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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Gervais sitcom to be shown in US
Ricky Gervais
Gervais has lined up a host of A-list stars for the new sitcom
Ricky Gervais' latest sitcom Extras is to be shown on US television, after BBC Worldwide signed its first comedy co-production deal with US channel HBO.

The comedy, which sees Gervais play a struggling bit-part actor who is openly jealous and rude to the stars he meets, is premiered on BBC Two this summer.

"HBO is extremely proud to join with the BBC in bringing his new show to America," said HBO's Carolyn Strauss.

"Ricky Gervais is one of the most original comic voices working today."

Patrick Stewart, Samuel L Jackson, Kate Winslet and Ben Stiller are among the stars set to play themselves in the sitcom, which is co-written and directed by the Golden Globe-winning Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

James Gandolfini
Hit HBO drama The Sopranos is now in its sixth series

Gervais secured the Hollywood stars on the back of the success of his first sitcom, The Office, which found a huge fanbase in both the UK and US.

"It's an honour to be on the same channel that gave us The Sopranos, and they made me an offer I couldn't refuse," said Gervais.

Previous BBC co-productions with HBO, the US cable channel behind Sex and the City and Six Feet Under, include The Gathering Storm, Band of Brothers and the forthcoming Rome.

"I am thrilled to be partnering with HBO, an American network renowned for the quality and originality of its programming," said the BBC's Jon Plowman.

"I'm confident that Ricky's new show will add to their superb line-up."

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