Replacing Steve Carell on The Office is quite an important task for NBC and the producers of the hit sitcom, so it goes to reason that the search will cast a wide net around a plethora of possibilities. One such possibility? James Gandolfini, in an undetermined role. Before you get all excited about seeing Tony Soprano back on series television, though: fuggedaboutit. Gandolfini turned them down, despite being a fan of the show. James Spader, however, has not.

Spader—who inexplicably drew some raves for his stilted William Shatner-aping on the season finale—is also in talks with NBC for a role on the show, but not the Carell boss slot. The Office also needs to replace Kathy Bates as CEO of Sabre (she's got her own show on NBC), and Spader would likely take that position. The recurring role would sprinkled throughout the season.

Does that mean Office producers are ready to give John Krasinski the slot, and forget all these shenanigans? Doubtful, but here's hoping they all come to their senses.

[via Variety]