Here’s some great news for fans of British comedies: HBO has picked up a pilot for a new series co-written, directed by and staring Stephen Merchant. For those of you who might not be familiar with Merchant, he is best known as the writing/directing partner of Ricky Gervais. The duo has created some of the most critically acclaimed TV comedies in recent memories: The Office (the original British series), Extras and Life’s Too Short.
Deadline reports that the new series will be titled Hello Ladies (named after the comedians recent stand-up comedy tour) and will star Merchant as an Englishman who relocates to Los Angeles to find the woman of his dreams. The article describes the series like so: “Half as charming as he thinks he is — and twice as desperate — he’s obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people. Unfortunately the beautiful people won’t let him in.” This will be the first time that Merchant has had a lead role in a project.
The pilot will be executive produced by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, who co-wrote the pilot as well as Merchant’s stand-up tour. The duo also wrote last summer’s hit comedy Bad Teacher. The pilot is slated to start shooting at the end of the year.
In the mean time check out this compilation of Merchant’s best scenes from Extras, where he played the incompetent talent agent Darren Lamb.
About the Author: Ryan Laskodi is a communications major at Cal State Fullerton and currently an editor/writer for "Americas Comedy.com." He is a self-described pop culture junkie/movie addict and loves comedy in all its forms: movies, sketch, stand-up you name it. Ryan can usually be found at a local movie theater.