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James Spader in talks to join The Office

James Spader, who guest-starred in the season finale of The Office, is in talks with NBC to join the series as Michael Scott’s replacement…but there’s a catch. EW reports that Spader will actually only temporarily be boss of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch before setting his sights higher on the Dunder Mifflin CEO spot currently held by Kathy Bates (who is expected to exit the show next season to focus solely on season 2 of “Harry’s Law”):

Whereas Bates functioned more like a guest star in the series, however, 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.

That means the show will have to cast a new boss for the Scranton branch. No word yet on whether it will be one of the other guest stars from the finale, someone else entirely, or someone currently on the show.