It seems like yesterday we were reporting that James Spader was joining the cast of The Office for good, having guest starred successfully on the show last season. But now, NBC brass has just announced that Spader, who plays the oddly endearing Dunder Mifflin CEO Robert California, is leaving.
“James came to The Office to play a role that was two scenes long in the season 7 finale. He instantly brought so much life and intrigue to the part that those two scenes became a season,” says producer Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby Flenderson 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 in 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. I’m already looking for ways to work with him again.”
That all sounds well and good. But when Spader signed on, there was no talk of this being a one-season-and-out deal. Also, why would you be issuing a statement about him leaving if this was something we were all expecting?