Extras

2005, TV Show

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6 Reasons You Should Be Watching Ricky Gervais' Netflix Series Derek

Ricky Gervais

The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Derek Noakes, the titular character of Netflix's British import Derek.

That may be a surprising notion, given that Derek — a simple-minded man who works in an old-age home in Britain — is the creation of Ricky Gervais, whose stand-up comedy and past work on shows like The Office and Extras can be biting, to say the least. Even Gervais admits thatDerek, which he describes plainly (and accurately) as "a show about kindness," is less a departure from his previous projects and more a complete rejection of them.

"In recent years — and I'm culpable; I may even be one of the major driving forces in it — there's been a comedy of embarrassment, of excruciating social faux pas, the minutiae of human behavior, and usually the bad side," Gervais, who plays the lead role of Derek in addition to writing and directing the series, told TVGuide.com last week. "What's slightly different about [Derek] is, all those comedies and all the characters I've created before were sort of laughing at the blind spot, laughing at the difference between how the characters see themselves and how we see them. And with this, I've closed that blind spot. People are more sincere and more honest. ... The big theme is that kindness trumps everything."

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Longtime British TV Actor Richard Briers Dies at 79

Richard Briers in Cockneys vs Zombies

British actor Richard Briers, who enjoyed a prolific TV career in his home country, died Sunday, BBC News reports. He was 79.

Briers' agent told the BBC that he died "peacefully" at his home in London. He had been battling a serious lung condition for several years. In interviews, Briers blamed years of smoking for... read more

Ricky Gervais' New Netflix Sitcom Derek About the Elderly Is Sweet, Not Cruel

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais may have enjoyed being the "most feared man in Hollywood" when he notoriously offended many as a the host of the Golden Globes, but he insists that his new sitcom Derek, set in a nursing home, is "sweeter" than his usual fare.

Derek, an original series to premiere on Netflix sometime this year, won't target the elderly with Gervais' sardonic wit. The show's humor doesn't lie in mocking them, but rather in taking jabs at the callous outside world and its marginalization of the elderly. It's certainly not an obvious topic for humor, but Gervais hopes that viewers will give the show a chance.

"I think there's risk of people not watching it because of assumptions that it was cruel," he said at Netflix's winter TV previews on Wednesday. "There's risk that they don't get it. Or that they get it and don't like it. ... I haven't felt this excited and proud of a project since The Office. That's the truth of it."

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Weekend TV Reviews: Simpsons' 500th, Downton Finale, a New Race and More

Art Velez and JJ Carrell

Where would TV be without The Simpsons? Thankfully, it will still be a while before we'll ever have to find out. With no end in sight, Fox's landmark animated hit celebrates "the most meaningless milestone of all!" — their words — with Sunday's 500th episode (8/7c), a remarkable run by anyone's measure. Even if you've been taking this show for granted the last few years, or possibly decade, you don't want to miss — though you might want to record — the dazzling opening sequence, a kaleidoscopic montage showing the Simpsons' evolution from no-def to Hi-Def, with more couch gags than the eye and brain can process.

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Ricky Gervais Teams With Dexter's Clyde Phillips in the Afterlife

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is hoping to bring another television series to life — or rather, the Afterlife.

The creator of The Office has joined forces with Clyde Phillips, previously the showrunner on Dexter, to write a pilot about... read more

HBO to Air New Ricky Gervais Series Life's Too Short in 2012

Ricky Gervais

HBO has picked up its third Ricky Gervais series, Life's Too Short, to air in 2012, the cable network announced Wednesday.

Check out photos of Ricky Gervais

Described as a cross between the original version of The Office and Gervais' critically acclaimed Hollywood comedy series Extras, Life's Too Short is a faux documentary following... read more

Has The Office Jumped the Shark? Ricky Gervais Sure Thinks So

The Office, Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais may have applied for the top job at Dunder Mifflin, but don't expect to see him on The Office come fall.

The creator and star of the original BBC version of the sitcom criticized the hourlong season finale of the American Office on his blog Friday, writing, "If you're going to jump a shark, jump a big one."

The Office finale: Who should be the new boss?

Gervais, 49, is an executive producer on the U.S. adaptation and guest-starred earlier this season, reprising... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: December 17-19

Ricky Gervais

Christmas in Washington (Friday, 8/7c, TNT)

It's the most wonderful time of the year — for musical holiday specials, at the very least. Mariah Carey, who kicked the TV week off with an ABC Christmas special on Monday, is part of the all-star lineup of this concert extravaganza, taped last weekend at the gorgeous National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Ellen DeGeneres hosts, and joining Carey onstage are ... read more

VIDEO: First Look at Ricky Gervais' New Series

Ricky Gervais

As if Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant don't have enough fun at the expense of co-star Karl Pilkington on The Ricky Gervais Show, the duo are taking their teasing to the next step for their new show.

An Idiot Abroad will showcase Pilkington traveling... read more

Ricky Gervais Gets Animated for New HBO Series

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is getting animated for HBO.

The British comic will star in his own comedy cartoon series starting Friday, Feb. 19, at 9/8c on HBO, followed by the second-season premiere of... read more

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Premiered: September 25, 2005, on HBO
Rating: TV-MA
User Rating: (17 ratings)
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Premise: A frustrated wannabe actor continually lands bit parts on major film projects with real stars (who play themselves). Fortysomething Englishman Andy Millman was bitten by the acting bug late in life, but can't seem to make a name for himself, despite his best efforts to steal a line, milk a scene or schmooze with the crew. His best friend, Maggie, suffers a similar fate, though she would much rather catch a man than a break. Created by the duo that crafted the BBC's `The Office.'

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