Yesterday British comedian Ricky Gervais launched an iPhone app. Now his new series Derek, which aired to some controversy in the UK earlier this year, has been picked up by Netflix.
Indiewire reports that the series is about a middle-aged man working in a nursing home who seeks autographs in his free time. Some in Britain believed Derek was intended to be mentally disabled, leading to controversy. Gervais, who directed, wrote and acts in the show, says that he did not mean for Derek to be disabled. Rather, he saw the title character as a “funny little nerd.” Gervais adds, “He’s got a little hobby on the margins of society, they are a bit different which I have liked to celebrate. I never shy away from that.”
Derek is set to air six more episodes in the UK early next year, and Americans will be able to see the series on Netflix after its British run.
Gervais sees Netflix as “the future.” He announced, “This deal gave me the freedom and the huge potential viewers of the internet but the production values of film and TV. They also made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Come on, an artist gotta eat man.”
Indiewire points out that previous Gervais ventures, from The Office to Life’s Too Short, have all been somewhat uncomfortable to watch.