James Spader Is Leaving The Office


James Spader is clocking out of The Office early.

After one season filling the void left by Steve Carell as Dunder Mifflin CEO Robert California, Spader, 52, has requested to be released from his contract, Variety confirms.

"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," The Office's executive producer Paul Lieberstein told Variety in a statement Monday. "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."

Joining the NBC primetime comedy at the tail end of season 7, Emmy winner Spader was first introduced as a possible new branch manager replacing Carell's Michael Scott. His major arc picked up in season 8, when he signed on for a minimum of 15 episodes.

News of Spader's departure comes on the heels of a potential new spinoff for Office mainstay Rainn Wilson, who plays quirky Dwight Schrute.

Described as a "family comedy," Wilson's spinoff would center around Dwight living and working at his family's beet farm and bed & breakfast. "A while ago, it started to feel like a show to them," Deadline reported in January. "NBC agreed, [and] it's been further developed to include multiple generations, many cousins and neighbors. At its base it will be about a family farm struggling to survive and a family trying to stay together."

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