Cable network eyes comedian's 'Short' live-action pilot

Ricky Gervais has been cast in next season’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the comedian confirmed.

Separately, Gervais might have an even larger role lined up at HBO. Insiders said the pay cabler is a front-runner to pick up his new live-action pilot, “Life’s Too Short.”

The BBC commissioned the pilot in April, and if the show comes Stateside, HBO would seem a logical fit.

Gervais has a long history with the channel. The animated “The Ricky Gervais Show,” which airs on HBO, has already been renewed for a second season, while Gervais starrer “Extras” ran for two seasons as well on the net, including a telepic to wrap the series. Gervais’ standup special also ran there.

“Life’s Too Short,” to be co-written by Gervais and longtime partner Stephen Merchant, examines the life of a showbiz dwarf, played by Warwick Davis. The actor has appeared in the “Harry Potter” films as well as the Daniel Radcliffe episode of “Extras.”

“This is what it’s all about,” Gervais told Daily Variety. “There’s nothing better than me and Steve coming up with ideas. It’s great to do a movie, do ‘The Simpsons’ and an award show, but I don’t get that adrenaline rush in trying make Steve laugh. This is our DNA.”

Gervais, who just completed a handful of standup performances in London, New York and Los Angeles, said “Life’s Too Short” would “complete the trilogy” for himself and Merchant, which includes “The Office” and “Extras.” The two will co-star with Davis in “Life’s Too Short.”

Gervais will appear at the Banff Television Festival next week to receive the Peter Ustinov Award and begin work on the “Life’s Too Short” pilot soon after.

For his upcoming appearance on “Curb,” Gervais dubbed it “an honor” to be part of the Larry David-created skein. The comedian said he would appear as himself in the show’s eighth episode of the season, but didn’t reveal the storyline. Shooting will begin later this summer.

In 2011, Gervais will star in the Universal toon pic “Flanimals,” based on his 2004 children’s book.

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