Cor blimey, the British aren’t coming — they’re here to stay. Including Ricky Gervais’ surprise Emmy nomination as Lead Actor in a Comedy series for Derek this morning, there are 15 nods for Brits in the acting races this year. If we add voice-overs, Jeremy Irons and Daniel Craig would make it 17 performance nods. Last year, there were 14 total.
British actors have been plying their trade in U.S. series for ages, but this crop boasts a lot of British-based (or instigated) productions and co-productions rather than U.S. shows à la Homeland. The UK TV tax credit has encouraged British broadcasters to strive for increasingly ambitious productions.
The Derek star may have almost had waterworks but he was far from the only one getting emotional online after the TV Academy announced the list of nominees announced for this year’s Emmy Awards. Check out some of the best tweets we saw this morning. Do you have any more good ones we can add in?
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.”
EXCLUSIVE: Ricky Gervais has been set to reprise his role as Dr. McPhee in Night At The Museum 3, which Shawn Levy is directing from the script written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant and David Guion and Michael Handelman for Fox. Ben Stiller is reprising his lead role, and Gervais is back as his boss. Robin Williams also is returning as Teddy Roosevelt in a film Fox has slotted for Christmas 2014. Gervais next will be seen in Muppets Most Wanted and is developing an animated feature based on his book Flanimals for Illumination Entertainment and Universal. He’s repped by WME and United Agents in the UK.
With the U.S. version of The Office just wrapped, fans of the original Brit hit can reminisce about their lovable-loser boss courtesy of Ricky Gervais. The man who co-created the series is perpetuating the goofball inspiration for Steve Carell’s Michael Scott in a series of videos called “Learn Guitar With David Brent”. And here’s the latest, complete with NSFW title and a dissertation on why his twentysomething mates are “blown away” by him:
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:
Disney‘s follow-up to their 2011 box office hitThe Muppets takes Kermit the Frog & Co. on a globe-trotting caper with celebrity pals like Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and loads of cameos. Here’s the first teaser trailer for the Spring 2014 release directed by Muppets helmer James Bobin and written by Bobin and Muppets co-scribe Nicholas Stoller. Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie also returns to pen the film’s songs. Check out the first peek at Muppets Most Wanted:
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Ricky Gervais‘ longtime writing partner and production collaborator Stephen Merchant insisted today at TCA that his new eight-episode HBO comedy series Hello Ladiesthat debuts on the network September 29 isn’t designed as his big move to step out of Gervais’ shadow and establish his own performing chops. “Not at all,” the shy, deadpan Merchant said. “It was actually HBO’s idea. They suggested a sitcom after seeing my standup act. And because Ricky has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Jane since he was like 20, and I have huge issues in my dating life, it just evolved as being my own.” Merchant stars, co-writes and directs the half-hour that casts him as a bumbling, gangly English web designer named Stuart who is transplanted to Los Angeles. It’s all about his hapless attempts to blend in with the sophisticated L.A. social scene and striking out with the ladies. Read More »
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.
One comedy is coming to an end as another is coming back. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant‘s Life’s Too Short will formally wrap up its run on HBO with a special to air this summer. Following actor Warwick Davis’ attempts at fame, the mocumentary special will be broadcast on July 5, HBO announced today. The BBC/HBO comedy series starring Davis, Gervais and Merchant premiered Stateside on February 2012 and ran for seven episodes. The special was first announced in January of this year. The special was created by Gervais, Merchant & Davis with the first two as executive producers, along with Mark Freeland and Charlie Hanson as producer. The special was written and directed by Gervais & Merchant.
FX’s Wilfred is coming back for its third season in June, the cable network said today. With two back-to-back episodes the show will debut its third cycle on June 20 at 10 PM. Starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann, Wilfred will also air two episodes on June 27 too. Starting on July 11, the show will return to weekly single episodes. Based on the Australian series of the same title about a man and his relationship with his neighbor’s walking talking dog (at least to him), Wilfred and was originally adapted for FX by David Zuckerman. Along with Reed Agnew, Eli Jorné, Jason Gann, Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park, Randall Einhorn, and Joe Connor and Ken Connor of … Read More »
Francis Underwood is about to resume his fictional House of Cards climb up the greasy pole of political power in Washington D. C. “We start shooting Season 2 of #houseofcards in 2 weeks,” actress Constance Zimmertweeted today to Ricky Gervais and the “Gareth Keenan” Twitter account of the fictional former UK Office character played by Mackenzie Crook. Zimmer plays reporter Janine Skorsky on the David Fincher-produced Netflix series. Lead Kevin Spacey plays the scheming Congressman Underwood in the streaming only show. The second season of House of Cards will be 13 episodes long like the first season. No official word if Season 2 will all be put up on Netflix simultaneously like the first season was. At least one thing is sure, with the show shooting in Maryland like it also did for Season 1, star Stacey won’t have far to travel to get to D.C. for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 27. Spacey, along with co-star Robin Wright and Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos is going as a guest of Bloomberg.
Homeland star Damian Lewis will join the cast of BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley when it reunites for Friday night’s Comic Relief telethon. This year’s Funny for Money broadcast is set to offer plenty of YouTube-ready revival sketches for viewers. Already set is Ricky Gervais resurrecting The Office character David Brent. The Vicar of Dibley’s reunion is its first since since another Comic Relief sketch in 2007, which co-starred Sting. Lewis was keen to take part, he said, because he’d been unavailable for past specials. “Some of my favorite actors are in The Vicar of Dibley and I grew up watching them on TV,” he said. He joins a high profile guest cast that includes Kylie Minogue, Sarah Ferguson and Johnny Depp. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ricky Gervais, scourge of the Golden Globes and creator of The Office, Extras and most recently Derek, has made a deal through Derek Productions to provide exclusive original content to the Ricky Gervais YouTube channel. That channel is part of the web hub’s original channels initiative in the UK.
Said Gervais: “Any artist will tell you that they want as many people to see their work with as little interference to that work as possible. To create, get final edit, and be the broadcaster is the ultimate artistic experience. This is why I have partnered with YouTube for original programming. And because of all that money they gave me too, obviously.”
Gervais’s first contribution will be to bring back David Brent. That character had a cameo appearance in an episode of The Office: An American Workplace in 2011, and this will be the first fully authored performance of Brent since 2003. The channel will air all new original content from Gervais, including sketches, filmed podcasts & behind the scenes antics and interviews from the forthcoming The Muppets… Again. The web channel is accessible on youtube.com/rickygervais. Read More »
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.
Ricky Gervais is dusting off his David Brent persona in support of Comic Relief. The character, created by Gervais and Stephen Merchant for their original UK version of The Office, hasn’t been seen in ten years (save for a brief cameo appearance by Gervais on one of Steve Carell’s last episodes of the U.S. The Office). Gervais wrote on his blog “I thought it was time to revisit my most famous comedy creation to find out what he’s been up to for the last decade and most importantly what he’s up to now.” A mini-episode entitled The Office Revisited will show that Brent has not given up his dream of making it in the music business. The documentary crew find him selling cleaning products to anywhere “with toilets, floors and staircases.” But he’s also managing acts and living vicariously through a young performer, Dom Johnson. According to Gervais, “Fans of The Office will be excited to know we finally get to hear the whole of ‘The Serpent Who Guards The Gates Of Hell’ and an amazingly cringeworthy, self-funded video ‘Equality Street’. Horrendous.” The Office Revisited will be shown as part of the UK’s Red Nose Day telethon on March 15 on BBC One. There’s a teaser below, but to see the (embed-disabled) trailer, hop over to You Tube.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
After serving as its controversial, take-no-prisoners host the past three years, Ricky Gervais is going to have to miss the Golden Globes this Sunday, he told critics during a TCA promo for his latest original comedy series, Derek, on Netflix. “I honestly enjoyed the last three Golden Globes immensely,” he said. “To be the most feared man in Hollywood for three hours is such fun.” Responding to the fact his insults of the gathered stars became such a huge deal, he maintained that the experience ultimately had little impact on his life and career. “That was such a tiny part of my life,” he said. “I literally treated it as three hours’ work. But usually you have to murder someone to get that many column inches. The next day, I’d forgotten about it and was writing new series and new standup.” Read More »
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant‘s latest series, HBO/BBC comedy Life’s Too Short, will come back to HBO for a special, which will wrap the story. Gervais had been talking about doing a Life Is Too Short special since the summer when it became clear that there will be no second season of the mocumentary created by and starring Warwick Davis, Gervais and Merchant, which premiered on HBO last February and ran for seven episodes. Now HBO has committed to the special, which will air later this year. Merchant is already working on a new comedy series for HBO, Hello Ladies.