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October 24, 2014

stephen merchant

'The Ricky Gervais Show' to Premiere Feb. 19

by Allyssa Lee, posted Dec 22nd 2009 5:00PM
Good news, Ricky Gervais fans. HBO has announced that 'The RIcky Gervais Show' -- an animated series based on the Brit's hit podcasts -- will debut on the cable pay network on Feb. 19. For those of you keeping count, this is just one short month after the comedic actor hosts NBC's broadcast of the Golden Globes Awards ceremony on Jan. 17.

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.

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HBO exec session: Hung, True Blood, Entourage renewed; Gervais animated show ordered - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 30th 2009 6:42PM
HBO logoMichael Lombardo and Richard Plepler of HBO held an executive session at the beginning of HBO's star-studded presentation. Among the news:

  • 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.

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The Office is going to Israel

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 30th 2009 3:33PM
Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais and Stephen Merchant must be kvelling, as their BBC brainchild is being developed into its sixth foreign version. This time, David Brent (or whatever the character's name will be) and his paper company will be located in Israel.

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?

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Gervais working on an Extras spinoff?

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 4th 2008 11:23AM
ExtrasAccording to the UK entertainment site Digital Spy, Ricky Gervais is talking about doing a spin-off of Extras, which he recently concluded with a holiday special. The spin-off would focus on Shaun Williamson's character Barry (referred to most of the time as "Barry from EastEnders") and co-creator Stephen Merchant's clueless agent Darren Lamb.

Williamson confirmed to a British radio station that he is in talks with Gervais about the spin-off. "We talked half-jokingly about a show with the pair in a camper van, solving crimes," he told the station.

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The Best and Worst of 2007: Annie's list - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 3rd 2008 6:02PM
Annie's best and worst

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...

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Extras: The Complete Second Season - DVD review

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 20th 2007 10:00AM
Extras Season 2Yes, I know it's been a couple of months since the second season of Extras came out on DVD. But since I reviewed Season One earlier this year, I figured it would only be fair to look over Season Two, even if it's only for anal completist reasons (Of course, our UK Bureau -- otherwise known as "Martin Conaghan" -- reviewed the series when it aired on the BBC; his reviews start 1/4 of the way down this page).

From everything I heard and read, the second season of the Ricky Gervais / Stephen Merchant comedy was better than the first season. Of course, given the high standards set by Gervais and Merchant, that was saying a lot. After watching Season Two, I have to say that I agree with those assessments, but not for the reason that you think.

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Ricky Gervais goes to Africa, or does he? - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 14th 2007 11:03AM

ricky gervaisNot everyone is naturally funny, but some forms of humor are easier than others. I think that's why I'm always so impressed with Ricky Gervais, because the man can create some truly vicious satire with the skill of a true artisan.

I invite you to check out a video Gervais made for Comic Relief that also features Stephen Merchant, Bob Geldof, and a special surprise guest in the end. Watch as Gervais and his gang do everything they can to get more time in the limelight without much regard to the cause they're supposedly trying to support. The whole video runs a little over eight minutes, but trust me, it's worth sitting through. This is far and away funnier than anything I've ever seen Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg perform. I don't mean "perform on Comic Relief" I mean "performed anywhere, ever."

See the video after the jump.

UPDATE: In the comments, reader RazorD provides some background on Jamie Oliver, the man who appears in the video eating fast food. Thanks for the insight, RD. You're right, it makes the video that much funnier.

[via Popwatch]

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Extras is done, say Gervais and Merchant

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 20th 2007 12:23PM
Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen, Ricky GervaisAccording to Lisa de Moraes of The Washington Post, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have officially stated that there will not be a third season of Extras (the story is at the bottom of this page). Just like with their other creation, The Office, the comedic creative team felt that two seasons were more than enough, and just like with The Office, the show will be wrapped up with a standalone special, air date TBD. Slightly more information is here, via The Hollywood Reporter.

In interviews, Gervais had been going back and forth on doing a third season, but I think most people knew what he and Merchant were really thinking all along. The two of them like the British format of short seasons that air whenever the creators get around to writing a new series, and they both seem like they like spending their careers doing different projects (Gervais is currently touring England with a one-man show called Fame). So hearing that Extras isn't getting a third season isn't a big surprise.

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Blink and you'll miss it: Stephen Merchant on 24, Ricky Gervais still to come

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 15th 2007 8:04AM
Stephen Merchant on 24Did anyone catch Stephen Merchant on 24 last night? It was a "blink and you'll miss it" moment, and the poor guy didn't even get a line. However, as a self-professed fan of the show, it was probably a moment in heaven for him. Literally, a moment. Someone hands him a sheet of paper that he's supposed to ostensibly do something extremely critical with (hey, he works in the CTU after all), and he gives them a grim little nod in return.

Ahhh, the acting chops that had to take. Still, I would've jumped at the chance to be on the show, even if I was background extra number 48 in a crowd scene. I've missed the last two seasons, but this premiere sucked me back in. That's how easy I am.

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Joss Whedon to direct episode of The Office

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 9th 2007 1:31PM
Joss Whedon The OfficeRumor has it that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly mastermind Joss Whedon will be directing an episode of The Office. Considering that Scranton is situated right over a Hellmouth, it makes perfect sense. The rumor first surfaced on both Televisionary and FilmIck, but has been confirmed by Joss himself over on Whedonesque. (Scroll way down to see his two cents.)

As connoisseurs of the Whedon oeuvre may remember, Joss got his start writing for the sitcom Rosanne. He earned his television directing chops care of Buffy, Angel and Firefly. What should we expect from this most inspired of pairings - long master shots through the entire office, sequences done entirely in silence and lots of Pam's feet? Probably not, but I bet we're in for at least one guaranteed heartbreaker of a moment between Pam and Jim. Whedon's awfully good at bringing the funny and the waterworks, but so long as he's not actually writing the episode, I feel relatively safe. I wouldn't want anyone to die on us. It's not that kind of show so don't get any ideas, Whedon.

Thanks to reader Brendon Connelly for the tip.

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DVD Review: Extras: The Complete First Season

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 7th 2007 11:31AM
Extras first season DVDAs I may have mentioned here once or twice, I was a huge fan of the British version of The Office. No matter what the US version accomplishes or how good it gets, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the vision Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant had of the average dead-boring workplace and the relationships that are developed there.

So when I was sent a preview copy of the first season of the pair's follow-up effort, Extras (out Tuesday), I was intrigued but wary: after such a successful debut, the sophomore effort more often than not disappoints. Also, all the reviews of the show I had read during its BBC and HBO runs (I have neither channel) were of the mixed-to-positive variety. So... is it worth buying, renting, or neither? I'll let you know after the jump.

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Harold Ramis to direct The Office

by Brett Love, posted Nov 17th 2006 4:01PM
Harold RamisNBC's The Office isn't the number one comedy on TV where ratings are concerned, but what it lacks in big numbers it makes up for with sheer cool. Rich posted earlier about the episode written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant that airs Nov. 30th. Now comes word that the big holiday special episode will be directed by Harold Ramis.

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.

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Ricky Gervais episode of The Office to air November 30th

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 14th 2006 9:01AM

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant write The Office.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.

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Extras: Episode 6 (series finale)

by Martin Conaghan, posted Oct 19th 2006 10:01PM
Darren Lamb(S02E06) How do you round off a series like Extras?

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.

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Ricky Gervais to quit podcasting

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 22nd 2006 10:11AM
ricky gervaisDoes Ricky Gervais have a short attention span? I ask because he only seems to do things for two 'seasons' and then move on to something else. The original version of The Office only lasted two seasons and he recently said Extras will end after this season. Now there's word that his incredibly popular/hilarious podcast is done, too. According to BBC News, Gervais said he and Office co-creator Stephen Merchant were just trying out something new to see if they could cut out the middle man.

There were more than 8 million downloads of The Ricky Gervais Show podcast. The first twelve episodes were free and the second twelve had a fee. In typical Gervais fashion, he says of one of his co-hosts, "Karl never has to work again and I believe that maybe he won't."

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