand it anymore. So glad Spader's character left but now there's that new woman - Argh!
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Yes, I'm still watching it and the past few episodes have been the best since Steve's departure. I think they've been funnier because they focused more on the characters that have been there rather than the new boring CEO or Gabe. I'm glad this guy is leaving, he's as boring as Will Farrell was.
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Robert CA is a lousy character. They've made him too strange - over-the-top and plain silly. Like a lot of things they did with Steve Carrell. Andy is lame and boring, I don't care at all about his character. Jim writing an entire book to screw with Dwight at Andy's party? Wow. Really? Too far-fetched - it pulls me out of the story when they do these things. Like when Robert told Andy not to hire his wife, then went sooo far while she was in the room forcing Andy to hire her. Silly.

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I haven't watched for a long time. The show was okay, but never measured up to Ricky Gervais' original British version.
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i still love the show, but i did stop caring much of this season, after steve carell left. but ive caught up since with hulu. and it's still a good show, but as much as the office dying sucks, all good things come to an end. and it will be better to end it on a high note than beat a dead horse. I was just as sad when trailer park boys ended, but it ended on a high note and they tied all the strings together. All good things must end. But I must say, the last few episodes as of late have been hysterical with the Florida Sabre trip, and it's a good time to tie the loose ends before the office runs out of things to do and just tapers off unceremoniously.
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Copying and pasting my comment on Digg:



I have to add my two cents - though most of you probably don't care. Lol



I watched the show since the first episode, I love it. When the show was younger, they focused around the character development, such as the building relationship with Jim and Pam, and the ever lasting banter between Jim and Dwight. If you followed from the beginning and watched faithfully, there was a lot to connect with and enjoy.



I truly thought the show would die after Michael left. When he left, it sucked for quite a few episodes (5-8 maybe?) with a few laughs here and there. However, the last few episodes seem like they got back to their roots (possibly).



For example, the banter between Jim and Dwight (like the "murder" scene) in the intro of last episode was hilarious. But the last few episodes focused more on the characters - Darryl and whatever is going on with the chick from the warehouse (why can't I remember her name?). And what about the whole Jim and Kathy "situation"?!



It feels more personal in the last few episodes and (for me) I like it. Obviously not for everyone and people that haven't followed it since the beginning might not be able to relate to what I say. Regardless, I still have hope for the series and continue to look forward to new episodes. However, I think Robert California (like others have said) hasn't really set a firm "hold" in the series to be considered a regular on the show, so this doesn't really surprise me.



/rant ;-)
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End it!
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Hey, they can give more screentime to Jack Coleman at least!!!! I am sick of him being underused in shows...
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I can hear the rattling breathing of death...
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Loved it so much forever. Just lost interest half way through this season. It just stopped being on our essential list.
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I'm still watching, but I think it should go out this season. I am fairly certain that John Krasinski's contract is up, and without him, there really isn't much of an Office.
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I quit watching The Office in January. It was not an easy habit to break. It's time for the show to end & the show doesn't really have a purpose anymore.
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The show is still well written and this season has still had its moments!
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I have to admit I didn't care for Michael Scott that much and there's too many characters on the show. It might be good to downsize the Office. I liked Ryan seasons 1-4, now he and Kelly serve no purpose on the show. Jim, Dwight, Pam and Angela are the show's strongest characters. Andy as the Branch Manager brought down the quality of his character as they turned him into another Michael Scott.
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hmmmm. Not sure if I agree or not. The British show was all about the lead, but the strength of the American version is the ensemble.



I can't see any of them carrying their own show, but I'm excited to see Dwight Schrute try.
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hmmmm. Not sure if I agree or not. The British show was all about the lead, but the strength of the American version is the ensemble.



I can't see any of them carrying their own show, but I'm excited to see Dwight Schrute try.
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The present Tallahassee arc is going on quite well. It feels like the old office and the only reason i find is no robert california and less andy as regional manager.the character of RC just didn't work. hpe office doesn't get cancelled, it is again becoming interesting.
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Spader's out, eh? Meh. I still think the show's funny overall, at least funny enough to stick by it. Spader played his role perfectly, but that role wasn't funny, so cya.
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He was only schedualed to be on one season, yet everybody is acting all suprised about it. His character was kind of boring anyway, the episodes with him are lame anyway so it's probably a good thing he's leaving. The last three episodes have been some of the better episodes of the past few seasons and he wasn't in them, so what does that tell you? It's a good thing he's leaving, I hope he leaves in a funny way though, don't just have him stay in Florida and just never talk about him again, kill him off and replace him.
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Yes and most likely yes. The show started getting better (not better than it was with Steve Carell) after about the first 5 episodes of this season. And the last two episodes were a perfect example of how the show can still thrive without Michael Scott around. If the writers are smart they will realize that and use the groove they've built in more upcoming episodes.
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- I don't blame James Spader at all for leaving the show. Shoddy writing is an obvious reason for his exit. The first time we saw him on the show, he was a creepy, glassy-eyed evil genius. But after this season started, it's as if he was a completely different character. Hell, I would have settled for Robert California to do his best Alan Shore impression & it would have still been better than what he had to work with.

I hope he finds a better place where his talents are well-appreciated.

- As for the show itself, I stopped caring the moment Ed Helms became regional manager. I have nothing against him as a comedian, but a NEW character needed to be RM. The writers needed to take a chance in order to salvage the show, but they went with the safer option, which has now led to their current predicament. Now, we've reached the point of no return & I'm sorry to say, NBC needs to pull the plug. My only real concern is, NBC has a reputation of making bad situations worse. If The Office goes, which monstrosity will NBC replace it with??

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Oh no, what would the show do without Robert and Kelly!?!?!?!??! How could it ever survive?!?!?!?!?!?
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I don't see what the big tadoo is. I liked Steve Carrell but I don't miss him at all. The show works with or without him. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of Andy Bernard as the office manager, but his bizarre behavior is actually more believable than Carrell's idiocy.



I'd love for the show to be renewed. I still enjoy it. But if it's canceled, so be it. It had a good run.
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I hope it goes one more season, need to have a Michael Scott Wedding episode. As for Robert California, he has had his moments but I glad to see him exit.
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I'm not sure what the deal is with all these haters out there; they're so knee jerk. Hello people Steve Carell was not the only funny character on the show! It's been great without him and by the way Andy is not supposed to be exactly like Michael--don't expect him to be; that's the point. The only thing I've been disappointed in this season has been the bad job of writing Spader's character. He was great in the interview episode but they never seemed to give his character the push it needs. Spader is perfect for this style of comedy and I feel as if he could have been potentially the best character on the show if he had been given the right material but instead as a result he's been mostly lukewarm/okay but not great. But his last few episodes have been great; they seemed to be getting there so this really is a disappointment because I think the people behind the show probably dropped the ball here. As for the ratings, yes it is true that they have fallen a bit but it's still ranked higher than most of the shows on NBC so when it finally goes away it will probably be because of high production costs and not ratings. After all its NBC, they really only have The Voice and that's it.
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I dont disagree with everything. I think personally Steve Carell (as well as Tina Fey) are so grossly overrated. Still however I find it baffling that they promote and prefer those 2 shows, being Office and 30rock, over their more original in writing shows; Parks and Community.



And yes the writers dropped the ball on not squeezing more out of Spader, the guy has so much range as an actor. Didn't he win like 3-4 Emmys in a row for the practice and boston legal as well?
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Yeah I totally feel the same way about Fey and used to feel the same on Carell. NBC also over promotes The Office/30 Rock way too much and wonders why some of its other gems like Community/P&R don't have such great ratings
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The truth is that out of The Office, Parks, Community, and 30 Rock, The Office is the only show that has ever really been somewhat successful in the ratings. And by successful, I mean slightly successful i.e. moderately. Most of these shows have large buzz among critics and have been able to stay on for as long as they have mostly because badly run NBC has almost nothing successful. But 30 Rock, Parks, and Community have never really had many viewers and its looking like NBC is about to start to clean house; 30 Rock and Community are the lowest rated and therefore likely about to get canceled. If NBC is going to keep one of the shows on Thursday it will be the highest rated, which is still The Office. What could kill The Office is rising production costs. We may like shows like this but the truth is that most do not; look around Two and a Half Men, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, the new Tim Allen show etc. You have to face the facts: that's what gets ratings; people eat that up.
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Cancel it and promote parks and community properly so they don't go out the way arrested development did
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I am still watching The Office even though Andrew Bernard is the poor man's Michael Scott. Still love Dwight and can't wait to see the spinoff if it happens. I thought James Spader was funny though. Since Dwight and the others have been in Florida, it's been really funny.
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I am still enjoying The Office this season and would definitely continue watching if it is renewed for Season 9. Like mentioned above, The Office still pulls in decent ratings for NBC: Last Thursday's episode got 5.02 million viewers, compared to 3.7 million for 30 Rock, 3.43 million for Parks and Recreation, and 3.42 fmillion or Up All Night (source: TVbytheNumbers.com). So why would NBC cancel their highest rated Thursday show and not the others?
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I couldn't agree more. Even with a noticeable drop in the ratings it still does better than the others. If or when the show gets cancelled it will be either because NBC is doing much better and doesn't need it or because the production costs got too high.
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Not to be harsh.
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Yay! Good riddance.
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After the departure of Steve Carell, the office is just becoming unbearable. James spader was a very bad fit into the whole Scranton branch drama. they should have just stopped with season 7. or maybe made Rainn Wilson the boss of Scranton branch and introduced some minor characters to play against Rainn wilson character.
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yes ill watch even though i agree its ran its course, but its hard to watch a show for this long and just give up so ill keep watching til it dies
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Season 8 has been okay. Not sure if I can think of a worse season, but there have been plenty of episodes that were worse than the worst of season 8.



If they do go on for season 9, I don't mind Spader leaving. His character hasn't been very funny and has been closer to pointless than significant.
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I wouldn't be disappointed if The Office were cancelled. I've been watching only sporadically since before Carell left. I've tuned in lately because I love Catherine Tate, but I'm not crazy about the character she is playing.
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I don't understand what people are talking about. The office is still great. If that appendicitis episode 2 weeks ago didn't prove it, I don't know what does. The cast is supremely talented and have done admirably considering the show is Carell-less.
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I think that was all pretty much credit to Rainn and if he is leaving for his own show there really doesn't seem to be much reason to keep watching
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Stopped watching it several years ago....
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Wow, that is so not a surprise. They've entirely misused the character and it's seemed totally unrewarding this season, and Robert California certainly isn't essential to the show's future. But yeah, it doesn't look like there will be a next season with such weak stories right now and so many cast and crew getting other projects going already.
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Good. Bring in Jim Carrey, I want the Finger Lakes Guy as the next CEO!
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I completely disagree. I think this season is pretty decent compared to all the others. Not missing Carell's awkward/pathetic character (though he will always be loved). Still lovin the office (and John Krasinski has been hilarious as of late).
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the show should've ended when Michael/Steve left it.. it hasn't been nearly as funny this season.. it wasn't even that funny the past few seasons WITH Michael.. so I say end it before you get cancelled
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I find season 8 to be pretty awesome. They really filled the gap Steve left behind. Especially the last 3 episodes reminded me of the old Office US. Amazing stuff!
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The Office needs to end. It should have ended ages ago (before Carell left, even). Make way for P&R and Community.
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Why can NBC do something great and end it now and give the hardcore fans a chance to keep both Parks and Community a better shot
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