Ricky Gervais nabbed an acting Emmy for Extras and won another for producing the long-running comedy series The Office. Now he’s hoping to catch voters’ eyes and hearts with Derek, the nuanced and bittersweet series that stars Gervais as a naive caretaker in nursing home whose optimism buoys the spirits of the elderly residents and fellow workers around him. Or not. The melancholic dramedy falls outside the comedian’s more mainstream hits and has drawn mixed reviews, although Gervais says it’s the selective viewer and not a broad audience that he was hoping to capture with Derek. The show’s second season is vying in the Comedy category after debuting on Netflix in May (Season 1 was ineligible for Emmys consideration last year). As Gervais tells Deadline, this will likely be the last full season viewers see of Derek Noakes, who may appear in his own special once Gervais’ Office alter ego David Brent gets his own spin-off film.
DEADLINE: The second season of Derek is competing in the Comedy category, but it’s really more bittersweet and deeply emotional than most comedies.
RICKY GERVAIS: Well, it’s nice to try and evoke any emotion. I’ve never thought comedy just had to be knee-jerk laughs every 30 seconds, you know? But I think that’s probably why it’s slightly different than most sitcoms – it’s slightly more sincere. I think comedy, in general, is a much more intellectual pursuit as opposed to an emotional one and possibly drama is probably more emotional. But they’re all branches of the same tree. It’s a workout for your emotions. That’s what fiction is: it’s role-play for the soul.
DEADLINE: The idea that shows or content or art has to be one or the other, comedy or drama, is rather reductive and only comes up during awards season, doesn’t it?
GERVAIS: Yes, it does. “What category is it in?” and that. But some people need to pigeonhole so they can sit down and enjoy it. It’s very strange. And it’s funny. I’ve had it with everything I’ve ever done. People decide what it is and then they complain that it’s not what they said it would be. It’s the same with when people try to retell a joke. They say the joke that I told, totally different, and then they say, “Isn’t that horrendous?” And I want to say, “Yes, that is horrendous. That’s not the joke I told. You at least have to say the joke I told to criticize me for it. You at least have to get every single word and comma and pacing and nuance before you can criticize it. Because in a joke, everything matters. It’s a piece of poetry, a good joke, and everything counts. So you can’t miss out a bit. You just can’t. You’re not allowed.” Read More »
Netflix subscribers can finally catch the second season of Ricky Gervais‘ original comedy series Derek when it becomes available for streaming on Friday, May 30 at 12:01 AM PT. The announcement comes after last month’s news that UK’s Channel 4 is ordering six new half hours. Derek follows a naively, simple man played by Gervais who works in a nursing home. All six episodes will launch in all Netflix territories except in the U.K. In a statement, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos exclaimed, “Ricky is a terrific partner and he has created a heartfelt character, in Derek, that Netflix members have fallen in love with. His attention to detail and relentless vision to change conventional storytelling on television is perfectly aligned with what we are trying to do with our original series.”
Netflix has unveiled a full trailer for Derek, its upcoming 30 minute comedy-drama starring Ricky Gervais as a naive retirement home caretaker. Karl Pilkington, David Earl, and Kerry Godliman co-star on the show which first ran last year on the UK’s Channel 4. Gervais stars in, wrote, and directed the series which begins streaming on Netflix on September 12:
Ricky Gervais writes, directs, exec produces, and stars in the original series about a naive man who works in a nursing home, which Netflix will debut at 12:01 AM PT on September 12. Derek already premiered in the UK via Channel 4. The show will launch stateside and in international Netflix territories including Canada, Ireland, Latin America, Brazil and the Nordics in seven 30-minute episodes launching simultaneously. A second season has already been renewed. David Earl, Karl Pilkington and Kerry Godliman star in the comedy-drama series as fellow care workers. Derek is produced by Derek Productions Ltd. for Netflix.
Derek, Ricky Gervais’ comedy series about a naively simple middle-aged man who works in a nursing home, has been renewed by Britain’s Channel 4. The show’s first season finishes its run on March 6 with the early episodes drawing an average 2.1M viewers for a 9.9% share. Six new half hours have been ordered. In September, it was announced that Netflix had acquired the show for the U.S. where it will be made available later this year. Gervais calls the show “probably my favorite thing of everything I’ve done.” In Britain last year, there were concerns that the series mocked disabled people, but Gervais denied he was poking fun and noted, “The real risk with this is the people who don’t watch it and make assumptions. The idea that (Derek) is cruel follows you around. But some people don’t get it and some people don’t like it. Hopefully, there will be enough people who find it.” Last week, Gervais said he was bringing back his original Office character, David Brent, in a new mini-episode for the UK’s Red Nose Day telethon on March 15.