NBC will showcase an impressive gallery of marquee guest stars in its series in January-February with Kathy Bates in “The Office,” Jack Black in “Community,” Debra Winger in “Law & Order,” Elizabeth Banks, James Franco, and the return of Jon Hamm in “30 Rock,” Sharon Stone and Mischa Barton in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” James Van Der Beek and Michael Imperioli in “Mercy,” Jason Ritter in “Parenthood” and Katharine McPhee in “Community”
In addition, Pam and Jim experience the birth of their baby in a special two-part episode of “The Office” on Thursday, March 4 and Thursday, March 11 (9-9:30 p.m. ET both nights).
The announcements were made by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.
A summary of the guest stars and their roles includes:
In “The Office,” Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner Bates (“Misery,” “The Late Shift”) portrays the CEO of Sabre, the mysterious company that buys Dunder Mifflin. The charismatic and iconoclastic CEO is the most exciting guest the Scranton branch has ever seen – and a Southern charmer who has always done things her way. Bates will appear in a multi-episode arc beginning on Thursday, February 4.
The popular Black (“King Kong,” “Nacho Libre”) plays a young man in “Community” who is eager to join the study group when it re-convenes after winter break — and must convince the members that he is worthy of admittance — on Thursday, January 14.
Winger (“Terms of Endearment”) makes a rare television appearance in “Law & Order” as a high school principal on Friday, January 29.
In “30 Rock,” Banks is a CNBC reporter who starts dating Jack Donaghy (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin) beginning Thursday, February 11.
Likewise in “30 Rock,” Golden Globe winner Hamm (“Mad Men”) returns as the doctor who arouses Liz’s (Tina Fey) romantic interest on Thursday, February 11.
Also, “30 Rock” welcomes James Franco (“Spiderman”) who portrays himself on January 14.
The Oscar-nominated and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Stone appears in a four-episode arc on “Law “& Order: SVU” as a former cop-turned prosecutor.
James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”) will appear on “Mercy” over an eight-episode arc as Dr. Liam West, the new head of Mercy Hospital’s intensive care unit who clashes with Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling) beginning Wednesday, January 27.
Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”) will play a pregnant prostitute who turns to Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for help in a life-or-death decision (date TBA) in “Law & Order: SVU.”
Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) guest-stars as a defiant hand transplant patient who wants his donor hand amputated after discovering it once belonged to a pedophile in “Mercy” on January 13.
Jason Ritter (“Joan of Arcadia”) guest-stars in “Parenthood” in a multi-episode arc as a cute English teacher who inspires Amber (Mae Whitman) to focus on her studies.
Katharine McPhee (“American Idol” finalist) will play Chevy Chase’s step-daughter and potential love interest for Jeff (Joel McHale) in the first post-Olympics episode.