Ricky Gervais has a new animated series coming to HBO in February and Channel 4 in the spring, based on his enormously popular podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show. HBO ordered 13 half hour episodes, which will center on Gervais’s hapless and eccentric producer Karl Pilkington, as well cartoon versions of Gervais and writing partner Stephen Merchant.
He has high hopes for the show, based largely on the sheer idiocy of the star, Pilkington: “He thinks that a seal is a cross between a fish and a dog. Karl is a bottomless well of stupidity so, unlike my other shows The Office and Extras, which I stopped prematurely through fear of going stale and running out of ideas, I want this to run and run like The Simpsons.”
The series is set to be a faithful adaptation of the podcast, using pre-existing audio directly in the show. This is probably a wise choice, given the huge success of the podcast, which now has over 180 million downloads, and was the Guinness World Record holder for most downloaded podcast of 2007.
You can listen to The Ricky Gervais Show here as well as on iTunes.