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.
The deal is co-production with Derek Productions and ChannelFlip, the online broadcaster that runs more than 140 YouTube channels with 90 million views per month. Derek Productions is repped by United Agents.
A personal word on Gervais. He shocked Hollywood when he hosted the Golden Globes festivities for two years with unbelievably bracing humor at the expense of the people in the room. I noticed this year, at several Oscar-week awards shows and the Oscarcast too, that everybody was trying to incorporate his style. Unfortunately, most of what I saw was just mean, but not funny. You don’t want to be in his cross hairs, because Gervais by comparison is a skilled surgeon with a sharp scalpel.
“Working with YouTube is a fantastic opportunity for new content to be made available without the limitations of schedules and international restrictions,” Gervais said. “Viewing habits are changing. And anyone who doesn’t realise that will be left behind. I am very excited to be working with a platform that is so instant and accessible. And to catch up with David Brent is going to be fantastic.”
Here is a teaser trailer for Comic Relief that Gervais hatched to set the stage for Brent’s return: