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James Spader is hired full time at 'The Office'

July 6, 2011 |  1:20 pm

James Spader James Spader has signed on at "The Office" to fill Steve Carell's shoes -- or perhaps a much shinier, upwardly mobile pair.

Spader will reprise his season-finale role as Robert California, coming in as the new chief exec of Dunder-Mifflin parent company Sabre, Show Tracker reported Wednesday.

The character is an "uber-salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate, like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior," Paul Lieberstein, one of the series’ executive producers and a series regular, said in a statement.

California will be on the fastest of fast tracks, Lieberstein said, having been hired over the summer as a new manager, getting promoted hours later and taking over the company within days. He replaces the chief exec played previously by Kathy Bates.

"James has an energy that is completely his own, and 'The Office' has no tools for dealing with this guy," Lieberstein said. "We're thrilled he's joining our cast."

(Full disclosure: The Ministry has a little fantasy where "Boston Legal" buddy William Shatner gets hired on as a temp. Sounds like Robert California is the type of guy who could pull that off, even in this economy.)


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: James Spader at a LACMA gala in 2008. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press