Catherine Tate Becomes 'The Office' Series Regular

Catherine Tate Becomes 'The Office' Series Regular Catherine Tate's been hanging around "The Office" so long, somebody finally just gave her a full-time gig. The nerd in me isn't sure whether to unabashedly go "squee," or beg that she get off the sinking ship immediately.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and TV Line reported Friday that after appearing in 10 season-eight episodes, Tate's Nellie Bertram will be returning as a series regular when the ninth season begins this fall. With the many names leaving, it's good to see someone taking the "In" door. Writer-producer-actress Mindy Kaling is bound for Fox and her own helmed series. True to what was reportedly planned, James Spader is out after a year. And finally, Rainn Wilson looks poised for a mid-season departure to ignite his Dwight Schrute spin-off.

Tate made her debut in the season-seven "Search Committee" finale, playing a prospective replacement for the departing Steve Carell's regional manager Michael Scott. Alas, 'twas Spader who prevailed over the likes of Tate, Jim Carrey, Ray Romano, Will Arnett and others to succeed Scott.

Still, use was found for Nellie. She showed up repeatedly this season as President of Sabre's special projects. She's crass, rude, socially awkward, and sometimes more trouble than she's worth. Imagine Michael Scott with an auburn wig and breasts. There, meet Nellie Bertram.

And just like Michael, after much awkwardness with her office-mates, she manages to bond with people and earn acceptance. Tate was reportedly the first choice to replace Carell, but her London theater commitments canceled that.

Of course, those of us who speak "nerd" revere her as the companion to the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) on the BBC's revised "Doctor Who." She played feisty, often cranky Donna Noble starting with the 2006 Christmas special, then reprised it during the show's 2008 season.

 
 
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