Ricky Gervais brings animated TV comedy to U.S.

Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:25pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British comedian Rick Gervais is bringing an off-beat animated comedy series to U.S. television in February that will feature musings on everything from population control to round heads.

Cable channel HBO said on Tuesday that the 13-episode "The Ricky Gervais Show" will debut on February 19, and will be voiced by Gervais, his longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant and friend Karl Pilkington.

The show is an animated version of popular podcasts by the trio that were first created for the website of British newspaper "The Guardian" and which were widely downloaded.

The HBO show strengthens the growing presence of Gervais on the U.S. entertainment scene. The actor and stand-up comedian won an acting Emmy for his series "Extras" and created the Golden Globe winning comedy series "The Office" -- which was later turned into a hit American version starring Steve Carell.

Gervais, 48, wrote, directed and starred in the 2009 movie comedy "The Invention of Lying", and will host the Golden Globes movie and TV awards from Beverly Hills on January17.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>Director, writer and producer Ricky Gervais gestures as he pretends to play peek-a-boo at a news conference for "The Invention of Lying" during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival September 14, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>