New project by 'Office' creators unveiled
LONDON — “Extras,” a wry, behind-the-scenes look at showbiz co-written by “The Office” creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, was unveiled Wednesday as BBC2 bowed its summer schedule.
Gervais stars as Andy Millman, a budding thesp who can’t land big parts, so he spends most of his days in the green room envying A-list actors.
Filming has been cloaked in secrecy, but celeb thesps including Kate Winslet and Jude Law have agreed to appear in cameo roles.
In a promo tape played at the launch, Gervais deadpanned: “This is my long-awaited new program that some critics are already calling the disappointing follow-up to ‘The Office.’ ”
BBC2 controller Roly Keating said “Extras” would follow the conventions of a mainstream sitcom, unlike “The Office,” which was shot in a mock documentary style.
Other fare previewed at the BBC2 launch included “Soul Deep,” a six-part history of soul music featuring more than 100 interviews and rare footage, and “The Monastery,” a potentially controversial reality show that follows five men as they live as Benedictine monks at a religious institution for 40 days.