James Spader set to depart 'The Office'
February 28th, 2012
11:54 AM ET

James Spader set to depart 'The Office'

James Spader's Robert California just landed the job of new "CEO" of Dunder-Mifflin at the start of this season of "The Office," but the actor's already handing in his resignation.

According to Variety, Spader isn't returning for the NBC show's ninth season. Sad news for "Office" fans, surely, as CNN's Henry Hanks believed the Emmy-winning actor deserved a nod for the role.

The character was a potential "applicant" for Michael Scott's old gig when Steve Carell left the series, but Spader's California was then brought on as the replacement for Kathy Bates' Jo Bennett.

Variety reports that while Spader was billed as a series regular, his contract required a minimum of 15 episodes with the option for more if needed. It's not known at this point if Robert California's exit will be tackled this season, or explained in the next.

Adds "Office" exec producer Paul Lieberstein (who plays Toby on the show), "James always wanted this to be a one-year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters on television. He's been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I'm grateful for that."

Filed under: television • The Office

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Takaharu

    Hi Skotty, Yes,you are very welcome to piataciprte. We also award medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and there are spot prizes. Hope to see you in March.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lisa

    He won't be missed.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Who's likeable in that show anymore? Like the last Mayberry episodes when no character was ever happy, were they?

    March 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    The character was funny and quirky, but they never really worked him into the rhythm of the show. You never knew if he'd show up or not. Also, it was on when he was there, since he was supposedly based out of Florida. I really think the show has struggled in the post-Carrell era. It's been funny, but without a sense of direction. There are no on-going themes to latch onto.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yemmy

    Wow... well, he hasn’t really made any appearances since the Pool Party episode. I don’t think his character, as excellent and dynamic as it was, will be missed too much. Let's face it, if the show can thrive without "Michael Scott", it will be just fine minus "Mr. Robert California".

    March 1, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ursula

    I love James Spader as an actor but his character didn't reflect his best work so although I'll miss seeing him it's understandable; time to move on. Good Luck. Hope to see him soon in another role 🙂

    February 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brady

    i think Jim Carey would be a great replacement

    February 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      I agree, I thought he was going to get the job instead of Spader's character in the first place.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. lizbeth trevizo

    i love francisco!!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lew

    NOOO! I LOVED Robert California. Oh well. Next.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chuck

    I still love this show. For me, it's still the funniest show on tv and the only comedy that I watch regularly.

    Never really cared for James Spader's character but nothing against him, he's a fine actor. The chemistry just wasn't there like the rest of the characters. Not sure if they need to cast a supervisor to replace him but the show doesn't lose much, if anything, by getting rid of Robert California.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeanie

    If Robert California is gone, so am I. James Spader is a great actor in any role. He gave lots of class and character to his crazy role. No one in this cast has the attention grabbing 'different' aspect that Spader imbued. Sorry to see him leave. He filled a big gap after Carrrel's departure and filled it very well indeed.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jacob Tysz

    Great character. Weird? Yeah. Hard to watch sometimes? Yeah. But isn't that part of the charm of The Office. The show has gotten away from its "cringe" roots (for good or bad), and Spader brought some of that back.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. buffalo

    This show "jumped the shark" after Steve Carrell left. And it was a pale imitation of the British version to begin with. Please turn off the lights when you leave.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      buffalo, what's with this British "The Office" snobbery? Are you aware that they only made 12 episodes of it in total? The American version airs more than twice that many in a single season, and it's now in Season 8 (although Season 1 had only 6 episodes). It was an imitation only in the very beginning, but has moved well beyond that.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Judging by the comments so far, my opinion that his character was a terrible addition to the cast is pretty much shared. I recently caught a few reruns (from previous seasons) and remembered how good it once was. I know most of these actors want to keep the paycheck, but for the sake of the fans - please, put THE OFFICE out of its misery.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeepers

    He was super creepy. Not sure that I'm altogether sorry to see him go.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. J0nx

    The show has definitely lost that special something after Steve left. I think it's time to cancel it.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |


    February 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Sally

    I will miss him dearly, he was absolutely creepilicious!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jay

    LOVED his character. Spader was Awesome in that role.
    One of the best characters on the show!! Will miss him.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      Me too. Frankly, after a brief slow down, I think the show is getting better. I love Andy as the boss. And, I loved Robert California. I think the show has been awesome lately.

      February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Goetsch87

    Season 2 and 3 are, in my opinion, the best consecutive seasons of a show in television history. Every episode has side-splitting humor. I would, however, suggest that you watch season 1, they are excellent, but these episodes will prime you for the magnificence of the subsequent seasons.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • James T Kirk


      hahahahahahahahahahahaha...haven't seen much tv, huh?

      March 12, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Former Marine

      I actually thought that seasons 1-3 were probably the worst of the series. Michael Scott can be funny, but too much of him is too much. I like it in the later seasons when they start bringing more of the other characters to the forefront.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. albert

    looks like this show is slowly dying after steve's departure. 🙁

    February 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • moon627

      i agree the show is not what it used to be but there are some great characters – i just wish theyd give them more air time ... like less Andy and more Dwight ... and more Meredith and Kelly and less Pam and Jim

      February 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I still like the show.I think some of you are just purity snobs.
      Sure its not what Micheal Scott made it out to be,but its also not trash.
      I will watch as long as its on

      February 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  22. San Jose

    Love the show, not a huge fan of this character. Who are they going to bring on now??

    February 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  23. theDude

    Glad to see his character go!

    February 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  24. be quiet

    Good, his character sucked.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I didnt like him earlier at first,but I think thats mostly because he became CEO and seemed to climb the ladder too quick.
      If he falls from grace any more,like he did in the naked swimming episode,I think he'll be ok.
      People only like CEO's if they fail spectacularly

      February 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |

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