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 …
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 Ladies that 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.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.
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.
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.
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.”
Now that the election is behind us, we’re posting a handful of Obama endorsements from the Hollywood set. Enjoy.
Harvey Weinstein and Bradley Cooper’s Hindsight:
Former SNL Weekend Update co-anchors Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are reuniting for another joint hosting gig, this time emceeing the upcoming 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Long-time friends Fey and Poehler are only the second hosting team on the awards show, which went without a host until Ricky Gervais was tapped for the job the last three years. “Having both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on board to host this year’s festivities is a major coup,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC‘s President, Alternative and Late Night Programming. “Tina and Amy have a proven chemistry and comedic timing from their many years together on SNL to their successful co-starring roles in Baby Mama.”