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James Spader on The Office season seven finale. - Provided courtesy of NBC

James Spader signs on to join 'The Office' cast

Get more: TV
07/06/2011 by Kristina Lopez

After a creepy turn in the seventh season finale of "The Office" as Robert California, James Spader has signed on to join the cast of the half-hour comedy next season.

However, a statement from the network makes it clear that California will not be stepping into the role of Michael Scott's recently vacated role of regional manager of Dunder Mifflin for long. Spader's character will replace Kathy Bates' character as the CEO 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," Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby on the show but also serves as an executive producer on the series, said in a statement. "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. "

Spader's character was one of the few candidates interviewed in the finale to fill the role Michael Scott (Steve Carell) left as regional manager of the Scranton branch on the show. Carell, who played Michael for seven seasons, left the show prior to the finale. Other celebrities that appeared on the episode as candidates for the position included Jim Carrey, "The Office" creator Ricky Gervais and Ray Romano.

"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," Lieberstein added.

Spader is best known for his roles on "Boston Legal," "The Practice" and "Sex, Lies and Videotape." The actor is a three-time Emmy Award winner.

Carell said he left the show to spend more time with his family. In recent years, he starred in major films such as "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

Carell has said "The Office" will be able to continue to be successful without him.

Check out Spader's performance on the show below.

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