‘The Office’ Hires James Spader, Ray Romano, Catherine Tate — Will One Replace Carell?

The trio will appear in the May 19 season finale as potential replacements for Michael Scott

Last Updated: April 6, 2011 @ 2:29 PM

Three more names have emerged as possible replacements for Steve Carell on "The Office" — and one of them is not like the others.

According to TV Line, James Spader and Ray Romano will appear on the May 19 season finale of the popular NBC comedy, as will British actress Catherine Tate.

Tate isn't yet a household name in the U.S. but is well-known to fans of British television for her critically-acclaimed self-titled sketch comedy series (update: and, as I have been reminded by a pair of astute and geeky readers, her glorious stint on "Doctor Who").

Also read: Replacing Steve Carell: 7 Actors Who'd Dominate on 'The Office'

Along with the previously confirmed casting of Ricky Gervais and Will Arnett, this news swells the list of actors lined up for the finale to five. There's no guarantee, of course, that any of these outsiders will end up joining the series for its eighth season, as one of the show's current cast members — vote Team Andy! — could simply step into Michael Scott's managerial role.

But of the five — and don't forget Will Ferrell, who will appear in four episodes starting April 14 as an incompetent sub for Michael Scott — we suspect Arnett would fit best with the show's established vibe. And while he recently signed on for Emily Spivey's untitled NBC pilot, he could find himself back in the mix if the Lorne Michaels-produced offering doesn't make it to series.

But something tells us that a major surprise awaits us on May 19. If you have any clue about what will happen, for the love of Schrute, please let us know!

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