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James Spader leaving 'The Office'

Actor James Spader poses on the press line

Actor James Spader poses on the press line at the opening gala celebration in 2008 of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA in Los Angeles. Credit: AP, 2008

James  Spader -- aka "The Transition Guy," aka "The Guy Named after a State" in "The Office" -- is leaving the series.  

A surprise?  Spader's character -- dry, odd, strange, weird, and not always particularly funny -- has divided "Office" fans. I think he's fine and has worked in the few instances he's appeared. But "I" am probably in the minority here. Executive producer Paul Lieberstein said in a statement: 

“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. 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.”

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