From the man who gave us the cult hit The Office – and it’s subsequent Atlantic translation – comes another sitcom produced for American television.
Extras co-creator Ricky Gervais and executive producer for fan-favourite Dexter, Clyde Phillips, have joined forces and are writing the pilot episode of a series titled Afterlife. The premise finds its protagonist – who just happens to be an atheist – in heaven.
Unlike in the series that made him famous, Gervais will not be playing the titular role but instead seems set to make a cameo in the trial episode which will begin filming some time next year.
It’s no news that Gervais is an atheist – and an open one at that – after his article in the Wall Street Journal around Christmas last year entitled ‘Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist.’ It caused quite a stir when it was published.
But the British funny-man is not new to coming under fire. His hosting of the Golden Globes award ceremony earlier this year resulted in mixed reviews as Gervais turned his sharp tongue to the Hollywood crowd (many of whom were in the room as he hosted), pulled no punches and left no comedy stone unturned.
Despite the negative reviews following his performance, the caustic comedian still picked up an Emmy award nomination for his turn as host – something that delights him to no end.
As for his collaboration with Clyde Phillips, Gervais is pretty excited as he’s stated on his blog that he is a fan of Phillip’s work, especially Dexter, saying that it is his “favourite show of the last 5 years.” Gervais said he’s been wanting to work with the executive producer after first seeing Phillips’ hit Showtime drama.
However, Afterlife isn’t the only Gervais bun in the oven as The Invention of Lying star has his fingers in many television pies besides Afterlife. He is currently working on two new shows at the same time. The first is a sitcom entitled Life’s Too Short that has his writing partner and Office collaborator Stephen Merchant on board. The show follows Britain’s foremost dwarf actor Warwick Davis in a ‘day in the life of’ style. The second is another Gervais-Merchant series, now in it’s second series (or season), entitled An Idiot Abroad that features their mutual friend and podcast persona on the podcast The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl Pilkington, as he travels around the world trying new things. Both series are set to air in the United Kingdom later this year.
Check out a clip of Gervais’s opening monologue for the 2011 Golden Globe awards:
About the Author: Nivea Serrao is a journalism major at NYU and since coming to the United States to attend college from Dubai, she has caught the comedy bug. Nivea has studied with the Upright Citizen's Brigade and loves sketch comedy. "Save Nivea, Save the world" - Hiro Nakamura "I couldn't have done it without Nivea" - Jack Bauer