'The Office' re-hires Catherine Tate

catherine-tate-gi.jpg"The Office" is bringing Catherine Tate back to Scranton.

Tate guest-starred in last season's finale as Nellie Bertram, a friend of Jo's ( Kathy Bates) who interviewed for Michael's ( Steve Carell) vacant position. Over the summer there were reports that she was a contender for the role that eventually went to James Spader, but she was doing a play in London and couldn't join the show at the start of the season.

She's free now and will join the show later in the season. Although Robert California (Spader) is now the CEO of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre, but Jo is still chairman of the board, and she hires Nellie as a special projects manager who reports directly to the corporate office.

"Catherine is hysterical. We introduced her briefly in last season's finale and knew she had to be a part of the show somehow," executive producer Paul Lieberstein says. "We're thrilled that she's joining the cast."

Lieberstein also says that Nellie's relationship with Robert will be "far from professional" -- perhaps she has a beef with Robert having talked his way into the CEO job?

Tate's best-known credits in the United States include her self-titled sketch comedy show and "Doctor Who," in which she played the Doctor's ( David Tennant) companion a couple of seasons back. She'll join "The Office" in the second half of the season.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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