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Extra 'Extras' for Gervais, HBO

(Posted August 19, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( The first season of the BBC/HBO series "Extras" has yet to premiere in the United States, but it's already been renewed for another run.

The show, co-created by and starring "The Office's" Ricky Gervais, has been playing to strong reviews and big audiences on BBC2 this summer, so it's no surprise that the Beeb wanted more of the show. The move by HBO to pick up the second season before the first premieres here is a bit more unusual, but not unheard of: The network picked up a second season of "Six Feet Under" before the first aired in 2001, and last year Showtime picked up season two "Huff" three months before its series premiere.

"Extras" stars Gervais as Andy Millman, a "proper actor" who nonetheless only gets work as an extra. His "Office" collaborator Stephen Merchant plays his dim-bulb agent, and Ashley Jensen co-stars as Maggie, a fellow extra. The show also features cameos by a number of A-list stars, among them Ben Stiller, Kate Winslet and Samuel L. Jackson.

The show has been drawing an average of 3.9 million viewers per week in the U.K., a big number for BBC2.

"It's a good job the BBC offered us a second series," Gervais jokes to BBC News. "Stephen and I had already booked the studio and promised about 30 actors a job. Mind you, we'd done that before the first series had been commissioned too."

"Extras" is scheduled to premiere on HBO Sunday, Sept. 25.

Source: Zap2it

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