Feb 8 | TV Guide
Heroes Star Breaks Up Office Romance
“We go through a heart-wrenching break-up,” B.J. reveals to me exclusively about an upcoming spring episode. “Ryan and Kelly end up becoming bitter enemies in the office when she falls in love with an Indian doctor. He’s very handsome and a much, much better match for Kelly than Ryan is.”
Considering that handsome Sendhil Ramamurthy — who played Mohinder on Heroes and currently appears as Jai on USA Network’s Covert Affairs — has just been cast in the role of Ravi, I’ll have to agree.
Jan 30 | EW.com
The actors also teased how there is a multiepisode story line coming up where the cast goes on a road trip to Florida — with Dwight in charge.
“They are supposed to be opening a chain of stores where they are going to sell their own tablet computer that is in the shape of a triangle and it’s called ‘the Pyramid,’” Novak said. “It’s like a cheap iPad shaped like a triangle. It’s really the worst piece of technology that you’ve ever seen.”
Jan 24 | Watch With Kristin
Karissa: Any hope for fans of Andy and Erin on The Office? Those two are meant for each other!
Ellie Kemper agrees with you…and she thinks there’s still hope for those two crazy lovebirds to find each other again. “I think their story isn’t over yet,” she tells us. “I think they’ll reach some resolution. I wasn’t ready to see that story between them go away yet. And they’re so odd that it would be nice if they were together, but I think it’s good that they’re apart.”
Jan 21 | Deadline
Actor-comedian David Koechner has signed a talent holding deal with NBC. Under the pact, he is attached to star in Greg Daniels’ comedy project Friday Night Dinner and possibly do more episodes of The Office, where he has appeared occasionally since the second season. The deal expands Koechner’s relationship with The Office showrunner Daniels.
Jan 15 | Zap2It
‘The Office’: EP Paul Lieberstein on Andy, Robert, Catherine Tate and more
“We may start to see some of Andy’s anger problems come back, but in a way that may really benefit him,” Lieberstein says.
Lieberstein also says Andy will get at least slightly more comfortable around Robert, but both guys will have to deal with a new element: Nelly Bertrum (Catherine Tate), who will return in February as a special projects manager for Sabre.
“Her character is one that grasps very strongly onto something without a lot of thought and runs with it,” Lieberstein says. “She doesn’t have a lot of skills, but she has a lot of drive.”
Dec 6 | Watch with Kristin
Q: The Office always puts out the best Christmas episodes. What’s in store this year?
A: A possible new couple emerging from certain shenanigan’s going down during the Christmas party!
November 23: Citizen Press
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.
October 27 | TVGuide
Got any scoop on The Office? — Matt
NATALIE: Someone (Andy?) has a secret girlfriend! We have to admit we’re a little saddened by the development, as it dashes the hopes — perhaps temporarily — of a hookup we thought was in the makings.
October 25 | Watch with Kristin
Allie in Tampa, Fla: Any more news on The Office? And I don’t care what people say, I’m totally loving Andy as the new boss!
We’ll admit we had our doubts, but after “Garden Party” we’re all about Andy! 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 | TVLine
Tate will reprise her role from last May’s finale as misguided special projects manager Nellie Bertram, who was one of the candidates interviewing to replace Michael Scott (Steve Carell) as the manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch (a gig that ultimately went to Ed Helms’ Andy).
According to Office exec producer Paul Lieberstein, Nellie returns to work on a new project and strikes up a “far from professional” relationship with James Sapder’s boss man Robert California.
Sept 29 | Digitalspy
An interview with Ed Helms and Paul Lieberstein:
“The choice of Josh (Groban) is a fun teaser because obviously he is musical and Andy famously has a penchant for music. Josh’s arrival is part of a fun episode for me and Andy.”
Helms continued: “We learn a lot about Andy from his brother and not all of it is good. Of course, there is some fun music that gets thrown in there too.
“There is a rivalry, but the source of the rivalry is not what you may expect. I’m excited to show the fans where and how Josh’s character fits into Andy’s life. And, what he means to Andy’s life… and it’s not all good.”
Showrunner and co-star Paul Lieberstein added: “You can see elements of Andy, escalated in Josh. He’s even more naïve and sweeter… if you can believe it. It’s interesting to see the two of them together.”
Sept 28 | Mindy Kaling’s Twitter
Sept 27 | Movieweb
An interview with Ellie Kemper:
How do you think Andy’s new promotion is going to change or affect his relationship with Erin on the show?
Ellie Kemper: Without revealing too much, at the end of last season, Erin and Andy were not together. They tried to get back together, and their overtures were rejected. I think that in this scenario, Andy is the boss. Erin is his direct assistant. Without revealing too much, I think we are going to focus more on Erin’s independent life, as a workingwoman. It’s so funny to me that Erin has had two boyfriends over the course of two seasons. That is a lot for anyone to have. Erin doesn’t seem to be this overly romantic person to have had two. I hope that we are going to focus on different parts of Erin. Perhaps her orphan childhood. I don’t know. I want to see that. I am not a writer. But I will suggest that. I want to know. I want to see a show where Erin goes back to one of her old foster homes. I am not laughing about the fact that she has lived in a foster home. But I do wonder how this woman was created. I would like to explore that. When we go to see Shrute Farms, it explains so much about Dwight. I would like for a similar thing to happen with Erin. Whenever you go to someone’s parent’s house, or their childhood town, you learn a lot about that person. I think it would be a lot of fun.
Sept 26 | Zap2it.com
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.
“I’m a big fan of hers,” Lieberstein tells us. “I’m very excited.”
The part will be Tierney’s first in a comedy series since “NewsRadio” ended in 1999. She starred in ABC’s legal drama “The Whole Truth” last season and had a 10-year run on “ER,” earning an Emmy nomination in 2001 for her role as Abby Lockhart.
Sept 26 | Hollywood.com
An interview with Ellie Kemper.
Yeah, definitely! What do you hope to work on next? Obviously you’re busy with The Office right now. But when that has downtime, what are you hoping to do with the rest of your time?
I hope to keep auditioning for movies in the meantime. I think with the schedule of The Office, we’re going to be done at the end of February.
Sept 24 | Spoiler TV
The Office – Episode 8.08 – Gettysburg: Phil Hawn will play the Park Ranger
Spet 21 | Eonline
The Office’s New Season May Induce “Cardiac Arrest”
“Robert California brings out something new in each character,” writer/actor/producer Paul Lieberstein says. “In Dwight (Rainn Wilson) he brings out a new challenge, someone he is defiant to. Jim (John Krasinski) struggles to be liked for the first time in his career.”
Sept 20 | The Times Tribune
An interview with B.J. Novak.
The episode 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,” Mr. 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.
There’s no way the show could ever replace a character as great as Mr. Carell’s, Mr. Novak said. Luckily, though, a huge canvas of rich and interesting characters remains for the writers to play with.
“We’ll be focusing on real, relatable, tiny, tiny moments with the whole ensemble. … That’s really our compass this year,” he said. “We want to get back to what the show was in the first place. Which is the most real, minutely observed comedy we can possibly do.”
Sept 19 | TV Guide
Another Office wedding: One of the Dunder Mifflinites tied the knot over the summer! “You don’t see the wedding, but it’s going to be alluded to,” star Angela Kinney says of her character marrying State Senator Rob Lipton (Jack Coleman). So will Oscar finally clue her in on his theory that the senator is a closeted homosexual? “They have a pretty cool reveal that’s going to come up,” she says. “Does she know and she’s OK? She’s got a much better life, she’s all about moving up in society, so who knows?”
Sept 9 | USA Today
James Spader brings a different energy to ‘TheOffice’
An interview with Paul Lieberstein
“I think there’s some real value in the natural discomfort of strangers. I think he’s a good character to continue that. He can provide that very nicely,” he says. “There’s a certain level of intimidation as well. All of a sudden, you’ve got a new boss coming in and the old boss was very established and familiar and everybody knew the old boss’s buttons and how to respond, act and confront. It’s important this new character have a very jarring dynamic with the rest of the cast, just to have it be very different.”
That discomfort becomes evident in the opening episode, when the office employees discover a piece of paper left by California that lists them in separate columns, leading to anxiety about its meaning. In another episode, Andy (Ed Helms) and Darryl (Craig Robinson) feel pressure when the musically limited California wants to join their band.
The new boss opens up new story possibilities and character dynamics, Lieberstein says.
California “has a completely different energy, not just different from Michael Scott, but from Jan and David and Charles Miner and everyone we’ve had in that (management) position over the years,” he says.
Sept 8 | TV Line
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.
Aug 18 | Deadline
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.
Aug 17 | Hollywood Reporter
An interview with Paul Lieberstein
THR: 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.
THR: What else can you reveal about Spader’s role in the new season?
Lieberstein: He enjoys the power he has over people. In the premiere, he accidentally leaves his notebook on Erin’s [Ellie Kemper] desk. She finds it and passes it around because it’s open to a page where everyone’s name is listed. There are two columns, and you’re either on one side or the other. No one can figure out what it is, and everyone’s terrified of what it might mean.
THR: 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.
THR: 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.
Aug 17| TV Line
The Office has cast the onetime 7th Heaven patriarch as Andy’s (Ed Helms) father, TVLine has confirmed.
….the role of Andy’s mom will be played by E.T. matriarch Dee Wallace.
Look for Andy’s parents when the turn up in an October episode.
Aug 15: | EW
James Spader gives out The Office scoop!
The episode, titled “The List,” will showcase California’s inscrutable oddness and his impact on the rest of the team as they struggle to figure him out. The Emmy-winning Spader, it seems, is just as much in the dark as everybody else about his character, and that’s the way he likes it.
“He’s a sort of strange guy, and his enigmatic qualities are a good thing,” Spader says. “Everybody is trying to get to know who he is and what his juxtaposition is to the rest of the office. The characters are and the writers and cast members as well. And I’m hoping that’s going to be the fun of the season.”
EW has learned the actor is expected to appear in 15 episodes this season —about double the amount of Kathy Bates, who played the CEO last 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 … This is entirely different from [The Practice and its spin-off, Boston Legal]. That was a hour-long show that when I joined, it was a tiny office with four people. This is an office with 18 people and is a half-hour show. I’m really learning who this character is in snippets.”
To help aide Spader’s entry into the series, 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” [SPOILER ALERT]: 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 not doing what we did last time; we’re not doing any weird rush to the hospital,” Lieberstein said. “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.”
Aug 12: Watch With Kristin
It’s a Whole Different Office! Mindy Kaling Previews the New Season
Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly Kapoor and is a frequent writer/director on The Office, thinks fans should feel anything but fear going into season eight. She chatted with us about “scary” James Spader taking over, and how Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is handling the new regimen. Spoiler alert: He handles it in true Schrute fashion…
..and that means handling it in the least normal way possible. “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. I hope you like it; I think it’s really good.”
Dwight’s “militaristic” attitude comes when Robert California (Spader), comes in as Michael Scott’s replacement. “Michael Scott, as played by Steve Carell, was a very specific kind of boss that was always in your face and always wanted to hear about your life almost to an unprofessional degree,” says Kaling. “[Robert] is like the boss that’s scary. And you’re never sure on where you stand with him and you’re kind of obsessed with impressing him, [which is] a totally different dynamic. So I think it will be cool.”
“Steve used to have 40 percent of the lines, so when you take that out there’s someone who has to have those lines, and so we see a lot more from Kevin, who’s a big favorite of mine, or Angela. I love writing for her. So all these other characters get to have bigger parts and so that’s been kind of nice. Because if anything, I hear all the time how much people like the side characters in the office. That’s been kind of fun to do.”
And what is to come for TV’s oddest on-again/off-again couple, Dwight and Angela? “I always hold out hope. I really do,” she says. Clearly, they belong together, so we’re going to keep holding out hope for as long as the show is on the air. Probably after it ends, too.
Aug 5 | EW
What else will Jenna Fischer’s pregnancy mean for Pam and Jim on The Office? — Matt
Well, now that there are two pregnant people in the office, I expect a lot of baby fever to be felt throughout the staff. My official guess for the pregnant staffer No. 2? Angela, who will, in fact, be married when the season picks up. “You did not see my wedding, but you see a little how my status has changed. ‘I’m married to a senator now, people. Get in line,’” Angela Kinsey told me at the NBC party this week. But one group that won’t be celebrating? The warehouse people, who have all quit after winning the lottery!
Aug 5 | BuddyTV
An interview with Ed Helms.
Did you think your character (Andy) was going to be sticking around? Because he started at the other office and now he’s stayed and infiltrated Scranton when a lot of other people from your original office trickled out.
Ed Helms: Well, I was never supposed to stay. My contract was for 8 episodes. I was supposed to be fired as soon as I got to Scranton.
Do you know how you would have been fired?
Ed Helms: Yeah, anger management. You remember when I punched a hole in the wall?
Ed Helms: That was supposed to be when I got fired. Turns out they just made it anger management so I could come back. One of the most exciting developments in my career. To become a series regular on that show was just amazing.
I agree, I think that would be perfect. So how far are you into filming The Office?
Ed Helms: A week today and we’re on the second episode.
Any hints about the first episode?
Ed Helms: They’ll be some exciting revelations…
You’ve had a tough run with your crotch on The Office.
Ed Helms: Oh, it gets worse.
Ed Helms: It gets worse. Yeah, this season, already right out of the gate, Andy has some physical…issues.
Aug 4 | Screen Junkies
Q: Is it different than we saw in the season finale?
JK: Not really. It’s a similar episode. He’s definitely that guy. He’s incredibly competent. We offered him a boss position and he wanted the CEO position and he got it. That’s how incredibly persuasive he is. Robert California, which I think is one of the greatest names and funniest characters ever.
Q: Michael Scott always wanted to be your friend as well as your boss. How does it change everything when you have a guy who’s not trying to do that?
JK: It’s really interesting. 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.
Q: What’s going on with Jim and Pam?
JK: Pam’s pregnant. Jenna, her commitment level is so high to get pregnant for this part. No, Pam’s pregnant and 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.
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.
Q: One of my favorite episodes was when Jim started taking over a management position and started to tone it down, nobody liked him. He was trying to be fair and it just didn’t work. What were your thoughts on that storyline?
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.
Aug 3 | Vulture
Paul Lieberstein Talks About The Office
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.
Aug 3 | IGN
IGN: What does Andy make of this guy?
Helms: Well he’s kind of mortified and hypnotized and beguiled all at once. And he’s desperately seeking his approval. But that’s sort of James’ 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.
Aug 2 | TVGUIDE
California will bring out both the best, and worst, in the Dunder Mifflinites simply by being the big man on a small campus. “He always feels like the alpha male in the room, which is really exciting, especially because everyone on our show is funny with an alpha male,” co-executive producer B.J. Novak says. “He’s extremely intelligent, almost too intelligent. He’s an intellectual, and we’ve never had an intellectual in the Scranton office before so it’s very funny to hear him talk to people.”
Fittingly, 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 Fischer] and his family.”
Aug 2 | Zap2It
‘The Office’: James Spader’s Scranton ties and more from EP Paul Lieberstein
Sometimes he’s in a couple of scenes, and some episodes he’s not in — but some he’s in a lot,” Lieberstein says. “I think family is a big draw for him. We’re saying he’s from the [Scranton] area, so he spends a lot of time supervising this branch.”
As for Fischer’s pregnancy, Lieberstein says it was a pretty easy decision to write it into the show, since it seems natural that her character, Pam, and husband Jim (John Krasinski) would be thinking about another child. Lieberstein also 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.”
Aug 1 | TVLine
On the heels of news that Jenna Fisher’s real-life pregnancy will be incorporated into Pam’s storyline on The Office this season, TVLine has learned that a second character will be in a family way when the NBC comedy kicks off its eighth season this fall.
“Someone else 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.”
Aug 1 | Access Hollywood
James Spader isn’t the only new face heading to Dunder Mifflin.
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.
“This is a playground for extraordinary actors… I think there’s gonna be a few people that are gonna come and guest star as the season goes on,” he said, clarifying.
July 27 | Sun Times
Jenna Fischer broke “Office” protocol.
Specifically, she was the first one to sit in the chair Steve Carell used to use during table reads for the NBC series.
“After Steve left, nobody would sit in his chair. It stayed completely empty,” she says. “Then one day, I was the last one in the room. There was the chair. It was empty. Since I’m pregnant and really uncomfortable, I plunked down thinking Steve would want me to stay there … in, incidentally, the most comfortable chair in the entire room. Jaws dropped. People were in shock. Everyone said, ‘Jenna, you just sat in The Chair.’”
“I said, ‘Someone had to sit in it,’” Fischer says with a sigh. “Then I said, ‘Do you think Steve would want me to stand — a pregnant woman standing when there is a chair?’”
You revealed last week that your baby on the way is a boy. Will your pregnancy be written into the TV show?
Pam will be pregnant this season on “The Office.” The good news is I don’t have to hide behind file cabinets. I’m happy that I can freely waddle around and act like a pregnant person. The writers asked, “Would you be comfortable with us writing your pregnancy in?” I said, “Let me get to a place that’s safe and let’s do it.”
5 Is it sad without Steve Carell on the set?
We’re all aware that he’s not there. It’s so sad. All these little things make me cry.
I was very emotional in the weeks leading up to his leaving. When we read Steve’s second-to-last script, it’s the first time the character Michael Scott suggested he might leave. I cried at the table read. … I am excited to work with [cast newcomer] James Spader, who is a great guy. At the same time, everyone is rooting for Steve to win an Emmy this year. He has never won one for playing Michael Scott, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.”
July 23 |@AngelaKinsey
Angela Kinsey tweeted this…
Click on the thumbnail to see full image.
July 23 | A. V. Club
AVC: However it shifts, do you think it will affect how the stories are weighted?
Jenna Fischer: Well, I haven’t read any scripts yet. I won’t get to see them until next week. But I did call my showrunners in anticipation of doing all this press, because I knew everyone was going to ask me things about the show. So I asked them, “What are we doing with the show?” and they told me all these things. They told me all these plot lines for Pam, really great stuff, they told me stuff about James Spader, they told me stuff about all the different characters, they told me who the new manager is going to be, and then they told me I couldn’t say anything. It was very exciting, because I feel like I got the scoop two weeks before the rest of my castmates, and then I was sworn to secrecy. But I will say, on a selfish level, I’m really excited about James Spader coming to the show, because I didn’t get to have any scenes with him when he shot the finale, and I thought he was so brilliant. They’ve told me there’s this whole storyline that Pam will have with that character in the upcoming season.
I think the intention is going to be that whoever ends up taking over as manager, the show is not going to be as structured around the manager position. It is going to be more of an ensemble show where someone happens to be the manager. I think there’s going to be a little more of a balance. Usually, you would have an A story, that was Michael, and then a B story, that was some other characters, and then some other little stories. These are going to feel more like two big B stories. That idea is the general philosophy behind going into the next season. I’m sad because I would sit by Steve in the mornings in the hair and makeup trailer, and I’m going to miss my friend in the hair and makeup trailer in the mornings, and I’m going to miss coming back after our summer break and asking him what he did over the summer, because that’s what we do, you know? But creatively, I kind of like that we’re not going to be repeating the same structure that we’ve been doing all these years. The analogy that I’ve been making is like, you know when you walk into your living room and you think, “I could really use a change, but I can’t afford to change everything,” so you move all of your furniture around, and you buy like two new things, and then you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I love it, but it still feels like home, but it feels new too”? That’s my hope for the show this season.
July 14 | NYMag
The Office’s Jenna Fischer Confirms That Baby No. 2 Is On the Way for Pam and Jim
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. “When we started shooting that [Valentine’s Day] episode, I thought to myself, If everything goes well, this is going to be a very, very convenient coincidence,” Fischer said. “And I think I found out I was pregnant when we were shooting that episode.” Guess this means Fischer won’t be needing to lurk behind furniture and big purses once pre-production starts next week!
Fischer also told us that a Michael Scott replacement has finally been picked, but she’s not allowed to say who. Whoever it is must be willing to serve slavishly under new Sabre CEO James Spader: So perhaps it’s Maggie Gyllenhaal?
July 6 | NBC
James Spader joins ‘The Office’
Multiple Emmy Award winner James Spader (“Boston Legal,” “The Practice”) will be joining the regular cast of NBC’s “The Office” (Thursdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET) as CEO Robert California of Sabre, the parent company of Dunder Mifflin.
“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.”
July 2 | AVCClub:
An interview with Creed Bratton.
AVC: When do you start shooting for the next season?
CB: July 25. Creed’s still the manager, so we’ll have to see how long they’ll keep that madman in there.
AVC: Do you think he has it in him to run a company?
CB: Does he have it in him to run his own life? No. He sleeps under his desk. My character that I wrote was much darker. He was a killer and a psychopathic madman.
AVC: Like a Manson family follower?
CB: Yeah, exactly. And I can pull that off pretty well, as you can probably imagine. He’s more PG-rated now, but he’s still got a weird vibe. I think he’ll go back to his desk eventually, because they don’t want to be around him all the time. He’ll just come in for pithy one-liners.
AVC: Do you think about striking a balance between creepy and normal?
CB: People just assume you’re playing yourself, but it’s a character. For a couple of seasons, we all perpetuated the “Creed cred,” because we liked people to think I was that guy. It was good for press, right? But I think the cat’s out of the bag now, with Terri, that I am an actor. I have to be careful, because directors will sometimes say, “Oh, that’s a little dark.” That’s one thing they’re told by Greg Daniels: “Remind Creed to back off, because sometimes he likes to go dark.” And I do. I’m not precious about my art.
June 29 | TVLine:
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.
June 24 | EW.com
The Office may have found a new boss: James Spader is negotiating with NBC to join the hit comedy next fall —but not merely as the manager of the Scranton branch.
The three-time Emmy winning Boston Legal star has been reportedly in the mix to replace Steve Carell for awhile, and even guest starred in the season finale as one of several celebrity contenders vying for the Dunder Mifflin manager gig (video below).
But producers have a different role in mind for Spader: CEO of Dunder Mifflin, replacing Kathy Bates, who sources say will exit the show to focus on season 2 of Harry’s Law. “In the finale, he kicked ass,” says a source close to the show. “He was so funny and had this weird energy. We didn’t want to pass it up.”
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.
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 with 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.”
As for who will take the role of manager, that’s still unclear. Spader’s hire leaves open the possibility of an internal candidate stepping into the post, or another new hire coming on board. Brit comedian Catherine Tate was reported as an early front-runner for the post. Movie star Will Ferrell filled in for a multi-episode arc during on the show during May sweeps that divided some fans.
The NBC hit has teased viewers and the media alike with a year-long guessing game over who will take the starring role on the show. When the show ended last month, felonious mysterious Creed Bratton was sitting in the manager seat thanks to his seniority with the company.
June 16 | TV|Line:
Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Castle, True Blood, Glee, Dexter, 90210 and More!
Question: I’m an AA virgin. This is my first time asking a question, so be gentle. 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. If true, it’s a total bummer.
Feb 1 | EW.com:
‘Office’ scoop: Two ‘Scranton hot’ characters joining next season
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.” (I’m loving whoever is writing these casting descriptions).
The parts are in addition to the role of Stanley’s older daughter — a part that’s now being cast that may also become a series regular.