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Ricky Gervais Signs With HBO For Animated Series Based On Podcast

sg_rickyHBO has revealed that British comedian and original creator of The Office, Ricky Gervais, will be the star voice in a 13-episode animated comedy slated for early 2010.

On Tuesday, the premium cable channel said that The Ricky Gervais Show will be based on his popular (and might I add “seriously funny?”) podcasts. The voices on the show will include Gervais, longtime pal and collaborator Stephen Merchant and their friend Karl Pilkington, whose ideas and musings inspire the podcast’s creative stories.

Dealing with HBO isn’t new to the 48-year-old. He appeared on HBO in the series Extras, which earned him an Emmy as best comedy actor.

HBO’s The Ricky Gervais Show will debut on Feb. 19. While we wait, we can catch Gervais hosting the NBC’s Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 17.

“Not only is this the biggest Hollywood celebration of the industry, which includes both film and TV, but also an environment where I feel I can get free reign as a host,” says Gervais in a statement. “I have resisted many other offers like this, but there are just some things you don’t turn down.”

“We are delighted to have Ricky Gervais as the host on our show,” says Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Ricky Gervais told The New York Times about some of his concerns with hosting awards ceremonies (specifically the Academy Awards) and the risks involved. “I think it’s a thankless task for a comedian,” Gervais said. “Because what’s the best that could happen? You’re funny? You should be. The worst that can happen is, they say, [worst] host ever. And people aren’t there to hear jokes. They’re there to see if they’ve won an Oscar.”

“[There’s] something about what I do, in my persona — I should be the wrong person for the job,” he said of his qualifications. “I should be trespassing. If you’re in charge, suddenly my stuff doesn’t work as much. I’d rather be the naughty school boy than the teacher, if you know what I mean. I think that’s what a comedian is, really.”

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