Based on the ratings success of the pilot episode which aired last month, Channel 4 have commissioned a full series of Ricky Gervais’ comedy-drama Derek, which saw Gervais writing and directing, as well as appearing on screen alongside his former producer Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad) and comedian Kerry Godliman (Home Time).
Derek is the most recent project from Gervais, who has built a successful Hollywood career off the back of the acclaimed BBC sitcom The Office, and followed this up with two further BBC shows, Extras and Life’s Too Short. The pilot episode of Derek drew 3.2m viewers – giving Channel 4 its highest rating for a scripted comedy for almost two years – and centred on the character of Derek (Gervais), a 49-year-old man with learning difficulties who works at an elderly care home.
“Ricky is a leading voice in British comedy and through Derek he captures and reflects something of the spirit of modern society,” said Shane Allen, Channel 4’s Head of Comedy. “‘A kind-hearted character in a world which TV normally shies away from, it feels like a perfect new direction for Ricky. It’s brilliant that we can explore this world and its beautifully drawn characters across a series.”
Derek is set to air on Channel 4 next year.