Though he’s usually found co-creating and co-starring on shows and podcasts with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant has his own comedy material out in the world. You might recall us going along to see his Hello Ladies stand-up show. Now he’s worked out a deal with HBO to craft a show based around one man’s faltering love life with the same title.
Merchant will be both starring in the show as a not-so-surprisingly lanky Brit navigating the murky waters of dating in Los Angeles, and overseeing the pilot. He’s co-writing the script not with Gervais, but with Bad Teacher team Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. They, of course, already have a connection to Merchant as they spent time writing for the American version of The Office.
The plan is to get the thing before cameras by the end of the year, at which time HBO will decide whether it actually picks it up as a series going ahead.
It’ll be interesting to see Merchant flying solo on TV without Gervais, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed he gets the chance. We just hope he doesn't make the face that, in extreme close-up, provided the climax of his stage show, because we're still having nightmares about that one.