You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ricky Gervais on His First-Look Deal With Netflix and More ‘After Life’

Ricky Gervais has said he is open to a third season of “After Life”… if he gets help from the cast writing it. The writer and actor also said that he now has a first-look deal with Netflix but not an overall deal that would preclude him working with other platforms or broadcasters.

Gervais was speaking at the Variety European TV Summit in London on Thursday and was asked whether he would go back to traditional TV or the BBC, the home of the “The Office.” “I never say never,” he said. “I have never taken a handcuffs deal in my life. I haven’t got one with Netflix. They get first look now because it’s great, it’s perfect for me.”

The star is working on the sophomore season of “After Life,” the comedy-drama about a man seemingly empowered by giving up on life following the death of his partner. Netflix has shared all of the numbers for his show, he said, although it wasn’t clear to what extent he was kidding in an interview session that was heavy on laughs.

With a stated preference for a small run of seasons and some specials on his projects, he was asked if he had an idea for an “After Life” one-off special. “I do – unless I can get some of the cast to help me write the third series and just sit back and just turn up,” he quipped.

He also told the London audience he had been taken aback by the intensity of the response to the show. “You suddenly realize everyone is grieving but they don’t usually tell a stranger. I wasn’t expecting that, I didn’t think it was the most important thing about the show – for me it was a dramatic device to deliver jokes, drama.”

Gervais talked about working with the Netflix and was quizzed on whether he was given creative carte blanche. “I’ve been lucky enough to always get final edit, I demanded it when I was a nobody with ‘The Office’ and got it because it was low-risk and no one cared,” he said. With Netflix, there’s freedom but you have to deliver. “It’s not a charity, If you don’t deliver, they drop you.”

With several shows, films, and high-profile presenting gigs under his belt, Gervais outlined his wider goals. “As I get older, I don’t want to try and be bigger or richer or try and win more awards, I just want to go, ‘Is this the most honest I have ever been?’ That’s what drives me now,” he said.

More TV

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    Disney Plus Set for Earlier Launch in U.K. & Western Europe

    The Walt Disney Co. has set March 24 as the new launch date for Disney Plus in the U.K. and other key markets across Western Europe. With the roll-out previously set for March 31, the streaming service will now be available a week earlier in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Pricing [...]

  • 9-1-1: LONE STAR: L-R: Rob Lowe

    TV Ratings: '9-1-1: Lone Star' Starts Strong Behind NFC Championship Game

    “9-1-1 Lone Star” got off to a flaming start for Fox in the TV ratings behind the NFC Championship game. The Rob Lowe-fronted series premiere to a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.5 million viewers in the time zone-adjusted ratings, which represents easily the best scripted debut of the 2019-2020 season. “Lone Star” had [...]

  • Ariel Winograd'TOD@S CAEN' film premiere, Los

    Viacom International Studios Signs First Look Deal with Ariel Winograd (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Adding to a powerful and still growing talent roster, Viacom International Studios (VIS) has clinched a first-look deal with Argentine writer-director Ariel Winograd whose latest movie, “The Heist of the Century,” has just become one of the biggest Argentine openers in history. The multi-year pact takes in the development and production of not [...]

  • William Bogert Dead: 'Small Wonder' Actor

    William Bogert, Who Appeared in 'War Games,' 'Small Wonder,' Dies at 83

    TV, film and theater actor William Bogert, who appeared in a recurring role on 1980s sitcom “Small Wonder” and in films such as “War Games,” died Jan. 12 in New York. He was 83. On “Small Wonder,” which ran from 1985 to 1989, Bogert played Brandon Brindle, the Lawsons’ neighbor and Harriet’s father who became [...]

  • Editorial Use OnlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    TV Ratings: NFL's AFC, NFC Championship Games Down From 2019

    The NFL’s AFC and NFC championship games made for a blockbuster Sunday of football for CBS and Fox, but viewership of the games that determine the contenders for the Super Bowl was down from 2019 levels. CBS’ AFC championship in the 3 p.m. ET afternoon slot delivered 41.1 million viewers as the Kansas City Chiefs [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content