'The Office' Season 8 preview: Everybody loves Spader

How good are you at reading pixellated lips? If you're really, really good, you might be able to decipher what Ed Helms has to say about the new branch manager at "The Office" near the end of the video above.Otherwise, you'll have to settle for your first look at James Spader on the set as a full-time cast member and the rest of the cast's assessment of their new co-star. In short: They like him.Spader, for his part, really likes his character's name, Robert California, and seems to be enjoying his role so far -- which seems to involve being very, very different from Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and seeing how that affects the Dunder Mifflin team.As for the identity of the branch manager, that will remain secret until the season premiere of "The Office" on Thursday, Sept. 22....

James Spader on The Office

"I can assure you I did not win some sort of contest to replace Steve Carell ," insists James Spader , who joins the cast of The Office as Sabre CEO Robert California in the September 22 premiere. "I just thought, this show is fun, this character is strange and NBC asked me to sign on, so I said, 'Absolutely.'" How's life in the office so far?

'The Office': Josh Groban joins Andy's family too

A day after "The Office" gave Andy Bernard parents, the show is giving him a little brother.Grammy-winning singer Josh Groban will guest-star as Andy's (Ed Helms) younger brother on an episode this fall, Deadline reports. Presumably that episode will be the same one that features Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace as his parents.We're also guessing that there might be a fair amount of sibling rivalry. Groban is playing Walter Jr., which "Office" aficionados will recall was originally Andy's name, until his parents decided his younger brother was more deserving of it.It probably wouldn't be out of the question to expect a Bernard brothers musical duet/competition either, one which we suspect would not go in Andy's favor. Although we wonder why the Bernard family might make its way from Connecticut to Scranton -- could it be to celebrate their son's promotion to branch manager? Or perhaps their false belief that Andy was promoted? We're just spitballing...

'The Office': Stephen Collins, Dee Wallace playing Andy's parents

Ever wonder how Andy Bernard got to be the way he is? You'll get part of that answer on "The Office" this season, when we meet the Nard-Dog's parents.Stephen Collins ("7th Heaven," "No Ordinary Family") and Dee Wallace ("ET," "Sons & Daughters") will guest-star as Andy's (Ed Helms) folks in an episode this fall, EW reports. Collins tweeted about his guest spot Tuesday (Aug. 16), calling the cast a "ridiculously fun & talented group" and noting that in 1989 he worked with Rainn Wilson on Wilson's first professional acting job.From what we know about Andy's pre-Dunder Mifflin life, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard are fairly wealthy, and Dad's connections at Cornell are what got Andy admitted there. We're also guessing that they're either A) rather disappointed with Andy's current station in life or B) so coddling that they think he's doing super-awesome.A date hasn't been set for the Collins-Wallace episode, but if they're filming now it...

David Koechner on Todd Packer's Future in 'The Office'

Now that Michael Scott has left Dunder Mifflin, what will his former BFF Todd Packer do? Last seen during Season 7 being sent down to Florida after alienating the entire 'Office' gang, actor David Koechner is confident his obnoxious, love-to-hate character will rear his head in Scranton once again. "It's sort of like a bomb that they get to use every once in awhile, it's a grenade they get to throw at the place," Koechner said about his character. "And now he's got vengeance, so that could be fun." While doing press for 'Final Destination 5,' Koechner dished about his time on 'The Office' and his fond memories of working on 'Saturday Night Live.'

'The Office' Season 8 promo: Spader-ific!

We're not really buying the premise of NBC's promo campaign for Season 8 of "The Office." But we like it anyway.The network is telling us we'll "find out who the new boss is" in the season premiere Sept. 22. Technically, that's correct -- the identity of the new branch manager in Scranton is being kept quiet. But that's almost a secondary concern at this point. The show's producers have been pretty open about the fact that James Spader, the star of the promo above, is the new CEO of Sabre, and we're curious to see how the entire staff reacts to him, not just the new manager.So why are we OK with it? Because it gives us the full Spader, in all his weird, intense glory. There's no new footage in the 60-second spot, but it uses his guest appearance in last season's finale to very good effect. (This one is a little less effective,...

The Office Scoop: James Spader's the CEO, But Who's the Boss?

With Michael Scott out of  The Office 's paper company, Season 8 will see two new men take charge of Dunder Mifflin. When the NBC comedy returns, we'll learn that  James Spader 's eccentric Robert California has quickly moved up the ranks of Dunder Mifflin — now he's CEO. But don't expect the series to lose its awkward and endearing charm. "Spader has so much of a similar energy to  Steve Carell ," co-executive producer  Mindy Kaling  tells "Everything he says is funny." California will bring out both the best, and worst, in the Dunder Mifflinites simply by being the big man on a small campus. "He always feels like the alpha male in the room, which is really exciting, especially because everyone on our show is funny with an alpha male," co-executive producer  B.J. Novak  says. "He's extremely intelligent, almost too intelligent. He's an intellectual, and we've never had an intellectual in the Scranton office before so it's very funny to hear him talk to people." Read More...

Who Else is Pregnant on The Office?

Pam and Jim will be expecting baby number-two when we enter The Office again in September. But Creed Bratton dropped a bombshell at last night's Television Critics Association Press Tour, telling reporters: "Someone else is pregnant, and it’s not me." Read More...

Steve Carell Misses His 'Office' Friends, But Says He Won't Be Back for Any Cameos (VIDEO)

Steve Carell is one of the funniest comedic actors around, but every so often he's called upon to play it straight. Matt Lauer brought up Carell's versatility on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC), when he and Julianne Moore stopped by to promote their new film, 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' He asked Carell if he felt comfortable doing drama, and also how it felt to see 'The Office' go on without him. To answer Lauer's first question, Carell said, "Yes, I am a very fine dramatic actor. I know that's the point you were trying to make." Lauer laughed and said he wanted Carell to say it himself. "Well, I wanted to say it, and I was hoping that that subject would come up, because I really have a lot of pride in my dynamic dramatic acting," Carell deadpanned, motioning toward Moore. "She was so intimidated by me."

Jenna Fischer Dishes on New Season of The Office

The Office star Jenna Fischer steps out of her comfort zone in A Little Help, not only taking the lead role in a motion picture, but a very dramatic one at that.  In an interview with our partner site, Movie Fanatic, Jenna discusses that role in great detail. She also chatted a little about the upcoming Office campaign. We've posted excerpts below. Follow this link for Movie Fanatic's interview with Fischer, whose pregnancy is playing out in real life and at Dunder Mifflin: