James Spader, who guest starred in the season finale of The Office, reportedly is in talks to join the hit NBC comedy — but not as a replacement for Steve Carrell.
Although the three-time Emmy winner appeared in the May 19 episode as Robert California, one of several applicants for the job of the Scranton branch manager, Entertainment Weekly reports that the network actually wants him as the CEO of Dunder Mifflin. He would replace Kathy Bates, who’s believed to be leaving to focus on the second season of Harry’s Law.
However, while Bates appears only occasionally on The Office, EW contends Spader would have “a significant weekly presence.” The plan is for his character to take the branch manager position, only to realize the job is too small for him. So he somehow convinces the corporate office to appoint him as the new CEO.
Spader joined The Practice in its final season as the unethical lawyer Alan Shore, shaking up the stale drama before his character was fired from the firm and spun off into Boston Legal. He won three Emmy Awards for playing the character on the two series.
Watch Spader’s scene from The Office season finale below.