According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pilot for BBC2 follows 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars' actor Davis in his day-to-day life. Gervais and Merchant appear in minor roles.
Billed as an observational comedy, the pilot also tackles the frustrations Davis faces as a little person.
'The Ricky Gervais Show' (Sun., 9PM ET on HBO) has jumped out of the podcast world and into the animated HBO world. Somehow, seeing these funny guys as cartoon characters is not the least bit odd. We've sort of thought of them that way all along. We're just glad they've finally owned up to their true calling.
For more on the show and his many projects, check out our interview with Gervais.
Watch the video after the jump.
Anyone who's listened to Ricky Gervais' podcasts or audiobooks knows that a) Karl Pilkington is an idiot and that b) Gervais and Stephen Merchant have made their fascination over Pilkington into gut-clutching comedy.
Why was the podcast so funny (and popular)? Because Pilkington just said stuff that was completely off-the-wall in such a straight-faced, matter-of-fact way, like when he talked about a time in history when "cavemen and dinosaurs were knocking about." These nonchalant statements made Gervais and Merchant -- especially Gervais -- convulse with laughter, which emphasized just how ridiculous Pilkington's statements really were.
So the challenge to Gervais and Merchant: How do you bring the twisted "genius" of Pilkington to television? Animation, of course! The result, 'The Ricky Gervais Show,' which premieres on HBO Friday at 9PM ET (you can register and watch the first full episode here), brings the podcast to life in a way that will satisfy both fans of the podcast and those who are hearing Ricky, Stephen and Karl for the first time.
Alex O'Loughlin fans have been begging to get him a new role on TV -- and now, he's booked it, Danno. I've got O'Loughlin's thoughts on taking the lead in the 'Hawaii 5-0' remake. Then I've got his 'Back-up Plan' costar Jennifer Lopez dishing about her stint on 'How I Met Your Mother' and going all Madonna on 'Glee.'
Plus, don't miss a hilarious reveal from no-nonsense 'No Reservations' host Anthony Bourdain, and the scoop on 'The Ricky Gervais Show' from funnyman Stephen Merchant.
Want more? Email me TV questions at TheTVShowGirl@aol.com and I'll try to get you answers on the show. -- By Maggie Furlong
Gervais' answers about the show and the Globes during his TCA session on Thursday were largely similar to what he told Nick during the conference call earlier in the month. But I just loved his infectious laugh when he was talking about Karl. He wants to make Karl famous just to tick the shy guy off, and because the show is being taken from the existing podcast recordings, the version of Karl you hear is the unvarnished one.
So, at the end of the reporters' scrum, I asked Gervais what Pilkington-ism makes him laugh the hardest. He and Merchant had some pretty funny responses:
"I want to host it a little bit more like someone from the Rat Pack would host it," he says. "You know, just off the cuff and just playing the room and having fun with the people and roasting a few of the A-listers and hopefully it'll be fun for the room and the people at home."
"I do want people to have the feeling that anything can happen," he adds. "I want to be reactive so I don't want to just go out there and read an alter cue and do a very staid joke and have that sort of polite sort of titter."
The world's most successful podcast is getting the television treatment next year starting on February 13.
So how do you turn a podcast into a TV show? That's simple. You animate it. Episodes of the podcast featuring Gervais, Stephen Merchant and the aforementioned Pilkington will be turned into cartoon creatures for the TV version. I came to the podcast very late in life and am sure that will count against me at my karma hearing in the afterlife, but this should more than make up for it.
The 13-episode show will feature the voices of Gervais, longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant (with whom Gervais created BBC's 'The Office', from which the American version was based) and radio producer and friend Karl Pilkington.
- The entire Sunday summer lineup: Entourage, True Blood, and Hung will be coming back next summer.
- They've ordered an animated series from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant based on their podcasts with the ever-entertaining Karl Pilkington.
- On a third season of Flight of the Conchords: "We're ready when they're ready."
- The pilot of Boardwalk Empire, directed by Martin Scorsese, has been delivered to HBO. It will be picked up based on what they see. They like what they see so far.
- No more Little Britain USA, but they are working with the producers to create specials with all-new characters.
More coming. Stay tuned to our Twitter feed for the latest updates.
Given the political climate in that area of the world, one has to wonder what their office will be like? Will it be shared by Jews and Arabs? Which religion will the central "boss" character be? Will that even come into play?
I was going to write a long, elaborate intro about how excited I am that it's a new year, but I decided to make this image instead. Look out, Alec and Tina! There's a weeping angel behind you! And check out how Heidi is super excited to be with the not-so-excited guys from Flight of the Conchords. And it looks like David Anders enjoys speaking in big speech bubbles. No, I'm not still buzzed from New Year's Eve, I just have a little too much fun in Photoshop. However, I'm sure some of you are still somehow hungover from celebrating days and days ago, so let's jump right in...
Jenna Fischer, in her live blog for last night's episode, says that the Ramis episode is "rumored to be our best ever." Of course, she may be a little biased. If you haven't read her live blog, it is worth a look. Among the things she touches on are her favorite TV shows, her thoughts on the popularity of the show, if Oscar is coming back, and her favorite Pam/Jim scene.
Back in February we reported that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant were co-writing an episode of the U.S. version of The Office. At that time there was no information on when the episode would air and what it would be about. Well, that information has now been released, and its premiere is sooner than you would think.
The Gervais-Merchant episode of The Office will air on November 30th, right at the end of the fall sweeps period. Titled "The Convict", the episode has Michael (Steve Carell) trying to be supportive when he finds out one of his new employees, possibly someone from the recently-closed Stamford branch, has a prison record. Meanwhile, the newly returned Jim provides some "advice" to Andy (Ed Helms) when he tries to make a move on Pam.
Here's a bit of trivia for you television geeks: "The Convict" will be the 38th episode of the U.S. The Office. This is over three times the amount that Gervais and Merchant produced for the U.K. version of the series. That version of The Office ran for only two six-episode seasons and finished with a wrap-up Christmas special in 2003.
Well, nabbing someone like Robert De Niro for the finale is probably one of the best places to start, and as sad as I am to see this fantastic show come to an end (let's hope I'm wrong), I'm happy with the way Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant let their characters walk off into the sunset.
With the UK's top chat show host, Jonathan Ross, kicking off the episode in his typical Friday night interview style, and a sterling appearence from British actor Robert Lindsay -- not to mention a sublime performance from De Niro (as himself), I can happily say goodbye to Andy Millman, Darren Lamb, Maggie Jacobs and the rest of the Extras cast, without feeling the urge to demand more.
However, I wouldn't say no to a Christmas special -- just to round everything off after my turkey dinner on the 25th December.
The second series of Extras begins Thursday on the BBC. It'll run on HBO in the Unites States, debut date is not yet set.
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- 'Sleepy Hollow' Season 2 Cast Photos
- 'Under the Dome': 17 Shocking Moments from 'Revelation'
- 'Mistresses' Poll: Should Karen Have Chosen Jacob Over Anna?
- [Video] 'Bachelor in Paradise' Preview: Lots of Tears, Hookups and Regrets
- 'Real Housewives' Roundup: A Possible Divorce, Another Arrest and a Broken Friendship
- More From BuddyTV
- Regina King Joins American Crime Drama, Books Big Bang Encore
- Anthony Hopkins Boards J.J. Abrams' HBO Sci-Fi Pilot Westworld
- The Mindy Project Season 3: Cheers Vet Rhea Perlman to Play Danny's Mother
- CBS' Stalker Adds Law & Order Vet Elisabeth Röhm as Series Regular
- Witches of East End Recruits Chuck's Sarah Lancaster for 'Mysterious' Role
- More From TVLine
- 5 Seconds of Summer is Our New Australian Obsession
- Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair
- Derek Jeter Speaks Out for the First Time After the All-Star Game
- John Stamos Gives Beach Boys Fan The Surprise Of His Life
- How Well Do the 5 Seconds of Summer Boys Know Each Other? ET Puts Them to the Test
- More From ET