It’s been a good day for a few former paper salesmen from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Craig Robinson and Jenna Fischer, two graduates of the classic comedy The Office, were cast in prominent network roles today. Both actors are coming off relatively unsustainable spells on television, especially after hefty nine-year-straight careers on NBC.
Robinson, who played Darryl the warehouse manager-to-paper salesman, has been cast as a recurring guest star in season two of Mr. Robot, The Hollywood Reporter stated today.
The character, Ray, will be a local townie who will somehow aid lead man Elliot (Rami Malek) in, presumably, important goings-on. As the former Office alum has been declared a “recurring” role, it is possible that Robinson’s neighborhood-man character will flourish into a larger persona, if this character can live long enough to do so.
Robinson isn’t, however, the first or possibly last guest-star-addition to Mr. Robot. He joins a varied and unusual collection–Grace Gummer, best known for her roles on American Horror Story and HBO’s The Newsroom; newcomer actor Chris Conroy, whose first television role, ABC’s Members Only, has not aired yet; and youthful rapper Joey Bada$$, who has never acted professionally before. This set alone may seem strangely myopic enough (though Gummer’s AHS did compete in the same category as Mr. Robot), but Robinson’s inclusion only makes it stranger.
Robinson has had a strictly comedic diet so far. After The Office, he went on to act in movies Hot Tub Time Machine and This Is the End, as well as starting his own comedy show, Mr. Robinson (which was cancelled after its first season). This dramatic role will be an entirely new style, but from what the producers at Mr. Robot, which will begin shooting its second season on Monday, say about the character, it seems to be a fairly important first crack.
Fischer, on the other hand, will be keeping her residence in the comedy neighborhood. Today, only an hour after Robinson’s grab was announced, Variety revealed that another Office graduate had snagged a new television spot. Fischer has been cast in the lead female role for a new CBS comedy pilot called I’m Not Your Friend, playing opposite Friends star Matt LeBlanc.
Best known for her role as Pam Beesly/Halpert, Fischer will now be playing a new empowered workplace woman, named Andi. After deciding that the life of stay-at-home motherhood is not for her, Andi returns to her job as a medical lab tech, having her husband Adam (LeBlanc), take on the main parenting role. The multi-cam pilot (a style unlike The Office) will focus on the antics Adam gets up to while trying to raise children and work as a contractor simultaneously.
Unlike Robinson, this isn’t Fischer’s triumphant return to the network world. In fact, Fischer is currently starring in her old haunt NBC’s show, You, Me, and the Apocalypse. Sources at Variety also claim that Fischer had been “courted” by several pilots recently until she had decided to sign with LeBlanc’s project.
However either do, both Robinson and Fischer are several more examples of how The Office still has the ability to catapult its cast to bigger and better things–most notably Steve Carell, who recently tucked yet another Oscar nomination under his belt for The Big Short.