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Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 07/06/2011

James Spader officially joining ‘The Office’

Meet the new boss. Possibly weirder than the old boss. (Lucas Jackson - Reuters)

James Spader is now in charge of “The Office.”

Entertainment Weekly reports that the actor — one of several stars who made guest appearances during last season’s finale — has officially signed on to join the cast in the role of Robert California.

But he won’t be taking the place of Steve Carell. He’s actually assuming the title once held by Kathy Bates — CEO of Sabre, the corporation that owns Dunder Mifflin.

“He’ll have been hired over the summer as the new manager, but within hours, got himself promoted,” Paul Lieberstein — executive producer and the guy who plays Toby — told EW. “Within days, he took over the company.”

Of course, that still doesn’t tell us who the new Michael Scott will be.

Clearly, Dunder Mifflin needs a new manager, or at least someone who tells horrible jokes, violates company protocol and bumbles around pretending to manage.

In a previous item about the possibility that Spader might join the cast, EW suggested that Catherine Tate could still assume Michael’s position (“That’s what she said”) as was previously rumored, as could one of the current cast members.

In other words, the team at “The Office” is going to drag out this Steve Carell replacement thing as long as they possibly can. You know, like most companies do when it comes to new hires.

In the meantime, refresh your memory regarding the uber-weirdness that was Spader’s appearance on “The Office.” And, like me, pray that at some point he gets to use the phrase “The girl was, is and will always be nada.”

By  |  02:56 PM ET, 07/06/2011

Tags:  The Office

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