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?
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.
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...
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.
Not 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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