We know the big “Office” news this week is the debut of Will Ferrell as new/interim Dunder Mifflin manager Deangelo Vickers. But allow us to look a month or so ahead, to the season finale.
The final episode of the season — and third of the post-Michael Scott era — will feature guest stars Ray Romano, Catherine Tate, Will Arnett and James Spader. And thanks to “Office” writer/producer/Kelly Mindy Kaling, we now know their characters’ names.
“William Arnett plays ‘Fred Henry,’ Raymond Romano plays ‘Merv Bronte,’ and James Spader plays ‘Robert California,'” Kaling tweeted on Tuesday (with the blessing of “Office” showrunner/Toby Paul Lieberstein). “These are real, guys.”
Tate’s character, Kaling added a couple minutes later, is named Nellie Bertrum. She also takes credit for half of the “Merv Bronte” name, saying she suggested the last name and fellow writer Daniel Chun pitched “Merv.” “It’s one of our greatest collaborations,” she notes.
Based on their having least silly character names, we’d give either Arnett or Tate the inside track at sticking around into next season. Arnett, however, is starring in another NBC comedy pilot, and Romano stars on (and co-created) TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age.” Tate and Spader seem to be the front-runners based on availability — unless the show decides to go another direction entirely.
“The Office” has its season finale on May 19.