Gervais pledges to produce Derek Series 2 without TV networks

Tuesday 29th January 2013 @ 5:59pm

Derek. Derek (Ricky Gervais). Image credit: Derek Productions.Ricky Gervais has made it clear he intends to make a second series of his comedy series Derek, whether or not he gets the backing of TV commissioners.

Speaking at a press screening, the star said: "Whether Channel 4 wants it or not, I will be doing another six episodes."

Gervais's words are indicative of the shifting of power away from broadcast commissioners to the comedy stars themselves and online business models. In America, influential comedian Louis CK has made significant sums bypassing traditional distribution platforms to release his stand-up shows as digital downloads, and online video services are now commissioning original content of their own.

On demand platform Netflix is currently producing a new season of cult hit US sitcom Arrested Development, whilst retailer Amazon has ordered six sitcom pilots to date. Meanwhile, Netflix rival Hulu is also investing in comedy, co-producing the recent fourth series of The Thick Of It and upcoming James Corden sitcom The Wrong Mans alongside the BBC.

Talking about not needing to rely on Channel 4, Gervais said: "I don't need them, I've got four million Twitter users. I can just put it on there."

It is believed that if Channel 4 opted not to commission a second series of Derek, the star would fund production himself and that Netflix, which has the US rights to stream the comedy, would publish the second series.

The star added, with a laugh: "I do this for myself. I do it for the sheer pleasure of it and I always have. I did it because I loved it when I was poor, and I do it because I love it now I'm rich. I don't care if you watch, I don't care if you don't like it."

Derek, a bitter sweet comedy drama about a group living and working at a retirement home, was piloted by Channel 4 last year, and a full series starts tomorrow. The critical reaction to the pilot was mixed, with some controversy surrounding whether the central character had learning difficulties.

Gervais says: "I have never considered Derek to be disabled, I never understood it when they started trying to second guess. Some are saying, 'He is autistic', 'No, he's got Down's syndrome', 'No, he's...' If I say he is not meant to be, he is not meant to be, it's as simple as that."

He added: "People often think my work is cynical. I'm always aware that whenever I launch a new show I feel like I'm landing at Normandy. I can hear the bullets, but you've still got to open the door."

Gervais has previously says he plans to make no more episodes of animated comedy The Ricky Gervais Show, whilst Life's Too Short, the BBC sitcom he has co-written with Stephen Merchant, is due to broadcast a final one-off special later this year.

As previously reported, Gervais's next major role is as the lead human actor in the new Muppets movie, filming at Pinewood Studios into the spring. He joked: "I love the fact we have to say 'lead human'. I know my place. I know Kermit's in charge." He also added he was very much looking forward to getting started on the film. "I am going to thoroughly enjoy it. I can't believe my luck. It's going to be two months of fun."

Below is a long-form teaser trailer for the new series of Derek, which includes some outtakes:


Our Guide to 'Derek'

 

Latest News

Actress Dora Bryan dies aged 91

Actress Dora Bryan dies aged 91

Prolific actress Dora Bryan, who featured in comedies as diverse as Catterick, dinnerladies, and Carry On Sergeant, has died.

Chris Barrie expresses interest in reviving The Brittas Empire

Chris Barrie expresses interest in reviving The Brittas Empire

Chris Barrie has expressed an interest in starring in a revival of the hit 1990s BBC sitcom The Brittas Empire.

Some Girls Series 3 begins filming

Some Girls Series 3 begins filming

Filming has started on Series 3 of BBC Three sitcom Some Girls.

Bill Bailey pilots a revival of Name That Tune

Bill Bailey pilots a revival of Name That Tune

Bill Bailey has hosted a pilot episode of a revival of the classic TV quiz show format Name That Tune.

Give Out Girls switches to Comedy Central

Give Out Girls switches to Comedy Central

Give Out Girls, the Sky Living sitcom set around a group of promo girls, is switching to Comedy Central.

Nina Conti to present BBC Two comedy variety show

Nina Conti to present BBC Two comedy variety show

Nina Conti is to present a new BBC Two show called Nina Conti's Va-Va-Riety Show. The programme is described as 'a modern take on the traditional variety show'.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Steve Coogan Outtakes

Steve Coogan Outtakes

Steve Coogan has been recording some voiceovers. Here's some of the funny ones which got cut out. Watch

COFILMIC submissions open

COFILMIC submissions open

The annual COFILMIC Film Festival has opened submissions for its 2014 competition. Read

Female directors funding

Female directors funding

iShorts+: Funny Girls is a new funding programme with 50,000 pounds to invest in female filmmakers. Read

Carly Smallman blog

Carly Smallman blog

Carly Smallman reveals how, after appearing on TV, she received lots of abuse about how she looks. Read

Shaun The Sheep wins

Shaun The Sheep wins

Shaun The Sheep has been named via a poll as the nation's most popular BBC children's character. Read

Hitchhikers Hacking Guide

Hitchhikers Hacking Guide

Anti-virus firm Norton have released a guide to hacking in the style of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Read

Terry Mynott interview

Terry Mynott interview

Terry Mynott talks about the return of the 'sleeper hit' sitcom The Mimic, and how to do impressions. Read

People Just Do Nothing

People Just Do Nothing

An interview with MC Grindah and DJ Beats, the characters at the centre of BBC3's People Just Do Nothing. Read

Hayley Ellis blog

Hayley Ellis blog

Hayley Ellis provides this handy guide on how to deal with other people on social networking websites. Read